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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SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) released the following statement after the Illinois Senate passed the Fiscal Year 2021 state budget:

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

“What we accomplished this week is just a start. We did what was needed to begin moving forward. Make no mistake, there’s still a lot 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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SPRINGFIELD - On Wednesday, State Senator Laura Ellman and the Illinois Senate reconvened in Springfield to address the challenges relating to the COVID-19 pandemic and work on the annual state budget.

Ellman strongly supported the passage of local government and education packages. Both addressed the outstanding needs that were created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Local governments have struggled to keep people safe during this crisis and face many of their own challenges,” Ellman said. “We need to give them the tools to respond and serve their local communities.”

The local government legislation establishes that any aid people receive under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act or any other federal money given out in response to the COVID-19 not be counted against them when they apply for township general assistance. General assistance provides resources to low-income people who may not qualify for other programs or who need additional help. House Bill 2096 passed the Senate with a unanimous vote of 54-0-0.

The education package includes a number of items like allowing remote learning days and remote learning plans. The package also allows for the suspension of clock hour requirements when a disaster is declared, allows mandated exams to be completed remotely and a number of other provisions.

“Making sure our schools are able to continue the education of our youth is essential in these uncertain times,” Ellman said. “This package is giving school districts and teachers the tool they need to continue.”

Senate Bill 1569 passed the Senate with a bipartisan vote of 42-13-0.

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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