State Senator Laura FineSPRINGFIELD – State Senators Laura Fine (D-Glenview) and Karina Villa (D-West Chicago) led a hearing of the Senate Behavioral and Mental Health Committee on Friday to listen to testimony regarding mental and behavioral health workforce shortages.

“Finding a solution to labor shortages in the mental and behavioral health community is imperative to protecting people who rely on their services,” Senator Fine said. “Mental health care is health care, and it’s important that we find a way for patients across Illinois to receive the timely, accessible treatment they deserve.”

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to present challenges, resulting in labor shortages that are affecting the mental and behavioral health workforce. These shortages could significantly impact both patients and providers as demand for mental health services continues to grow.

Advocates from the Illinois Department of Human Services, the Illinois Association of Behavioral Health, the Community Behavioral Healthcare Association of Illinois, Illinois Partners for Human Services, the Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities and Thresholds testified at the hearing.

“It’s critical that we find a way to ensure the number of mental health professionals can keep up with the ever increasing demand of people seeking treatment,” Senator Villa said. “We must address this issue before it drastically affects our neighbors, friends, family or even ourselves.”

Committee proceedings are streamed live and can be viewed at ILGA.gov.

Category: Press Releases

Get ready to get back to business! $5,000-$150,000 small business grantsGLENVIEW – State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) encourages local businesses struggling from the pandemic to apply for the latest round of the Back to Business grant program before the Oct. 13 deadline.

Overall, the B2B program will provide $250 million in American Rescue Plan dollars for small businesses negatively affected by the pandemic. Grants will range from $5,000 to $150,000 per business and can be used to cover a wide range of operations, such as staff and overhead costs.

“Our community is already seeing firsthand how the Back to Business grant program can help keep our small businesses’ doors open,” Senator Fine said. “Any other local businesses seeking assistance must apply for this important funding before the upcoming deadline so the 9th District can continue to thrive.”

Priority is given to businesses in hard-hit industries, in hard-hit areas, and with revenues less than $5 million, as well as businesses that have not yet received any government assistance. Eligibility guidelines are also available in: Spanish, Polish, Chinese, Hindi, and Arabic.

Twenty businesses in the district Senator Fine represents have already received $1.4 million in grants. They include restaurants, hotels and a salon, demonstrating the diversity of the local small business community and how many different kinds of businesses are eligible for grants.

Learn more about the B2B grant program and start an application on the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity website. The deadline to submit an application is Oct. 13.

Category: Press Releases

Student with his mentorEVANSTON – Children in Evanston will soon benefit from a mentoring program at the Evanston Public Library that has received new funding, State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) announced Thursday.

“Many of us wouldn’t be where we are today without mentors taking the time to invest in us,” Senator Fine said. “This funding to provide mentors for our children is critical to open up doors for future success.”

The Evanston Public Library received $39,528 through the Project Next Generation grant program. PNG is a mentoring program established by Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White to help middle and high school students develop technological skills, achieve success through project-based learning and gain life skills such as effective communication, goal setting and conflict resolution.

“I am committed to improving the lives of at-risk youth in Illinois,” White said. “I established this innovative program when I first became Secretary of State to give students an opportunity to receive hands-on experience with the latest technological tools at their local library.”

The Secretary of State awarded $530,104 in 2022 PNG grants to 28 public libraries across Illinois. Grants are awarded to public libraries serving culturally diverse, low-income and underserved populations.

More information on the grants can be found on the Secretary of State’s website.

Category: Press Releases

State Senator Laura Fine on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD – During her time in public service, State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) has worked tirelessly as an environmental advocate, pushing for bold action against climate change. After casting her vote in support of Senate Bill 18, a comprehensive energy policy overhaul that puts Illinois on the path to 100% clean energy, Senator Fine released the following statement:

“As a staunch advocate for environmental policy that protects Illinoisans’ lives and livelihoods, I am proud to support legislation that sets Illinois on a path to a cleaner, carbon-free future by transitioning to clean electricity generation by 2050, protecting our planet and our children for decades to come.

“The groundbreaking reforms contained in this comprehensive clean energy plan—the largest investment in renewable energy in Illinois’ history—will fight climate change and put true environmental justice within reach for impacted communities across Illinois.”

Category: Press Releases

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Contact Information

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

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

laura@senatorfine.com