SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Barbara Hernandez, D-Aurora, backed bills during the fall legislative session to fight corruption, make insulin more affordable for individuals with diabetes, and reform police and fire pensions to help ease the burden on property taxpayers.

“This fall, I fought for important steps to fight political corruption in Illinois, something which has been plaguing this state for far too long,” Hernandez said. “It’s essential that we do all we can to banish back room dealings and keep big private interest lobbyists from buying an unfair amount of influence in legislators. I came to Springfield to fight for the needs of people in our community, not just those with deep pockets.”

Hernandez voted to pass two ethics reform measures. Senate Bill 1639 will require lobbyists to disclose more specific details of their government access to ensure that no ethical lines are being crossed. House Joint Resolution 93 creates the Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform, a bipartisan task force to examine state ethics and lobbying laws. Both bills passed the house with robust support.

“We need to rid our politics of shady dealings that derail the legislative process,” Hernandez said. “These laws are just the beginning of ethics reforms I plan to put into place so we can more effectively build a stronger Illinois.”

Hernandez also backed Senate Bill 1300, a major pension reform measure that will help lower the property tax burden on homeowners. The legislation combines assets and management of hundreds of police and fire pension systems into two systems, cracking down on wasteful bureaucracy and cutting back on the spread of needless government administration. Over the next 20 years, the consolidation of these systems is estimated to result in between $3.6 billion and $12.7 billion in increased investment returns. The legislation was passed with strong bipartisan backing.

“Illinois’ pension systems need significant reform. It is draining millions from homeowners in property tax revenue and inefficiently saving for the futures of countless workers,” Hernandez said. “This legislation will help create a more efficient system with less bureaucracy, greater savings and a stronger financial future for our first responders.”

Finally, Hernandez also backed legislation to lower the cost of insulin for diabetics in Illinois. Senate Bill 667 is a bill capping patients’ insulin payments at $100 a month. This bill is addressing the massive spike in insulin prices; between 2002 and 2013, out-of-pocket costs for insulin increased almost 300%. There are 1.3 million adults with diabetes in Illinois, many of whom regularly rely on insulin to maintain their health and quality of life. Senate Bill 667 passed the House with strong bipartisan support.

“Pharmaceutical companies are using a serious, pressing medical need to price gouge people with diabetes,” Hernandez said. “They are falsely inflating insulin costs so they can turn a profit on patients who depend on them for lifesaving medication. Setting a cap on monthly payments for insulin will rein in this behavior and help protect diabetics from exploitation.”

Rep. Barbara HernandezRep. Barbara Hernandez

83rd District

Springfield Office:
233-E Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 558-1002
District Office:
540 W. Galena Blvd.
Aurora, IL 60506
(630) 270-1848