SPRINGFIELD – A measure sponsored by State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) that would make the retirement process fairer for many Illinois firefighters passed committee Wednesday.

“I introduced this measure to level the playing field for all of Illinois’ firefighters,” Ellman said. “The current law does not address a significant oversight that causes hundreds of firefighters to lose out on time they’ve served when it comes time for them to retire.”

Currently, firefighters outside of Chicago who began work after 2011 are not allowed to purchase service credit after changing employers. This measure would ensure that all firefighters, would be able to 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-which 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.

“We ask our firefighters to put their lives at risk day in and day out,” Ellman said. “They serve our communities to keep us safe. The least we can do is make sure they all receive the money they’ve earned and deserve when they retire.”

Senate Bill 167 passed the Illinois Senate Pensions Committee with a vote of 9-0 and now heads to the Senate floor for further consideration.

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Laura Ellman’s (D-Naperville) measure to remove an outdated law that prohibits drinking alcohol on trains, which hasn’t been enforced in nearly a century, was      signed into law on Friday.

“When I learned people have technically been breaking the law by ordering drinks on the Amtrak, I decided it was time to remove that law,” Ellman said. “Responsible adults should be able to legally enjoy these types of drinks on a train, and now they can.”

House Bill 3878 of the 101st General Assembly repeals the Railroad Intoxicating Liquor Act of 1911, which prohibits drinking alcohol on trains and around train stations, and gives conductors the ability to arrest violators and charge them with a Class C misdemeanor.

“Laws that aren’t generally enforced are still laws and technically still can be enforced,” Ellman said. “For years now, many trains have included alcoholic beverages on their menus. Now they won’t technically be breaking a law that was put in place during Prohibition.”

Ellman encourages people to use safe transportation, such as Metra, as an alternative to driving under the influence.

NAPERVILLE – State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) is announcing that school districts in the 21st District will receive      $66.1 million in additional funding to help address the many challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’d like to acknowledge all of the hard work and sacrifice students, teachers, and parents have given for more than a year now,”      Ellman said. “I’m confident that this funding will help all of us move forward and eventually beyond this once-in-a-lifetime pandemic.”

The funding comes as part of the most recent federal COVID-19                                                                                                relief packages. Schools, students and parents have overcome challenges that no one could have imagined before the pandemic began, including remote and hybrid learning, digital connection issues, new processes for receiving state and federal aid that normally flow through schools, and more.

Local school districts are set to receive the following amounts:

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Ellman committee

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 committee on Wednesday.

“Diabetes is a serious, sometimes preventable condition,” Ellman said. “You have a right to know if you’re at risk, and your insurance should cover the request.”

According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an identified risk factor for people who have or may have prediabetes and diabetes is 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 individuals over the three months prior to the test being administered. It’s one of the most common tools used to diagnose prediabetes.

“Managing diabetes isn’t simple, and unmanaged diabetes can lead to serious health issues later in life,” Ellman said. “Insulin is expensive. The least we can do is make preventative tests as accessible and affordable as possible.”

According to the National Council for 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 Senate Insurance Committee with no opposition and will now head to the Senate floor 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