Fine EOSQuoteSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Laura Fine recognizes crucial investments in the Fiscal Year 2024 budget that will help transform the behavioral and mental health care system for children.

“When a caregiver is looking to treat their child’s physical health needs, there is easily accessible information on where to go. This information needs to be just as accessible when caregivers are seeking to support their child’s mental health,” said Fine (D-Glenview). “This budget’s investment in the Children’s Behavioral Health Transformation Initiative will help normalize treating mental health concerns in children and ensure essential treatment is available for the kids who need it most.”

The FY 2024 budget invests nearly $23 million to implement the new Children’s Behavioral Health Transformation Initiative. This plan is based on findings from a year’s worth of research on how to make mental and behavioral health care more accessible for our state’s children and adolescents. Based on this research, the initiative will transform statewide systems to provide clear guidance to families seeking behavioral or mental health services, as well as increasing capacity so youth in need have access to essential resources and care.

Additionally, the budget provides $200 million to better serve Illinoisans with developmental disabilities. It also allocates funding for expanded workforce development programs to train people for emerging industries.

“This budget will provide critical investments in future generations so we can continue to grow emerging industries in Illinois,” said Fine. “These funds will help create well-paying jobs in communities in every part of the state.”

The budget heads to the House for further consideration.

Category: Press Releases

 fine 2296SPRINGFIELD – Between 2013 and 2021, health care costs increased by 25% causing Illinoisans to spend, on average, over $7,000 on healthcare per person. In order to protect consumers and small businesses from excessive insurance premium increases, State Senator Laura Fine sponsored House Bill 2296, which would require the state to review and approve health insurance rate changes and make the process more transparent.

“Since becoming a legislator, I have been a fierce consumer advocate to provide quality, affordable healthcare to Illinois residents,” said Fine (D-Glenview). “This initiative empowers the Department of Insurance to reject unsubstantiated increases in insurance premiums and provides essential transparency to the process.”

House Bill 2296 protects consumers by giving the Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI) the authority to approve, modify, or deny excessive premium rate increases for individuals and small businesses. The legislation would also provide transparency on the process of insurance plans changing their rates by requiring DOI to post proposed rates on their website with space for members of the public to comment.

In addition, DOI must also publish an annual report on coverage, affordability and cost transparency to examine the trends of health care rates, as well as information on financial assistance for consumers and small businesses who have been struggling to stay open with rising costs of insurance for their families and employees.

“The unregulated price of insurance is putting small businesses out of business because they can no longer afford their insurance, which is devastating to our economy,” said Fine. “Business owners and everyday insurance consumers deserve more transparency in rate changes and regulation and this proposal accomplishes that.”

House Bill 2296 passed the Senate on Wednesday.

Category: Press Releases

fine 319SPRINGFIELD – To encourage Illinoisans to take care of their mental health and explore our state’s natural resources, State Senator Laura Fine is sponsoring a resolution declaring July 15 “Unplug Illinois Day.”

“It is so easy to get caught up in our phones and electronics that we forget to take time to take care of our mental health and connect with nature,” said Fine (D-Glenview). “Having a day dedicated to unplugging from our devices will help us reconnect with our environment, our friends and ourselves.”

Unplug Illinois Day is a public service campaign by the Illinois Park and Recreation Association to highlight the value of “unplugging,” or taking a break from electronic devices to enjoy the outdoors. It aims to bring awareness to the staggering amount of time people spend on their phones or computers, and the positive impact unplugging can have on people’s health.

On average, children spend over seven hours a day in front of a screen, not including time spent online for school and homework, while 43% of Americans aged 18 to 29 use their smartphones at least four hours per day. Additionally, 80% of Americans do not get enough exercise on a daily basis. To inspire people to exercise at Illinois parks and facilities, the Illinois Parks and Recreation has launched this campaign.

Senate Resolution 319 establishes July 15, 2023 as Unplug Illinois Day in the state of Illinois.

Category: Press Releases

fine 2847SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Laura Fine, chair of the Senate Behavioral and Mental Health Committee, is leading a measure to ensure Illinoisans can have annual mental health wellness visits covered under their insurance at no additional cost.

“Just as people need yearly physical checkups to make sure their health is in order, people need annual checkups for their mental health,” said Fine (D-Glenview). “Covering these annual visits will encourage people to seek necessary treatment for their mental health.”

House Bill 2847 would require health insurance plans under the Insurance Code, State Employees Group Insurance Act of 1971, the Counties Code, the Illinois Municipal Code, and the School Code to cover annual mental health checkups and wellness visits starting in 2025. It also encourages the Illinois Department of Public Health to engage in an educational campaign to bring awareness to the public regarding mental health and wellness. These initiatives will continue to normalize prioritizing and treating mental health concerns, leading to greater well-being throughout the state.

“Because of the stigma surrounding mental health, many Illinoisans may resist seeking mental health care. This could leave people who would benefit from support reluctant to seek treatment due to fear of stigmatization,” said Fine. “Normalizing annual mental health checkups will give people who may not have considered seeking support the strength to do so.”

House Bill 2847 passed the Senate on Thursday.

Category: Press Releases

Warming Centers

Domestic violence resources

Reproductive Rights

Read Past e Newsletters

eNewsletter Signup
  1. First Name(*)
    Invalid Input
  2. Last Name(*)
    Invalid Input
  3. Email Address(*)
    Invalid Input

Contact Information

Springfield Office:
121-A Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-2119

District Office:
1812 Waukegan Road
Suite A
Glenview, IL 60025
(847) 998-1717