Senator Mulroe at the insurance press conferenceCHICAGO - State Senator John G. Mulroe (D-Chicago) and Illinois State Treasurer Mike Frerichs hosted a press conference Wednesday at the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago in an effort to urge Governor Bruce Rauner to sign an important bill to help people receive unclaimed life insurance benefits.

"These companies have been able to get away with not paying the proceeds from a policy because more often than not, the families of the deceased don't realize these policies exist," Mulroe said. "This act would place the onus on the insurance companies to fulfill the obligations of the policies they entered into."

The measure, House Bill 4633, which was co-sponsored by Mulroe, passed the Senate in May. It would free up $4.4 billion that has not been paid to beneficiaries of unclaimed life insurance policies.

"These awards and annuities don't bring back individuals' loved ones," Mulroe said, "but they can most certainly aid in covering unexpected end-of-life costs. These families at least deserve that."

Life insurance companies have come under fire with accusations that they have not been diligent enough in awarding benefits to the families and relatives of deceased policyholders. The new legislation would create the Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act to correct this.

"This is commonsense legislation and it is urgent that the governor sign this proposal into law," Mulroe concluded.

The measure passed the Senate with a vote of 54-0 and has been sent to the governor's desk for approval.



Category: Frontpage

Senator Mulroe on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD – A five-story, 200 bed veterans home on Chicago’s northwest side has stood vacant and half completed since June of last year. The home became a victim of the Illinois budget impasse. Thankfully, construction is set to resume thanks to Senator John G. Mulroe (D-Chicago).

“It’s outrageous that projects like the Chicago Veterans Home ever got caught in the line of fire with the budget impasse,” Mulroe said. “These men and women served their duty to this country, and we can’t get our act together enough to ensure that they have a dedicated facility at their disposal?”

The project broke ground in September of 2014, with a price tag of $70 million, slated to be completed midway through this year. The US Department of Veterans Affairs agreed to reimburse the state for up to 65% of the cost to build the facility. However, when funding for the project was not approved, local residents and veterans began to fear the worst.

The proposal contains the remaining state obligation of $8.5 million. While the state currently operates four other veterans homes, this would be the first facility in Chicago. According to the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, the Chicago home would offer housing as well specialized medical care for veterans suffering from diseases like Alzheimer’s or dementia.

“People aren’t bargaining chips. I’ve been working hard for the past year to get things moving on this facility,” Mulroe continued. “I’m angry that this was the way to get this project going, but I am glad to see work begin again.”

SB2047 received overwhelming bipartisan support in the House and Senate, and now goes to the governor.

Category: Frontpage

052916CM0190crSPRINGFIELD – A series of proposals passed through the Illinois Senate today giving the governor spending authority for outstanding budget items not already covered by consent decree. Senator John G. Mulroe (D-Chicago) voted in favor of the intensely negotiated spending package.

“After all this time, we now have an agreed spending package for the remaining portions of the budget,” Mulroe said. “This proposal isn’t perfect, but I am happy that all parties met in the middle to find a solution.”

The omnibus budget proposal contained a 12-month spending plan for K-12 education, capital for IDOT, as well as higher education funding and funds for human services. Two smaller measures passed the Senate as well, giving Chicago autonomy in making decisions about the way its school district funds education and teacher pensions.

Communities in the 10th District would receive $5.4 million in revenues generated by the Motor Fuel Tax, a standard transaction fee benefiting municipalities taken at the gas pump. Typically, the funds pay for road salt, snowplow repair, patching potholes and other road projects and maintenance.

“This can’t be a victory lap,” Mulroe continued. “There is still a lot of work to be done. We should use these negotiations and the lessons of the past couple years as a springboard for next year.”

All the proposals found bipartisan support and passed the General Assembly. The legislation now moves to the governor for his approval.

Category: Frontpage

Mulroe web header

The day after the legislative session ended, the governor began an organized campaign tour over 10 cities to decry the efforts of the legislature and place all blame at the feet of the Democrats. It is my opinion that we are all equally responsible in the situation.
We passed a number of budget measures and the governor has vetoed all but one, calling them out of balance and saying that “all Democrats want is a tax increase.” Let me be the first to say that I don’t want a tax increase, and neither do the people I represent. They do, however, want a balanced budget that provides for the essentials of state government.
So what I want to say to Governor Rauner is this: Show us your cuts. For the second year in a row, you have accused the legislature of not living up to its constitutional duties, while you have likewise failed in that task.
So show us your cuts. 90% of the budget appropriations are either required by consent decree, court order, state statute or federal mandate. 100% of our current revenues (taxes) cover 90% of our current expenses (appropriations). So what of the remaining 10% would you cut? That 10% includes higher education and other social service programs.
The General Assembly has sent budgets that we view to be socially responsible. If the governor does not agree, then it is well past time for him to indicate where he feels cuts should be made. I call on him to aid us in the cuts that need to be made. Does the governor want to cut higher education? Does the governor want to cut services to our elderly or disabled?
Show us your cuts, governor. If you don’t agree with our ideas on what it should look like, then get off of the road and join us at the table. The entire state is waiting. Don’t let our most vulnerable wait in vain.
And if you can’t cut the costs, where’s your plan to pay for them?




Category: Frontpage


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