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SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) recently honored 959 Naperville-area high school students who were named 2021-22 Illinois State Scholars by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.

Illinois State Scholar winners rank in approximately the top 10% of the state’s high school seniors from 676 high schools in all 102 counties. Selection is based on a combination of standardized test scores and class rank or unweighted GPA at the end of the student’s junior year. ISAC works in conjunction with the students’ high school guidance counselors to determine the winners.

“It’s no secret the last two school years have been tough,” Ellman said. “That is why I’m so proud of these students for earning this award. Not only did the students perform admirably, but they did it during a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. I want to recognize their support systems as well. The school staffs across the district have done an exceptional job.”

The scholars from the Naperville area include students from nine area high schools, including Benet Academy, Lisle, Naperville Central, Naperville Christian, Naperville North, Neuqua Valley, St. Francis, Wheaton North and Wheaton Warrenville South high schools.

Recipients of the award will receive a congratulatory letter from ISAC, and a Certificate of Achievement will be sent to their high school. State Scholars will also receive a digital badge issued by ISAC that can be displayed on online profiles, exhibited on social media, and shared with prospective colleges and employers.

“I hope these students will use these awards to their benefit during the college admissions process,” Ellman said. “After the last two years, they deserve all the recognition they can get.”

More information about the State Scholar program can be found at ISAC’s website.

Fire fighter training.

SPRINGFIELD – A measure introduced by State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) that would begin phasing out toxic PFAS chemicals used in firefighting foam passed the Illinois Senate on Friday.

“Evidence shows that exposure to PFAS can have serious health consequences, including kidney issues and cancer,” Ellman said. “We need to step in now if we want to decrease the public’s exposure, especially firefighters.”

Per-and polyfluoradlkyl substances, frequently called PFAS, are a large group of toxic chemicals that have the ability to repel oil and water, reduce friction, and put out fires. For these reasons, they are especially prevalent in firefighting foam.

There is evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to negative health effects, like cancer, reproductive issues, and liver and kidney problems, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The measure would put Illinois on a path to phase out the production, distribution, sale and use of PFAS in Illinois to protect firefighters from potentially toxic exposure while keeping chemical waste out of landfills and waterways, helping to keep Illinois’ environment healthy.

“The characteristics that allow PFAS to put out fires are also the main environmental problem,” Ellman said. “They break down slowly and are incredibly resilient, which makes them a long-lasting danger to our environment.”

There are more than 100 alternative foams that can be used as viable replacements, and Washington, Colorado, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and New York have already banned the use of PFAS chemicals.

Senate Bill 561 passed the Illinois Senate with a vote of 58-0 and now heads to the Illinois House of Representatives for further consideration.

A1C Test

SPRINGFIELD – A measure sponsored by State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) that would require insurers to cover important tests for people with or at risk of developing diabetes passed the State Senate on Thursday.

“Diabetes is a serious, often preventable condition,” Ellman said. “People have the right to know if they’re at risk, and insurance providers should cover the tests.”

According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, identified risk factor for people who have or may have prediabetes and diabetes are vitamin D deficiency and low blood sugar levels. Ellman’s measure would require insurers to cover A1C and vitamin D tests that are recommended by health care providers for people who may have or have prediabetes, type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

The A1C test, also known as the hemoglobin A1C, is a simple blood test that measures the average blood sugar levels of an individual over the three months prior to the test being administered. It’s one of the most common tools used to diagnose prediabetes.

The measure was brought to Ellman by a constituent.

“Managing diabetes is not an easy task, and unchecked diabetes can lead to serious health issues later in life,” Ellman said. “Insulin is costly. We need to make preventative tests as accessible and affordable as possible.”

According to the National Conference of State Legislators, as of 2014, nearly 29.1 million people in the United States have diabetes, and an additional 86 million are considered to have prediabetes.

Senate Bill 1854 passed the Illinois Senate with a vote of 57-0 and now heads to the Illinois House of Representatives for further consideration.

LE

SPRINGFIELD – Legislation sponsored by State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) designed to recognize the historical and present-day contributions of Muslim culture in the state of Illinois passed the State Senate on Wednesday.

“This legislation is meant to raise awareness of the contributions made by the Muslim community across the nation and the state of Illinois,” Ellman said. “It’s our responsibility to ensure all Illinoisans feel represented in this state, and that begins by making sure students learn about people like them in school.”

The measure would require all Illinois public schools to cover contributions made by Muslims and Muslim Americans in history classes. Currently, the teaching of history in Illinois public schools must include the roles of African Americans and other ethnic groups. This legislation would emphasize the importance of Muslim contributions in the state of Illinois.

The measure would also honor one of the most famous practicing Muslims in modern American history by creating a new commemorative state holiday, declaring Jan. 17 Muhammad Ali Day in Illinois.

“Muhammad Ali was notorious for his bravado in the ring, but many don’t know about his quiet lifelong philanthropic efforts,” Ellman said. “He truly floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee.”

Senate Bill 564 passed the Illinois Senate with a vote of 46-3 and will now head to the Illinois House of Representatives for further consideration.

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District Office
475 River Bend Rd., Suite 500
Naperville, IL 60540
Phone: (630) 601-9961

Springfield Office
M113 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: (217) 782-8192