Update from Senator Plummer: May 14

Bill Mandating Child Abuse Awareness Notices in Businesses Advances To enhance the safety of minors across the state, Senate Republicans have introduced a bill that mandates public posting of child abuse reporting information in various public establishments.  House Bill 4350 requires establishments to display a notice, developed by the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) in collaboration with an accredited Children’s Advocacy Center, providing essential contact information and guidance on how minors can report instances of physical and sexual abuse. The legislation targets hotels, motels, tattoo parlors, bus stations, and hospital emergency rooms and requires DCFS to make the model notice available for download on its website. House Bill 4350 passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously on May 1 and now advances to the floor for further consideration. 
Space Force
Senate Moves to Formally Recognize Space Force as Official Military Branch The Illinois Senate recently advanced legislation to formally recognize the United States Space Force as an official branch of the United States Armed Forces. House Bill 5640, sponsored by Senator Tom Bennett, changes state law to include the Space Force wherever the Armed Forces are mentioned. The United States Space Force, established on December 20, 2019, is designated as an armed force within the Department of the Air Force. The Space Force’s mission is to ensure the U.S. can operate freely in space, manage space operations, and protect American interests.  This legislation passed out of the Senate Veteran Affairs Committee unanimously on May 2 and now advances to the Senate floor for further action. 
Proposal for Enhanced Accessibility for Individuals with Disabilities Introduced On May 8, Senate lawmakers heard testimony on new legislation to improve accessibility and inclusivity for individuals with disabilities and their caregivers in public spaces. Senate Bill 2908, also known as Sami’s Law, would require certain public buildings, such as the State Capitol building and state rest stops, to install at least one publicly accessible adult changing station if the building is constructed two or more years after the effective date of the Act or if a building is seeking alterations or additions that are valued at $50,000 or more four or more years after the law takes effect. Sami’s Law, sponsored by Senator Sue Rezin, was created as an initiative of one of Sen. Rezin’s district staffers, Renee Abraham. The bill is named after Renee’s 26-year-old daughter, who suffers from Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Renee was granted the opportunity to testify during the hearing. The legislation was introduced during a subject matter hearing in the Senate Executive Committee and is expected to start a larger conversation on the need to provide increased accessibility for individuals with severe disabilities.
Computer Tablet
ISAC Provides Free FASFA Help for Students High school students can access valuable resources to complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) through the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC).  The FAFSA form is an application process that determines how much federal financial aid a student is eligible to receive, which could include grants, scholarships, work-study funds, and loans. ISAC aims to ensure that every student, especially high school seniors navigating the challenges of FAFSA, is aware of the free assistance available for financial aid and college planning. It’s important for students intending to pursue post-high school education this fall to know that there is still time to apply for financial aid. Students can visit ISAC’s website for free assistance with the college planning and financial aid process—including help completing the FAFSA or Alternative Application for IL Financial Aid. 
Law Enforcement Appreciation Month In observance of Law Enforcement Appreciation Month this May, the Illinois State Police, together with law enforcement agencies across the state, are honoring the dedication and sacrifices of police officers.  This annual month of recognition was created to unite in remembrance of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty, to honor current and former officers, and to extend support to law enforcement personnel and their families. It’s also an occasion for citizens to express gratitude to the dedicated individuals who safeguard our communities while facing the inherent risks of police work. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, law enforcement ranks consistently among the top ten most hazardous jobs in the United States. In 2021 alone, the nation mourned the loss of 159 officers, with approximately 40% of fatalities resulting from assaults or homicides and another 40% from transportation incidents. Throughout the month, the Illinois State Police will be active on social media, sharing images and posts from various events designed to celebrate and recognize the brave men and women in law enforcement. 
Jason Plummer

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