finemhcSPRINGFIELD – In response to a deepening mental health crisis across the state, Senate Democrats hosted a press conference in Springfield on Thursday highlighting legislative efforts that would prioritize mental health support for individuals in Illinois.

“Staying mentally well should be given the same priority as keeping physically fit,” State Senator Loughran Cappel (D-Shorewood) said. “To achieve this, we need to enact policies to maintain good mental health on top of treating mental illness.”

Loughran Cappel spearheaded legislation – Senate Bill 3889 – in the Senate to add a council within the Children’s Mental Health Partnership in Illinois.

Under this legislation, the council would look for ways to expand the beds in the state, make it easier for out of state residential facilities to be approved with the Illinois State Board of Education, and offer recommendations on how the state can provide better support for children with mental health issues in an annual report to the governor and General Assembly.

“With low residential placements for children with mental disabilities, children are left staying in the emergency room or at home where they are not safe,” Loughran Cappel said. “This council would address the difficulties that so many individuals and their families are facing around the state.”

State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) is also leading a measure aimed at growing the mental health professional workforce in Illinois.

As the current workforce continues to struggle to keep up with increasing demand, Fine’s proposal – Senate Bill 3617 – will accelerate the process for out of state clinicians applying for licensure in Illinois, as well as suspend requirements for social workers, professional counselors, and clinical psychologists with licenses that have been inactive for five years.

Additionally, the legislation includes initiatives to support diversity in the mental health field, establishing tax credits, and many more provisions, all of which will encourage more quality, accessible care to those seeking assistance.

“Due to the current shortage in the mental health workforce, it is difficult for Illinoisans to find the mental health care they need,” Fine said. “This legislation takes the first steps to improve access to mental health care across the state by working to increase the mental health workforce, and reminds people that we support them in their brave decision to seek behavioral and mental health care.”

Senators Loughran Cappel, Fine, Koehler and Villa will continue to work on these initiatives during the spring legislative session.

For more information on the legislation, people can click here.

Category: Press Releases

antisemitismconference1SPRINGFIELD –Members of the General Assembly stood together in solidarity during a press conference Wednesday to condemn the anti-Semitic literature anonymously distributed recently in the district State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) represents, and to provide members of the community actionable ways they can stand up against antisemitism and hate speech.

“This incident is disturbing and intolerable,” Senator Fine said. “As an individual, and as a Jewish woman, I am disgusted by these displays of hate. However, we will not cower from these threatening messages. Instead, I am asking my colleagues and members of my community to stand up against antisemitism to prevent situations like this, or more dangerous incidents, from ever happening again.”

Over the last few weeks, anti-Semitic flyers in plastic bags were left on driveways in Niles, Glenview, and Park Ridge. The flyers included images of prominent Jewish politicians—including Senator Fine—and businesspeople from Illinois and across the country.

“The meteoric rise of antisemitism both in Illinois and globally is breathtaking,” said State Senator Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago). "The Jewish community and its allies cannot ignore or dismiss the historical parallel of what occurred before World War II and the Holocaust where six million Jews were murdered across Europe and the antisemitism we are experiencing globally, domestically and in Illinois.”

According to the Anti-Defamation League, anti-Semitic incidents increased by 84% in the Midwest between 2016 and 2020.

“As antisemitism rises across the nation, we must continue to call our hate speech and hate crimes when they happen in our own backyard,” said Representative Bob Morgan (D-Highwood). “The governor’s budget addition for $20 million for security funding for religious and cultural institutions is urgently needed and will help our at-risk communities.”

Members of the General Assembly and advocates are further encouraging everyone to help combat hate speech and stop the spread of violent acts by holding people accountable, raising awareness, and supporting people who are targets of hate speech and notifying authorities and the office of the attorney general when hate crimes take place.

“We need to take bigots at their word and ensure our elected officials are safe and to investigate the sources of these serial attacks,” said Alison Pure-Slovin, director of the Midwest region for the Simon Wiesenthal Center. “The Simon Wiesenthal Center calls for a special Illinois taskforce on anti-Semitism and reiterates its call to FBI Director Wray to establish a special FBI National Taskforce on anti-Semitism to help us beat back the scourge of hate.”

Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD – After the indictment of former Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) released the following statement:

"The allegations of misconduct put a cloud of distrust over our state government. Most legislators work for the greater good, and it is unfortunate that others have used their positions in government for their own personal gain. I am hopeful our justice system will hold those accused of wrongdoing accountable so we can begin to restore the public’s trust in government.”

Category: Press Releases

fineredmaskfarawaySPRINGFIELD – To encourage employers to hire people in recovery for mental health or substance abuse disorders, State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) introduced a bill offering eligible employers tax credits for hiring and retaining employees with these conditions.

“Far too often, hard-working, experienced employees are turned away because of a mental health or substance use disorder,” Senator Fine said. “This bill will incentivize employers to give qualified candidates in a state of recovery and wellness an opportunity to succeed.”

Stigma around mental health and substance use disorders can be a deterrent for employers to hire candidates who disclose their mental health conditions. This disproportionately impacts people of color and women who suffer mental health disorders. This may prevent people with mental health conditions from holding secure employment, impacting their financial stability and their ability to receive necessary treatment.

This legislation would incentivize employers to hire and retain employees with mental health disorders by providing tax credits of up to $2,000 for each employee hired and retained per year. Senator Fine is hopeful that this initiative will lead to more people in recovery the ability to find stable employment and be able to disclose their disorders to their superiors without judgment.

“People with mental health conditions can lead successful lives,” Senator Fine said. “This bill will ensure that people with substance use or mental health disorders are not excluded from job opportunities because of their health conditions, and are instead supported by their colleagues in the workplace.”

SB 3882 passed the Senate on Thursday. It now goes to the House for further consideration.

Category: Press Releases

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Springfield Office:
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