CHICAGO – With the conclusion of the legislative session in Springfield, State Rep. Lindsey LaPointe, D-Chicago, is highlighting new policies to build up mental health support for kids and adults, invest in classrooms from early childhood through higher education, and enhance public safety.
LaPointe is also inviting residents to join her and state Sen. Rob Martwick, D-Chicago, for a Virtual Town Hall covering the spring legislative session on Tuesday, June 20 at 6 p.m. Residents who wish to participate can contact LaPointe’s office to RSVP or join the town hall live on Facebook.
“My work in the House reflects the concerns I hear in our community every day,” LaPointe said. “As the Chair of the Mental Health and Addiction Committee in the House, I am particularly proud of the hard-fought victories for more accessible and affordable mental health care, including for our first responders, along with ensuring our kids and adults with developmental disabilities have opportunities and support across the lifespan.”
As a leader on mental health and disability policy in the General Assembly, LaPointe spearheaded legislation to:
- Decrease stigma and build mental health into our regular day to day by requiring state-regulated insurance plans to cover one no cost and no diagnosis mental health prevention wellness visit per year starting in 2025 (HB2847),
- Strengthen the state’s crisis response system for more direct connections to mental health support and to relieve law enforcement from non-criminal responses. The bill further builds out our 988 crisis response system so people have a clear place to call, someone to come and a place to go when dealing with a mental health crisis (HB3230),
- Prioritize children’s mental health by putting recommendations from the state’s Children’s Behavioral Healthcare Transformation Initiative into law, which ultimately will offer clear, consistent and comprehensive guidance to families seeking mental health support for their children, and
- Raise wages for our Direct Support Professionals who support our neighbors with developmental disabilities across the lifespan in residential and day programs.
To support local classrooms and teachers, LaPointe backed a budget plan that directs $350 million toward K-12 schools while also including significant increases for early childhood education, child care assistance and higher education grants – including the Monetary Award
Program. Additionally, LaPointe backed plans that will require public schools to develop full day kindergarten (HB2396) and ensure parents are notified of situations in which their child is bullied (HB3425).
Prioritizing public safety and first responders, LaPointe supported plans that:
- Hold the gun industry liable for dangerous sales and marketing tactics that cause real world violence (HB218),
- Expand the use of drones – with specific guidelines to respect privacy – to assist first responders monitoring large events (HB3902),
- Ensure first responders in Chicago severely disabled by COVID in the early days of the pandemic receive proper Act of Duty benefits (HB3162), and
- Make significant investments in mental health support for first responders, including police, firefighters, dispatchers and paramedics.
Additionally, LaPointe and the General Assembly continue work to make sure Illinois provides access to the full spectrum of reproductive healthcare.
“This was a productive legislative session, and I’m proud of our responsible and compassionate budget that maintains our burgeoning fiscal stability as evidenced by several credit upgrades,” LaPointe said. “Our team will continually engage neighbors and community leaders in the days ahead as we work together to build a stronger Illinois that creates more opportunity for everyone. With that in mind, we hope you can join us at the town hall on June 20th.”
For more information or to sign up for the Virtual Town Hall, residents can register at the link on Facebook, on LaPointe’s website at replapointe.com, or contact her office at Info@RepLaPointe.com and 773-647-1174.