051723CM0088SPRINGFIELD – High school students could soon be required to learn about the dangers of fentanyl thanks to a measure sponsored by State Senator Laura Ellman.

“Increasing awareness through education is an effective way to combat the ongoing opioid epidemic,” said Ellman (D-Naperville). “Educating high school students, hopefully before they are exposed to fentanyl, could mean all the difference between a dependency on addictive opioids and connection to a non-addictive medication.”

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, a lethal dose of fentanyl is smaller than a drop of water. Opioids, including fentanyl, heroin, and other drugs such as hydrocodone or oxycodone, are involved in 70% of fatal drug overdoses.

Under current law, elementary and high school health classes are required to discuss consumer health, personal health habits, alcohol and drug use, but are not required to receive specific instruction on fentanyl or other synthetic opioids.

House Bill 3924 requires all Illinois high school students enrolled in a required health course to learn about the dangers of fentanyl and fentanyl contamination.

“Fentanyl, even in small doses, can be deadly,” said Ellman. “Educating young people on the dangers of opioid use will undoubtedly save lives. When we educate young people on the risks of all drug use, including the use of opiates such as fentanyl, we are exercising a modernized approach of health education.”

House Bill 3924 passed the Senate Thursday.

051023SC5768SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Laura Ellman passed a measure Wednesday to help reduce the threat of radon for property renters.

“This measure outlines a period of time where renters are allowed to test for radon,” said Ellman (D-Naperville). “The 90-day time period enables renters to test for radon and protect their families from the dangers of excessive radon.”

Radon, a natural occurring element, is not immediately produced or detectable. Illinois laws such as the Illinois Radon Awareness Act and the Illinois Real Property Disclosure Act offer protections for homebuyers and prospective buyers, but there are no current protections for renters.

“Proactive measures against this deadly gas are needed to decrease the onset of its harmful effects, which can include lung cancer,” said Ellman. “If radon exceeds limits, renters can seek mitigations to protect their families.”

House Bill 2217 passed the Senate Wednesday.

leaking roofNAPERVILLE – The DuPage Habitat for Humanity is set to receive $400,000 thanks to the Illinois Housing Development Authority’s Home Repair and Accessibility Program supported by State Senator Laura Ellman.

“Habitat for Humanity is known for building beautiful modernized homes for our most vulnerable community members,” said Ellman (D–Naperville). “I’m glad to see such a hardworking organization receive this funding to continue to be a treasured resource in DuPage County.”

The Home Repair and Accessibility Program is designed to assist low-income families by providing funds to manage health, safety, accessibility and energy efficiency repairs to their homes. Eligible homeowners may receive up to $45,000 to cover necessary repairs through a five-year forgivable loan.

The grant program will be administered locally through 36 government and nonprofit organizations with experience administering homeowner rehabilitation assistance programs. To be eligible, homeowners must be current on their mortgage payments, be at or below 80% of the area median income based on household size, and the property must be a single-family residence.

“It is vital that those looking to make repairs to their homes, especially those looking to make accessibility and health-related upgrades, apply for this grant,” said Ellman. “Our most vulnerable community members are not always in the financial position to make these improvements themselves, but deserve to feel comfortable in their homes.”

More information on eligibility and a list of administering agencies can be found on IDHA’s website.

050223KP2253NAPERVILLE – The College of DuPage Foundation is set to receive $53,000 to boost local tourism efforts, thanks to support from State Senator Laura Ellman.

“Funding for the arts has dwindled in recent years,” said Ellman (D-Naperville). “Art is a great way to attract tourists and invite them into the wonderful community of Glen Ellyn.”

The Illinois Travel and Tourism Grant Program awarded $2.9 million in funding to 51 local governments, municipalities and nonprofit agencies for the development of tourist attractions and events. Additionally, the state will be matching funds to offset marketing expenses for expenditures such as promotional materials and production costs.

The College of DuPage Foundation expects to use the award to support the Andy Warhol Portfolios: A Life in Pop exhibition at the College of DuPage.

“Finding a way to uplift the arts and the College of DuPage Foundation is a great way to kick off tourism season this spring,” Ellman said. “I look forward to tourists learning about a portion of the beautiful community I am fortunate to represent.”

To view a full list of Illinois Travel and Tourism Grant Program recipients, click here.

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