Mulroe puts firefighers' safety firstState Senator John G. Mulroe is helping Chicago firefighters benefit from money that is supposed to go toward materials and supplies to ensure their safety but often is withheld for other purposes.

“Firefighters risk their lives for us every day, and they should have the tools they need to safely protect our communities,” Mulroe (D-Chicago) said. “After hearing that firefighters in Chicago are dealing with gloves that do not provide the necessary dexterity for them to do their jobs, I knew I had to do something to help them.”

Mulroe fought for funding for Chicago firefighters that every other Illinois municipality benefits from. He helped to advance House Bill 5197, which creates a Foreign Fire Insurance Board in Chicago to control foreign fire insurance funds.

These funds are received through a 2 percent tax on out-of-state fire insurance companies that sell policies in Illinois. The board would use the funding to support maintenance or enhancement of fire stations, training facilities, emergency response vehicles, tools and equipment or to benefit firefighters.

“This newly created board will draw on the knowledge, experience and expertise of the rank-and-file to purchase items that allow them to safely operate in the many hazardous situations they routinely encounter,” said Robert Tebbens, legislative director of Chicago Firefighters’ Union Local 2. “It will also give their families confidence that they will return home safely.”

Currently, all Illinois municipalities with fewer than 500,000 residents have a foreign fire insurance board. In Chicago, the money is distributed to the city’s general revenue fund. In other municipalities, the Illinois Municipal League collects and remits the money to the various boards.

Proponents believe the Chicago Foreign Fire Insurance Fund has a balance of more than $4 million.

“This funding is supposed to support firefighters and fire stations. Rather than go directly to firefighters like it does in every other municipality, in Chicago this money goes straight to the city,” Mulroe said. “This legislation brings Chicago in line with the rest of the state and sets up a local board to control the funding.”

Under this proposal, board trustees would be elected by their peers and serve pro bono. The measure is awaiting a concurrence vote in the House before it can be sent to the governor’s desk.

Category: News Releases

05242018CM0359 rA measure sponsored by State Senator John G. Mulroe to simplify Illinois’ complicated court fee system recently cleared the Senate.

Because court fees in Illinois vary greatly among counties, House Bill 4594 aims to standardize them by establishing four categories for civil fees and fines and 13 categories for criminal and traffic cases.

“Court fees should not be so confusing that they prevent people from accessing the justice system,” Mulroe (D-Chicago) said. “This measure creates a uniform system that will increase efficiency.”

If signed into law, the changes to the fee structure would not take effect until July 1, 2019, allowing ample time for counties to adjust.

The legislation is based on the findings of the Statutory Court Fee Task Force, which Mulroe helped create in 2013. The task force was established to evaluate statutory fees on litigants and present recommendations to the General Assembly.

The task force found that courts have been passing on administrative court costs to the parties that bring court cases. It also found that court fees have increased at a rate that outpaces inflation and that there is excessive variation across the state for these assessments. The high price tag and disparities on these fees have a disproportionate effect on low-income residents.

House Bill 4594 passed the Senate with a vote of 45-8.

Category: News Releases

05022018KS3648 rLocal libraries in Harwood Heights and Schiller Park will benefit from more than $43,000 in funding through the Illinois Public Library Per Capita grant.

“From computer literacy classes and story time to sidewalk drawing contests and seminars on healthy living, libraries support individuals from all walks of life,” State Senator John G. Mulroe (D-Chicago) said.

“Our libraries provide so many valuable services to our neighborhoods. I hope these grants will help them further their efforts to support the community.”

More than $15 million in funding was awarded to 630 libraries statewide through Secretary of State Jesse White’s Illinois Public Library Per Capita and Equalization Aid grants.

Per Capita grants help fund library expenses such as materials, personnel, equipment, telecommunications and technology. Equalization Aid grants help qualifying public libraries with a low library tax base ensure a minimum level of funding for library services.

The following libraries in the 10th Senate district will receive funds:

Library Name

City

Amount

Eisenhower Public Library District

Harwood Heights

$28,980.00

Schiller Park Public Library

Schiller Park

$14,741.25

Applications for these grants are due Jan. 15. For more information, visit http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/library/grants/plpc_equalization.html.

Category: News Releases

IMG 6679 rLegislation sponsored by State Senator John G. Mulroe (D-Chicago) to allow students with disabilities who attend a special needs cooperative school to continue their education even if their home district withdraws from the agreement recently sailed through the Senate.

“Students with special needs who are thriving in their school should not be forced to change educational programs due to bureaucratic decisions,” Mulroe said. “I think continuity in education is vitally important to the development of all children.”

Senate Bill 2344 allows students with disabilities that attend a special education cooperative in a different school district than their own to continue to attend that co-op if the district withdraws from the co-op.  The home school district would be required to pay the costs of sending children to out-of-district cooperatives.

Additionally, the withdrawing district would be required to present evidence to its board and other member districts that prove that withdrawing from the joint agreement is in the best interest of the students.

“If a school district decides to withdraw from a special education cooperative and disrupt the lives and education of students, I feel that they need to have a thorough explanation as to how the withdrawal would improve the students’ education,” Mulroe said.

This legislation was introduced in response to Norridge School District 80’s decision to withdraw from the Leyden Area Special Education Cooperative. If the withdrawal is approved, five children with special needs living in Norridge would be forced to leave their current school.

Category: News Releases

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Springfield Office:
Senator 10th District
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