Alexs law r1SPRINGFIELD – People seeking help for an individual experiencing an opioid overdose will no longer fear arrest under Alex’s Law, a new statute sponsored by State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) that was signed into law on Friday.

“Fear of criminal charges should never result in someone not receiving the medical assistance they need,” Ellman said. “Saving lives has to be our first priority.”

The idea for the measure came from the death of a 25-year-old Naperville resident, Alex Green, who died of a fentanyl overdose in 2018. Alex had been with others at the time of his overdose, but none of the others on the scene called 911 for assistance. This meant the officers who arrived on scene were not able to identify what had happened until it was too late, despite having Narcan (a medicine used to treat opioid overdoses) with them at the time.

“Had an unknown person who was on hand accompanied Alex into a public business and alerted staff that his friend was overdosing, proper 911 calls may have been made,” said Bill Green, Alex’s father and the original proponent of the legislation. “Friends, strangers and passersby need to know that it’s always safe to help someone in distress, so they may see those they love at least one more day.”

Ellman, Green, House sponsor Rep. Janet Yang Rohr and other proponents hope that Alex’s Law will lead to more people contacting 911 when others around them suffer an opioid overdose, potentially saving lives.

"With the passing of Alex’s Law, we’re making sure that the tragedy affecting one of our community’s own doesn’t have to happen to anyone else,” Rep. Yang Rohr said. “I’m grateful to have been trusted by the Green family to help them honor Alex’s memory, ensuring that those facing addiction problems can get the help they need."

The new law takes effect Jan. 1, 2022.

04212021HAO0075 rSPRINGFIELD – Public schools will recognize the historical and present-day contributions of Muslim Americans and those of other faiths in the state of Illinois under a new law sponsored by State Senate Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) that was signed into law on Thursday.

“It’s our responsibility to ensure all Illinoisans feel represented in this state,” Ellman said. “That begins by making sure students learn about people like them in school.”

The law requires all Illinois public schools to cover contributions made by Americans of different faith practices 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 contributions by Muslim Americans and other collective communities of faith in the state of Illinois. 

Senate Bill 564 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.

Senator Ellman worked closely with Representative Edgar Gonzalez, Jr. to craft the legislation.

"I'm happy to have championed Senate Bill 564,” Rep. Gonzalez said. “Not only are we highlighting the work and patriotism of Muhammad Ali, but we also help school curriculums capture the diversity of our state and elevate the contributions to society of individuals from all communities of faith.

Senate Bill 564 is effective immediately.

Ellman SB561NAPERVILLE – Illinois will begin phasing out toxic PFAS chemicals used in firefighting foam under a new law sponsored by State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) that was signed into law on Friday.

“PFAS exposure has been shown to have serious health consequences, including kidney issues and cancer,” Ellman said. “We need to act if we wish 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.

“Reducing harmful forever chemicals is necessary for protecting our health and the environment,” said State Representative Anna Moeller (D-Elgin), the House sponsor of the law. “I am happy to be part of a solution that will phase out these toxic substances being used in firefighting foam."

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 is effective immediately.

llNAPERVILLE – State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) has been selected to be part of the ninth annual Edgar Fellows Program out of a pool of 187 nominees from all levels of government, nonprofit organizations, and the business world.

“The names of those chosen as this year’s Edgar Fellows have been released, and I am incredibly honored to be among them,” Ellman said. “I look forward to experiencing the program with this class, and I expect to learn a lot.”

The fellows gathered at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Aug. 1 through Aug. 5 for an intense executive training program featuring more than two dozen policy experts and experienced practitioners. There, fellows had the opportunity to learn from each other in discussions of issues like workforce development, climate change, public safety, disaster planning and intergovernmental cooperation.

The Edgar Fellows Program is an initiative designed by former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar and the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs to inspire respectful and collaborative leadership to address the state's major challenges.

Senator Ellman is one of 40 participants selected for the program this year.

More information about the Edgar Fellows Program is available here.

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