SPRINGFIELD – State Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago) issued the following statement on the motion filed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to stop paychecks to state workers until a budget is approved:

052516 js 0284cr“Governor Rauner has neglected his constitutional obligation to present the legislature with a balanced budget for nearly two years. If he had engaged in budget negotiations rather than holding them hostage until he received portions of his turnaround agenda, we would not be in this situation. All of this could have been avoided had the governor presented a balanced budget.

“I am willing to engage in budget conversations and make cuts where necessary. I think it’s important that we ensure that core services like higher education and social services receive proper funding. I want to fulfill the legislature’s responsibility to appropriate funds.

“This budget impasse has been detrimental to our state, and the Attorney General’s motion just adds to our budget crisis. I will fight for our state workers and for the families across Illinois that are being unduly influenced by the governor’s inaction. We need a solution for all services now.”

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Category: News Releases

Senator Mulroe on the floorSPRINGFIELD – Last year the General Assembly passed a measure that would add 3D mammography to the list of low-dose mammograms covered by insurance agencies. Today the governor signed that legislation.

“I feel now as I did when SB54 passed, that this is important legislation that will help save lives,” said Mulroe, who sponsored that measure in the Senate. “Any innovation or advancement in medical technology that can save lives is a good thing.

Under the previous measure, insurance companies were required to cover 3D mammography but only Medicare and Blue Cross Blue Shield covered the screening. Other insurance companies followed suit, but not quickly enough.

Within the previous legislation, conditional terms existed that would have rendered mandated coverage null.

“When we worked on the previous measure, I told the insurance companies ‘Get on board or I’m coming back,’” Mulroe continued. “This is too important to drag our feet on. I’m glad the governor used good judgment and signed the proposal.”

The bill goes into effect immediately.

Category: News Releases

VetHomeShowcaseSPRINGFIELD – 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: News Releases

Tobacco 21

What kills more people than AIDS, car crashes and heart problems? Tobacco, and thanks to a new law sponsored by Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago) that number will hopefully diminish.

"It’s undisputed that smoking will kill you, and before that cause irreparable harm," Mulroe stated. "The cigarette packs clearly state the health risks. If someone doesn’t start smoking by the age of 21, their risk of starting is dramatically decreased."

The proposal would raise the legal smoking age in Illinois to 21, which research shows that young people are not only more fully developed, but also able to make more informed decisions about their health. Tobacco 21 is an effort that has taken hold across the country and recently passed by the city of Chicago.

"There is a huge cost benefit as well. In addition to private costs, studies conducted by CDC says the state of Illinois spends up to $2 billion through Medicaid," Mulroe continued. "The savings to taxpayers would be enormous."

By raising the smoking age to 21, studies show that it becomes more difficult to obtain cigarettes illegally. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Defense is aiming to make all facilities smoke-free by 2020. The legislation includes all smoke tobacco as well as e-cigarettes.

"It makes sense," Mulroe concluded. "Why would we want those that already are in harm’s way to use a product that might kill them?"

The measure passed the Senate yesterday and moves to the House for consideration.

Category: News Releases

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