03142019CM0287SPRINGFIELD – Because the state’s Stay at Home Order can cause serious complications for those who experience or live in fear of domestic violence, State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) urges Illinoisans to spread the word about a new $1.2 million plan to improve state resources for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors during the COVID-19 crisis.

“Asking Illinoisans to stay home may sound like a simple request, but for many people who experience or fear domestic violence, home isn’t a safe space. To make things worse, the COVID-19 outbreak may limit access to critical services,” said Fine. “We can’t forget about the health and safety of our survivors who may be in a dangerous situation during this time.”

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) announced April 2 that it will increase the capacity of its current statewide network of services for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Under this plan, the Domestic Violence Helpline will become a one-stop access point for shelter needs. Survivors may call the Helpline directly at 1-877-TO END DV (1-877-863-6338 voice or 1-877-863-6339 TTY) to be connected to shelter services. Survivors also may contact their local domestic violence programs for shelter assistance.

IDHS is also working with the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence to establish an emergency fund to support local providers with needs related to COVID-19.

“If you feel threatened or at risk during this pandemic, please don’t wait—call the Illinois Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-877-863-6338 for help,” said Fine.

For more information about COVID-19 and COVID-19 relief services, visit coronavirus.illinois.gov.

Category: Press Releases

03142019CM0287GLENVIEW – In response to a surge in scams and price gouging since the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak, State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) is urging residents to file any complaints with the Office of the Attorney General to report unfair practices connected to the pandemic.

Gov. JB Pritzker issued an executive order March 16 to prohibit price gouging and give Attorney General Kwame Raoul enforcement authority. The Office of the Attorney General is directing businesses to maintain fair pricing, particularly on items public health agencies are recommending people use to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

“People should be focusing on keeping themselves and their families healthy—they shouldn’t have to worry about scams,” Fine said. “I’m glad that the attorney general has stepped up to combat price gouging and protect consumers.”

The Office of the Attorney General is also monitoring products on websites including Amazon, eBay and Facebook, and contacting companies regarding ads or offers that may be problematic.

“If you have information about scams or price gouging, please file a complaint with the attorney general immediately,” Fine said.

To find out how to identify and report price gouging and scams, please visit illinoisattorneygeneral.gov.

Category: Press Releases

03032020HAO1040SPRINGFIELD – To make it easier for families of individuals with disabilities to provide for their children’s futures, State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) has sponsored legislation that would empower ABLE account holders to protect their assets and designate a beneficiary.

The ABLE Program allows people with disabilities to save for certain expenses without losing their eligibility for programs like SSI and Medicaid. Assets from the account can be used for expenses like education, housing, transportation and health care. Fine wants to make it easier for account holders to name an account beneficiary without legal aid.

“Families who are caring for someone with a disability shouldn’t have to pay a private attorney to protect their hard-earned savings,” said Fine. “We need to make sure that protections are in place for individuals with disabilities who come from low- or middle-income backgrounds.”

Upon the death of the primary beneficiary of an ABLE account, Medicaid can file a recovery claim and any premiums paid as part of the Medicaid Buy-In Program can be deducted from unprotected assets. Fine’s plan would enable ABLE account holders to make the remaining assets payable on death, thereby protecting them from Medicaid asset recovery.

Since the creation of the Illinois ABLE Program three years ago, nearly 1,300 Illinoisans have opened ABLE accounts, with combined assets of more than $8.5 million.

“This legislation would make much-needed improvements to the Illinois ABLE Program,” said Fine. “It would give all individuals with disabilities and their families the support and protection they need to save for expenses and secure their futures.”

Senate Bill 3071 passed the Senate Wednesday and now heads to the House.

Category: Press Releases

11122019CM0119SPRINGFIELD – Illinoisans would have faster and easier access to mental health services under a new bill sponsored by State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview).

The measure requires that insurers provide timely access to mental health treatment at a facility within a reasonable distance from the patient. The requirements would apply to services for mental, emotional, nervous and substance use disorders and conditions.

“If you had a broken arm, your insurer wouldn’t make you wait weeks or drive for hours to see a doctor,” said Fine. “Why should mental health be treated any differently?”

The bill would place limits on how long a person must wait to see a mental health provider, as well as the distance a person must travel for treatment.

In Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will Counties, those seeking outpatient mental health treatment would not have to travel longer than 30 minutes or 30 miles to their provider. In other counties, the limit increases to 60 minutes or 60 miles.

In all parts of the state, no one would have to wait more than 10 business days between requesting an appointment and being seen.

“I introduced this legislation to improve access to treatment for mental health,” said Fine. “The exact time and distance limits in the bill are still under negotiation, but I’m excited to work with my fellow lawmakers to make services more easily available.”

Senate Bill 2740 passed the Senate Insurance Committee and now heads to the full Senate.

Category: Press Releases

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Contact Information

Springfield Office:
M115 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-2119

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

laura@senatorfine.com