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SPRINGFIELD - Following the signing of the Illinois FY 2021 budget, State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) highlighted the preservation of education and local government funding and efforts to address financial challenges presented by COVID-19.  

Ellman emphasized that with this budget, the state is committed to maintaining and making full pension payments, as well as holding the line for P-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.”  

Ellman also highlighted 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 struggling with paying their utility bills.   

“This pandemic has effected all of us, even more so for 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 ensure that those who are already struggling don’t fall through the cracks.”  

In addition, this year’s budget provides an increase to 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.  

The law takes effect July 1, 2020.

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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.

Outdoor dining

NAPERVILLE – State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) urges area residents to support local bars and restaurants, following Gov. Pritzker’s decision to allow restaurants and bars to have on-site dining in outside seating areas during Phase 3 of his Restore Illinois plan.

“This pandemic has impacted nearly every area of our state and local economies, restaurants and bars in particular,” Ellman said. “Help your favorite local eateries recover from this pandemic by patronizing their outdoor seating areas.”

Since Gov. Pritzker’s first executive order was implemented on March 21, dine-in service at restaurants and bars has been prohibited in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Last week, the governor announced that all Illinois restaurants and bars will be allowed to resume on-site service dining in outdoor seating areas on May 29.

“I’m pleased to see the governor decide to allow restaurants and bars to reopen some dine-in service during Phase 3 of his plan,” Ellman said. “If you do go out to eat, please be careful and follow all of the relevant health precautions. If we all work together, we can continue to fight COVID-19 while returning to a more normal way of life.” ​

Ellman does want to remind residents to still consider the risks to themselves or other people in their households if they do decide to expand their activities.

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Contact Info

District Office
552 S. Washington, Suite 104
Naperville, IL 60540
Phone: (630) 453-5488

Springfield Office
M122 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: (217) 782-8192