FINE HB 3118SPRINGFIELD –An initiative led by State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) and State Representative Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston), will protect pollinators like bees and butterflies by setting guidelines on the spraying of certain pesticides.

“Pollinators are essential to the health of our environment and our agriculture,” Fine said. “This law guarantees that they are not unnecessarily killed by pesticides targeting mosquitos, allowing them to continue to play their vital role in our ecosystem.”

The legislation restricts when commercial pesticides, also known as “mosquitocides,” can be applied to surfaces where mosquitoes feed, such as plant leaves, turf or mulch. As many other insects often feed on these areas, pollinators can be unintended victims of pesticides during colder seasons when the mosquito population is lower. This law intends to limit the harm to pollinators at the hands of these pesticides.

“Pollinators are a key element of the circle of life. When our young constituent, Scarlett Harper, brought this problem to my attention I knew I had to do something,” said Rep. Gabel. “This bill protects bees and butterflies by ensuring that yard workers are educated about the best and worst times to spray for mosquitos and limiting the time for spraying. Thank you to Scarlett for her organizing and to Senator Fine for helping to shepherd this bill through the process.”

In the event of a public health emergency, like a virus transmitted through mosquito bites, the law allows for pesticides to be sprayed to stop such an emergency. Until then, this law prohibits spraying pesticides from October 16th through April 14th every year. This legislation will also require additional notification for when mosquitocide is sprayed in residential areas and would also prevent it from being sprayed on windy days, preventing pesticide drift. Fine is hopeful that this initiative will set an example for more environmental stewardship in lawmaking.

House Bill 3118 was signed into law May 27, 2022. It will take effect Jan. 1, 2023.

Category: Press Releases

FINE SB 3032SPRINGFIELD – Universities will no longer be able to withhold transcripts from students who have not yet paid off their tuition balance, thanks to a new law led by State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview).

“As a former professor, I have witnessed firsthand the immense sacrifices, including taking on debt, students undertake to earn their degree and pursue a fulfilling career,” Fine said. “The practice of withholding transcripts can make it harder for students to find the necessary employment to pay off their debts. This law will ensure students have access to the documents they have earned through hard work, regardless of outstanding debt.”

Under Fine’s legislation, universities will be prohibited from withholding unofficial transcripts as a means of debt collection. Employers will be able to request official transcripts of those students seeking employment. Fine’s legislation will also require colleges and universities to institute a hardship policy, which will help students who have to drop out of a school due to an illness or significant financial burden the ability to re-enroll at a later date. Lastly, SB 3032 ensures debt collection agencies cannot use a past due debt with a college or university against a student’s credit rating.

“Students often go into debt with the expectation that their degree will give them the opportunity to get a well-paying job, which will help them pay off their loans,” Fine said. “Withholding transcripts, a practice that disproportionately impacts low-income or minority populations, creates additional barriers to financial independence. This law will give a pathway for students to pursue a career with the degree they earned while working to repay their debts.”

Senate Bill 3032 was signed into law May 27, 2022. It will go into effect immediately.

Category: Press Releases

FINE SB 3707SPRINGFIELD –State Senator Laura Fine’s (D-Glenview) measure to ensure caregivers of patients with Alzheimer's disease or dementia are trained on how to best treat these specific conditions is now law.

“Before this law, caregivers were not required to receive substantial training on how to specifically care for patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s,” Fine said. “This important change will ensure our loved ones receive treatment specialized to their specific, changing conditions to achieve their highest quality of life possible.”

Over 230,000 people in Illinois are living with Alzheimer’s. Many take part in the Community Care Program, which allows seniors with or without these conditions to receive in-home and community-based services from their own homes. Employees that provide these services are currently required to complete 12 to 24 hours of training, but training specific to dementia and Alzheimer’s patients is optional.

Fine’s law requires employees and contractors with the Department of Aging Service who provide direct service to individuals in the Community Care program to complete at least two hours of training on Alzheimer’s and dementia prior to the start of their employment. Fine believes that condition-specific training is essential to ensuring adults living with these conditions are able to be cared for properly and better understood.

“We want our loved ones with Alzheimer’s and dementia to have access to the best care possible. This training prepares caregivers to respond to issues patients and their families may experience because of their conditions,” Fine said. “This will ensure all Alzheimer’s and dementia patients have access to the highest quality care possible and are able to receive informed support from their caregivers.”

Senate Bill 3707 was signed by the governor May 27, 2022. It takes effect Jan. 1, 2023.

Category: Press Releases

fine greycoat blackshirtSPRINGFIELD –Thanks to a new law introduced by State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview), necessary funding for the Housing Authority of Cook County will be more accessible to invest in essential housing programs for the community.

“Funding affordable housing in Cook County is vital for many low-income families,” Fine said. “This law will help level the playing field so more land used to build affordable housing can be acquired sooner—allowing more Cook County residents to participate in these essential programs.”

Before this legislation, the Housing Authority of Cook County struggled to compete with for-profit developers when attempting to purchase property, while also having to wait for grant funding to pay for their investments. The trust fund will ensure vital developments, such as conventional public housing programs and rental assistance for families, seniors, and people with disabilities, are able to be completed sooner because the housing authority has direct access to funding.

“Housing costs are some of the biggest concerns facing people in our communities,” Fine said. “This law will ensure more people have access to affordable housing options.”

House Bill 5018 was signed into law May 13, 2022. It goes into effect immediately.

Category: Press Releases

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Springfield, IL 62706
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