“The balanced budget I voted for this year includes our full pension payment, spending to pay down the backlog of bills and funding for our schools, healthcare and social services. This successful spending plan is a huge step towards repairing the long-lasting damage caused by the budget crisis and builds upon the progress made throughout this legislative session.
“As the chair of the House Mental Health Committee, I am so proud of the work that’s been done this year to raise awareness and provide access to treatment. I passed legislation that expands insurance coverage for care that integrates mental wellness with primary care to treat anxiety, depression and other common mental illnesses holistically. Students from kindergarten to college will have increased instruction and information about mental health, breaking the stigma surrounding mental illness and encouraging young people to seek the help that they need.
“I passed legislation to provide protections for organ donors with unanimous support, because a person who chooses to give the gift of life to a loved one shouldn’t face retaliation from their employer or insurance company. Bills that I sponsored, including initiatives to reduce the devastating impacts of the opioid crisis and increase the use of water safety features, preventing children in Illinois from suffering the same fate as a baby in my district whose tragic death was a result of scalding bathwater, are headed to the governor’s office to be signed into law.
“This year, great strides were made to ensure women are treated equally at work and under the eyes of the law. As co-chair of the Illinois House Democratic Women’s Caucus, it’s been my priority to equip women in the workforce, from the Capitol to all corners of the state, with the tools, knowledge and rights they need to stop sexual harassment. I supported legislation requiring sex education classes to teach students about consent and to make certain that employers are paying women based on the quality of their work, not their gender. This week the General Assembly made history by voting to protect a woman’s right to make her own reproductive health choices regardless of decisions being made in Washington.
“There is much work left to be done to build a stronger Illinois economy where middle-class families can thrive. I supported a Fair Tax amendment that will benefit 99% of people in our community while holding the wealthiest accountable to paying their fair share, but we desperately need comprehensive property tax reform. Although we passed a measure to raise the minimum wage, Illinois has a serious shortage of people trained for high-paying jobs. I look forward to advocating for property tax relief, increased access to career training and educational opportunities and bringing down the cost of health care over the summer with input from my neighbors in the 46th District.”