Senator Mulroe in a committee hearingPatients may soon be able to skip the doctor’s office and head straight to a physical therapist under a measure sponsored by State Senator John G. Mulroe.


“This legislation will save people time and money,” Mulroe said. “Our current system forces patients to see a doctor, pay a co-pay, receive a referral and then start treatment. Physical therapists are highly trained within their field and should be able to diagnose a patient.”


Under House Bill 4643, patients would be able to visit a physical therapist for diagnosis and treatment without first visiting a doctor for a referral. Physical therapists are limited to diagnosing and treating patients within the realm of their practice.


House Bill 4643 advanced out of the Senate Licensed Activities and Pensions Committee last week with a 9-0 vote.

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0400 DistractedDrivingIn the time it takes to read a text message, a car traveling at 55 miles per hour will cover the length of a football field. A lot can happen in that time, including a fatal crash.

Nearly 10 people die every day because of distracted drivers, statistics show. April is distracted driving awareness month, a good time to brush up on best practices and Illinois laws. State and local authorities will be stepping up distracted driving enforcement and teen education efforts.

“Though it may seem like you’re taking your eyes off the road for just a moment, a lot can happen when cars are traveling at high speeds,” State Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago) said. “I encourage parents and guardians to talk about the dangers of distracted driving with their teens.”

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Senator Mulroe in a committee hearingState Senator John G. Mulroe (D-Chicago) is disappointed that the governor vetoed yet another measure to support firefighters. The governor recently vetoed House Bill 688, which addresses a pension issue for firefighters that worked outside of Chicago and then transferred to the Chicago Fire Department. This marks the third pro-firefighter piece of legislation that the governor has vetoed in the past 18 months.

“Firefighters that have served in communities outside of Chicago should be able to transfer their pension contributions from their previous fund to their current pension fund,” Mulroe said.

House Bill 688 allows active firefighters to transfer up to 10 years of creditable service from the Downstate Firefighter Pension Fund to the Firemen’s Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago. Active firefighters would also be able to transfer up to six years of creditable service from a police pension fund to a firefighters’ pension if both funds are administered by the same unit of local government. These transfers must occur within six months of this legislation going into effect.  

Last year, the governor vetoed Senate Bill 440, a measure Mulroe sponsored to support widows, widowers and family members of Chicago police officers, firefighters, and paramedics that die in the line of duty. The legislature took action and overrode the governor’s veto. The legislature also overrode the governor’s veto of a measure to refinance Chicago’s police and fire pension funds last year.

“I will support Senator Cunningham’s efforts to override the governor’s misguided veto of House Bill 688,” Mulroe said. “It is time to do what’s right for those who risk their lives to protect our communities.”

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Senator Mulroe

July 11, 2017

Dear Friends,

 

Senator Mulroe on the Senate floorI know many of you are frustrated and have questions about the recent budget votes. I want to take this opportunity to walk through what this balanced budget includes and explain why I decided to support it.

 

I am deeply concerned about the effects of the two-year budget impasse. Our universities have been starved. Road work was halted. People with disabilities and the elderly have suffered. Parents have worried if schools will open on time.

 

 

Backlog of billsThroughout the impasse, the governor has been spending billions of dollars more than the state brings in each year he's been in office. Our backlog of bills has grown from approximately $6.5 billion to nearly $15 billion while Gov. Rauner has been in office. With credit agencies threatening to downgrade the state to junk bond status, and Illinois on the brink of being unable to make mandatory monthly payments, it was time for action.

 

Last week, I voted to ensure schools open on time, that universities and colleges receive a full year of funding for the first time in two years, and vital government services continue. This budget is the result of more than six months of negotiations and compromises with Senate Republicans. I supported a balanced budget that received both Democrat and Republican votes in the Senate and the House. It will put our state on a path toward fiscal stability.

 

This budget spends $36 billion while bringing in $36.4 billion, spending $1.2 billion less than what Gov. Bruce Rauner proposed in February. It includes nearly $3 billion in spending cuts. Most programs and agencies will see a 5- to 10-percent cut to their budgets, including my staff.

 

Raising revenue is a responsibility we took seriously. Our approach was to cut first before asking for a tax increase. Lawmakers began this spring by inviting Gov. Rauner’s agency directors to pinpoint for us possible spending cuts and areas of waste, fraud and abuse within their departments, but none of them were able to identify a single dollar in savings.

 

Under the budget plan that has passed in both houses of the General Assembly with bipartisan support, Illinois’ personal income tax will increase by 1.2 percentage points – from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent, the rate Gov. Rauner agreed to and less than the rate that was in effect three years ago.

 

This revenue plan will provide the long-term stability our state needs. We cannot continue to spend more than we bring in.

 

Outside of budgetary matters, the Senate passed numerous reforms this spring, several of which are sitting on the governor’s desk. We passed property tax relief, workers’ compensation reform, pension reform, term limits, procurement reform and a measure that allows local communities to consolidate duplicative government offices. Many of these came at the request of the governor, and all were negotiated with Senate Republicans.

 

Gov. Rauner waiting to sign a budgetAfter presenting the governor with a balanced budget and numerous reforms, he vetoed the package. The Senate and House overrode his veto, ending the budget impasse.

 

I voted for this budget plan to provide Illinois with fiscal stability and to stop the chaos that the budget impasse has caused. There is more work to fix the problems the impasse created, and I will continue to work with my colleagues to provide certainty for the state.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns at my district office, 773-763-3810; my Springfield office, 217-782-1035; or through my website. To stay up to date on legislation and events in the district, like my Facebook page and follow me on Twitter @SenMulroe.

 

Sincerely,
John Mulroe
Senator John G. Mulroe
10th District – Illinois

 

Upcoming event in the district

 

Tax appeal seminar July 24

Tax appeal seminar flyer

 

District Office

5940 North Milwaukee Ave. • Chicago, IL 60646

773-763-3810 (Phone) • 773-763-3881 (Fax)

 

Springfield Office

127 Capitol Building • Springfield, IL 62706

217-782-1035 (Phone) • 217-782-2331 (Fax)

 

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Office Info

Springfield Office:
Senator 10th District
127 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-1035
(217) 782-2331 FAX
 
District Office:
6232 N. Northwest Highway
Chicago, IL 60631
(773) 763-3810
(773) 763-3881 FAX