CHICAGO – Following the 102nd General Assembly inauguration earlier this week, state Rep. Fran Hurley, D-Chicago, highlighted her policy priorities, including advocating for students with developmental disabilities, fighting for ethics reform and supporting first responders.
“Educational programs offered through schools are so important for students with developmental disabilities, as they provide important skills to help students transition to adult life and live as independently as possible,” said Hurley. “Taking students out of this positive, enriching environment in the middle of the school year is an unnecessary, abrupt change to their routine. I am working to ensure students with developmental disabilities have continuity and access to the resources they deserve and need to thrive.”
As a part of her continued efforts to expand opportunities for students with autism and other developmental disabilities, Hurley has reintroduced legislation that will allow students with disabilities, who turn 22, to remain eligible for special education services even if their birthday occurs during the school year, ensuring that the student can finish the school year. Under current law, when a student with developmental disabilities turns 22 they are no longer able to receive public education services from the state.
Additionally, Hurley is leading the effort to pass legislation which would prohibit the appointment of a sitting General Assembly member’s spouse to a paid position on any state board, commission, authority, task force or similar body.
“Our state has an infamous reputation when it comes to government corruption. We must enact reforms that put an end to bad actors using their position to get rich,” said Hurley. “Rather than letting positions be handed to insiders, my legislation will ensure the most qualified candidates are appointed to important boards and commissions to help build a government that Illinoisans can put their faith in.”
Throughout her time as a legislator, Hurley has been an outspoken advocate for first responders. Over the course of the last few years, Hurley has fostered continued discussions on policies to better support first responders, and convened the First Responder Suicide Prevention Task Force. She is now working to implement recommendations made by the task force to help improve the mental health and wellness of first responders.
“Working as a first responder can be extremely stressful and cause depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health issues. Unfortunately, due to the trauma many experience on a daily basis, first responders are now statistically more likely to die by suicide than in the line of duty,” continued Hurley. “We must do more for first responders by ensuring they have the resources they need to cope with the stressful nature of their jobs. My legislation will better support them for all of the critical work they do in our communities to keep our families safe.”
For more information, contact Hurley’s constituent service office at 773-445-8128 or RepFranHurley@gmail.com.