7618634830 a6ecc4e5ea bNAPERVILLE – State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) is bringing attention to the many benefits of public parks and other natural spaces in celebration of National Park and Recreation Month.

“Parks and other public spaces in our community give everyone a place to gather and enjoy being outdoors,” Ellman said. “After the difficulties of the pandemic, this Park and Recreation Month is a wonderful opportunity to get outside and enjoy nature.”

According to the National Recreation and Park Association, parks play an important role in maintaining quality of life in a community. Parks provide gathering places for members of a community to interact with each other, host public events and offer recreational programs.

Additionally, parks provide a public place where people can go to keep healthy and fit. A Penn State University study showed that the length of visits to parks has a connection with reductions in stress, lowered blood pressure, and perceived physical health.

Parks also provide an economic benefit to their communities. A review by Texas A&M University found that parks and open space raise nearby property values and increase revenue from tourism. Trees and other growth are also estimated to save cities money in environmental impacts and the effects of storms.

“Parks are a wonderful part of our communities,” Ellman said. “I hope that local residents will take this opportunity to appreciate the parks, trails and other outdoor spaces in our area.”

Learn more about local parks and public events by visiting the park district websites for Naperville, Warrenville, Wheaton, Winfield and Lisle.

Holmes Ellman Mental WellnessNAPERVILLE – Assistant Majority Leader Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) and Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) will be hosting a free mental wellness fair on Monday, July 19 to help local residents access important mental health services.

“This past year was tough on many of us,” Holmes said. “It is essential that residents have the information required to address their mental health needs and find tools to make adjustments in their lives.”

The mental wellness fair will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. at Neuqua Valley High School, located at 2360 95th St. in Naperville. Several groups will be present at the fair to address residents’ specific mental health needs, including:
• 360 Youth
• Connect For Life
• Family Focus
• IL Department of Human Services
• Linden Oaks
• Metro Family Services
• Mutual Ground
• NAMI DuPage
• Samara Care
• Congresswoman Lauren Underwood’s Office
• Will County Office of Substance Use Initiative

“Ensuring that people have access to mental health services is incredibly important,” Ellman said. “This event offers a great opportunity to connect with incredible organizations offering helpful and even life-saving resources right here in our community.”

Attendees will be required to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status, and social distancing guidelines will be in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

For more information, residents can reach out to Leader Holmes’ office by visiting her website or calling 630-820-8650. Senator Ellman’s staff is also available through her website or by calling 630-601-9961.

01132021HAO3644SPRINGFIELD – Illinois firefighters will be able to worry less about their retirement under a new law sponsored by State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) that was signed into law on Friday.

“This law creates a level playing field for all of Illinois’ firefighters,” Ellman said. “Prior law failed to address an oversight that would have caused hundreds of firefighters to lose out on time they’ve served when they retire.”

Previously, firefighters outside of Chicago who began work after 2011 were not allowed to purchase service credit after changing employers. The new law ensures all firefighters can purchase service credit if they move to a new employer who is covered by a different fire pension fund.

Members of a pension system earn service credits for time they’ve worked. A purchased service credit is an additional amount of service that pension system participants can purchase – or essentially move from one pension system to another – that can be used to calculate the amount a person will receive when they retire.

Many firefighters outside of Chicago can purchase credit when they switch employers, so their service at their prior employer will be factored into their retirement earnings. For example, a firefighter who moves from Peoria to Rockford might purchase their time in Peoria to move it to the Rockford system.

“Our firefighters risk their lives every day to protect our communities,” Ellman said. “This law will ensure they receive all the benefits they have earned and deserve when it comes time for them to retire.”

Senate Bill 167 is effective immediately.

03232021HAO05051NAPERVILLE — State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) is pleased to learn Fitch Ratings has revised its outlook on Illinois’ General Obligation bonds from negative to positive — a direct result of responsible spending.

“The more than 15 months of a global pandemic could have wiped out our financial condition, but we made responsible financial decisions to keep Illinois on track,” Ellman said. “The work we have put in over the years is now paying off for not only the state, but all who live here.”

Fitch’s is the third ratings agency to upgrade the state’s forecast, in addition to Standard and Poor’s, and Moody’s.

According to Fitch’s analysis, the state budget for the upcoming fiscal year provides Illinois a stable foundation for further financial improvement. Recent debt payments and a reduction of nearly a billion dollars in spending since 2020—without sacrificing funding for pensions, K-12 or higher education—suggest responsible budget management and movement toward fiscal stability.

Fitch’s full analysis is available here.

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Contact Info

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