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NAPERVILLE — A measure that was signed into law last week will help survivors of sexual assault be able to receive medical forensic exams, also known as rape kits, at federally qualified health centers, in addition to hospitals during the COVID-19 crisis. State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) is a strong supporter of the new law, which she voted for in May.

“Seeking help after a sexual assault is already difficult. Now that hospitals are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be that much harder,” Ellman said. “Nobody should be forced to make the decision between potentially contracting COVID-19 and seeking justice.”

Senate Bill 557 allows approved federally qualified health centers to perform rape kit examinations and collection during public health emergencies like COVID-19. 

“The reality is, this pandemic hasn’t stopped sexual assault in Illinois,” Ellman said. “It’s critical that survivors have access to medical forensic exams somewhere other than hospitals.”

This measure took effect last Friday.

NAPERVILLE – With millions of Illinoisans facing unemployment, State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) announced the launch of a free online career training program for jobs in the information   technology industry.

“This Initiative can help people develop work skills for careers in the technology field,” Ellman said. “If you’re looking for new employment opportunities, enroll so you can be better prepared for a career this growing industry.”

Partnering with Coursera, an online learning platform, Illinois is one of the first states to make online job   training courses free to residents through their Workforce Recovery Initiative. Now through September,   residents can apply online to enroll in over 3,800 industry-certified courses offered by accredited  institutions. To receive credit, all courses must be completed by Dec. 31.

The state is also partnering with P33 and Discovery Partners Institute (DPI) to launch another training program, TechReady Illinois. This program will provide training for in-demand fields in the information technology industry. Upon completion, enrollees will be certified in data and analytics, cloud computing, cybersecurity or software development. Residents can apply online for the TechReady program here. TechReady Illinois is not a free program like Coursera, but DPI is working secure discounts for enrollees.

If you are interested in career opportunities outside the information technology industry, Get Hired Illinois is an online job portal that has over 60,000 listings available in a variety of industries.

I see the fires in Aurora and Chicago, and this afternoon downtown Naperville is temporarily closing up in response to potentially violent protests. Reports of looting and mayhem, possibly instigated by provocateurs and opportunists and fueled by pent-up frustration, should not distract us from the important work ahead of us. George Floyd’s murder under the knee of a policeman and the COVID-19 outbreak have laid bare an issue that has always been here: racial disparity in America.

Inequities exist in every aspect of American life, including job access, obtaining a quality education, access to food, housing, health care, and unfair treatment by police and courts. In DuPage County, the case rate for COVID-19 is 2.3 times higher for African Americans than white residents, and the morality rate is 1.7 times higher. No camera has been there as witness, but it’s real and it’s heartbreaking.

People of color suffer in Illinois, oppression stops when the oppressor stops. To the African American community, I hear you, I see you and I commit to joining you in the fight to end systematic racism. Do not let rhetoric and misinformation divide us in protecting basic rights for all. Demand the best from your schools, police, community and representatives. Demand it from me.

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SPRINGFIELD - Last week, State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) and the Illinois Senate reconvened in Springfield to pass the state budget after a nearly three months of cancelations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There’s no doubt that these were unusual circumstances under which to pass a state budget,” Ellman said. “We came together as a governing body and passed a responsible budget.”

Ellman emphasized a provision in the budget that expanded the eligibility of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program through June 2021. LIHEAP is a program to assist low income households who are struggling with their utility bills.

“This pandemic has effected all of us, but it’s more likely to affect the financial security of those who are already having trouble paying their bills,” Ellman said. “Expanding the eligibility for this program was a necessary step to make sure that those who are already struggling don’t fall though the cracks.”

Ellman also highlighted that with this budget, the state is committed to maintaining and making full pension payments, as well as holding the line for K-12 and higher education funding.

“We have a responsibly to hold up our end of the bargain and continue to maintain the state’s pension payments and education funding,” Ellman said. “Now more than ever, it is absolutely imperative that we provide confidence for our students and educators in these uncertain times.”

In addition, this year’s budget fully funds the Local Government Distributive Fund. The fund provides local governments with a share of the state’s income tax revenue and will help them make up for budget shortfalls caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senate Bill 264 passed the full Senate with a vote of 37-19-0.

“What the General Assembly accomplished this week is just a start. We did what was needed to begin moving forward,” Ellman said. “Make no mistake, there’s still a lot of work to be done, but I believe if we continue to come together as a state, we can tackle this challenge, and when we do, we will be stronger for it.”

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Contact Info

District Office
24W500 Maple Ave., Suite 215
Naperville, IL 60540
Phone: (630) 601-9961

Springfield Office
Stratton Office Building
Section C, Room D
Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: (217) 782-8192