Senator Laura Ellman speaks on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) released the following statement regarding the Senate’s vote to legalize adult-use cannabis:

“When it comes to legalizing adult-use cannabis, safety has always been my top concern. Right now, cannabis is being grown, processed, sold and consumed without any regulations or oversight. I believe that legalizing and regulating cannabis is a safer alternative to our current system. This bill includes important regulations and provisions that ensure that cannabis is grown, processed and distributed in a safe, transparent manner.”

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Senator Laura Ellman speaks on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) passed a bill today to repeal a decades-old law that prevents Illinois from taking action to address harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

“The Kyoto Protocol Act should never have been signed into Illinois law. It only served to limit our state’s ability to make decisions and prepare for the future,” Ellman said. “By repealing this legislation, the General Assembly is signaling that Illinois is ready to get serious about tackling emissions that cause climate change.”

House Bill 3481 repeals the Kyoto Protocol Act of 1998, which was intended to prevent the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and Pollution Control Board from proposing rules to reduce greenhouse gases to address climate change.

“The 1998 law is basically a gag order designed to prevent Illinois from taking important action to reduce carbon emissions and address climate change,” Ellman said. “Repealing this outdated law will allow us to consider options to curb greenhouse gas emissions and protect our environment.”

The Kyoto Protocol Act expressly prohibited Illinois from reducing carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions beyond the goals set for the United States in the Kyoto Protocol. In 2001, the U.S. withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol, leaving Illinois tied to goals that the federal government no longer intended to meet.

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NAPERVILLE – Non-traditional students pursuing vocational training would be eligible for a new scholarship program under legislation from State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville).

“Let’s encourage more students, especially later in life, to take advantage of our trade schools by taking the financial burden off of their shoulders,” Ellman said. “This scholarship gives opportunity to those who are seeking new jobs thus fueling our markets and economy.”

The legislation establishes an Adult Vocational Community College Scholarship Program, run by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission. To be eligible, a student must be over the age of 30 and unemployed but actively searching for work.

The scholarship would be enough to cover the cost of tuition and fees to attend the community college without exceeding $2,000 per recipient per academic year.
Senate Bill 1167 passed in the Senate this afternoon and will now go to the House for consideration.

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Senator Laura Ellman presents her bill on the Illinois Senate floorSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) passed a measure out of the Illinois Senate that would increase access to community college apprenticeships and develop apprenticeship programs in new, non-traditional sectors.

“Education is economic development,” Ellman said. “When workers have the training they need for good jobs and businesses are able to find qualified talent to fill positions, everyone is better off.”

Fifty-three percent of Illinois jobs require more than a high school degree but less than a four-year college degree, yet only 43 percent of Illinois workers are trained at that level.

“Expanding access to apprenticeship programs and creating apprenticeships in new sectors will help ensure Illinois workers are trained for jobs of the future and ensure businesses aren’t struggling to find qualified employees,” Ellman said. “Funding education and apprenticeship programs is an investment in our future.”

Senate Bill 2122 would create a grant program to allow for the funding of apprenticeships at each of the 48 community colleges, allow for the recruitment of new partnerships across traditional apprenticeship fields and emerging fields and provide community colleges the resources to engage in curriculum development, oversight and evaluation.


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