State Senator Laura FineSPRINGFIELD – Illinois families would no longer have to travel unreasonable distances or wait weeks for mental health and substance use disorder treatment under legislation sponsored by State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview), which passed the Senate Friday.

“Individuals seeking mental health treatment deserve to be cared for just as quickly and close to home as those seeking any other type of medical care,” Senator Fine said. “It needs to be as easy as possible for Illinoisans to access reliable mental health and substance use disorder treatment.”

Senator Fine’s measure would require insurers to provide timely and proximate access to treatment for mental, emotional, nervous or substance use disorders and conditions. Insurers would also have to make an exception to out-of-network copay requirements if there are not any in-network providers available nearby or timely enough.

Individuals seeking outpatient mental health treatment would not have to travel longer than 30 minutes or 30 miles for care in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will Counties under Senator Fine’s plan. The limit increases to 60 minutes or 60 miles in other Illinois counties. Additionally, Illinoisans would not have to wait more than 10 business days between requesting an initial appointment and being seen by a provider.

“The fight to destigmatize mental illness includes ensuring access to quality, affordable mental health care,” Senator Fine said. “I’m happy to see this legislation continue moving forward to help Illinois families.”

Senate Bill 471 passed the Senate and now goes to the House of Representatives.

Category: Press Releases

Senator Fine on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD – Public schools and state agencies would be required to disclose the use of toxic coal tar-based pavement sealant under State Senator Laura Fine’s (D-Glenview) initiative, which passed the Senate Friday.

“Clean air is a basic human right, and parents shouldn’t have to worry about their children breathing in dangerous chemicals on the playground,” Senator Fine said. “Disclosing the use of coal tar-based sealants and encouraging cleaner alternatives is essential to protecting our community and the environment.”

Under Senator Fine’s Coal Tar Sealant Act, public schools, public school districts, daycares and state agencies would be required to disclose the use of coal tar-based sealant on playgrounds, parking lots and other paved areas. This measure would also require groups planning to use coal tar-based sealant for a pavement project to look into cleaner alternatives.

High levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) are found in coal tar and some other sealants used in pavement projects, which could lead to environmental contamination as the sealants wear away over time. There are many environmentally friendly alternatives to coal tar-based sealants with little to no PAH that are available at a similar cost.

Studies have shown PAH compounds may cause cancer, birth defects and other health complications. Lifelong exposure to coal tar-treated pavements and playgrounds can increase an individual's cancer risk by 38 times.

“The health and environmental effects of being exposed to coal tar-based sealants are too dangerous to ignore,” Senator Fine said. “This legislation will protect our neighbors and help ensure our communities are able to thrive for future generations.”

Seven cities in Illinois have already banned coal-tar sealants, including three cities in the district Senator Fine represents.

Senate Bill 692 passed the Senate and now goes to the House of Representatives.

Category: Press Releases

State Senator Laura FineSPRINGFIELD – Family members would be able to receive certain information regarding their relatives in mental health facilities under legislation led by State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview), which passed the Senate Thursday.

“Individuals receiving care from mental health facilities may not be in a state where they are able to share information with loved ones,” Senator Fine said. “This initiative would ensure relatives involved in or paying for the individual’s care are allowed to receive pertinent information regarding their condition and treatment.”

Senator Fine’s Access to Basic Mental Health Information Act would give certain family members access to information about their loved one’s care, including whether the individual is located at the mental health facility, their current physical and mental condition, diagnosis, treatment needs, services provided, services and medication needed, discharge planning or continuity of care, and a physician’s report if clinically appropriate.

The parent, adult sibling, adult child, spouse or adult grandchild of the individual in care would be able to request information from the mental health facility if they are involved in or paying for the individual’s care.

“This act would put the interest and well-being of the individual seeking treatment first. Keeping family members involved and informed at every step of the treatment process leads to more positive outcomes down the line,” Senator Fine said. “Mental health care does not end when an individual walks out of a facility, and well-informed families can help individuals continue their care at home.”

Senate Bill 1970 passed the Senate and now goes to the House of Representatives.

Category: Press Releases

State Senator Laura FineSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) introduced a measure to protect children from toxic chemical exposure on coal-tar treated playgrounds and paved areas.

“Parents should not have to worry about their children being exposed to toxic chemicals during recess,” Senator Fine said. “There are plenty of safer, more environmentally friendly alternatives which should be utilized.”

The Coal Tar Sealant Act would require public schools, public school districts, daycares and state agencies to disclose the use of coal tar-based sealant on playgrounds, parking lots and other paved areas. This legislation would also require groups planning to use coal tar-based sealant for a pavement project to look into cleaner alternatives.

Coal tar and some other sealants used in pavement projects contain high levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH), which can contaminate the environment as the sealants wear away over time. There are many environmentally friendly alternatives to coal tar-based sealants with little to no PAH that are available at a similar cost.

PAH compounds have been proven to cause cancer, birth defects and other health complications. Lifelong exposure to coal tar-treated pavements and playgrounds can increase an individual's cancer risk by 38 times.

“I’m proud to represent a district that already bans these toxic sealants in multiple cities, but it’s time for the rest of our state to follow suit to protect our families,” Senator Fine said. “We all deserve to live in a state with a healthy environment.”

Seven cities in Illinois have already banned coal-tar sealants, including three cities in the district Senator Fine represents.

Senate Bill 692 passed the Environment and Conservation Committee and now goes to the full Senate.

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