SPRINGFIELD, ILA bill sponsored by Senator Mattie Hunter (D–Chicago) providing disadvantaged small businesses in Illinois loans from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) passed the Senate today.

“In the current economic environment in Illinois and across our country, small businesses are struggling to keep their heads above water,” Hunter said.  “My colleagues and I continuously work to find avenues to create jobs and sustain infrastructure in Illinois.  As a part of that effort to seek further opportunities, I have had the privilege to work with IDOT to find an avenue to aid minority- and female-owned small businesses through this new loan program.”

Senate Bill 2491 will establish the Working Capital Loan Repayment Fund to aid struggling Illinois’ minority- and female owned construction businesses in a procurement contract with IDOT.  The Fund will be able to loan up to $3 million a year over the next 10 years starting on July 1, 2012. 

 “The bottom line is that we must invest in the businesses that want to invest in our state as they are the backbone of our economy,” Hunter continued. 

Senate Bill 2491 now moves to the House for further consideration.


To read a letter from IDOT Secretary Ann L. Schneider to Senate President John Cullerton regarding this issue, please click here.

Category: Front Page
Category: Front Page

April is National Minority Health Awareness Month, and while all general health awareness is important, I’d like to make you aware of a much more specific and quite unknown health concern in African-Americans: Sarcoidosis.  Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease that most often affects the lungs and lymph nodes, but can infect any organ.  While it is a rare disease, sarcoidosis can be deadly, especially if left untreated.

According to the Foundations for Sarcoidosis Research (FSR), sarcoidosis can affect anyone, but is most commonly found in African-Americans and Scandinavian Caucasians, particularly between the ages of 20 and 40. Doctors are not sure exactly what causes the disease, but many believe its source to be found in genetics. Studies have shown that a usually harmless bacterial or viral infection can cause sarcoidosis to flare up in an individual with the right genetic code. 


In a person with sarcoidosis, the immune system goes into a heightened activity mode which causes inflammatory cells, called granulomas, to clump together in a mass.  Depending on the infected area and the size of the mass, the granulomas can disturb the organ’s function, causing pain, discomfort and in some cases death.  Most cases of the disease heal over time, usually a few years, but some can last longer and even span a lifetime.


For more information about sarcoidosis or to find a doctor that treats this disease, please visit FSR’s website at www.stopsarcoidosis.org.  You can also print their helpful brochure and give it to a friend or family member you believe might be suffering from this disease. 


Category: Front Page

State Senator Mattie Hunter recognized Youth Violence Prevention Week on the floor of the Illinois Senate on Wednesday.  The campaign, a movement to help end violence amongst our youth, is an annual time of reflection and learning designed to educate youth and adults to use tolerance, respect and conflict management to reduce violence.

In her comments, Senator Hunter discussed the importance of Youth Violence Prevention and asked her colleagues to take a stand against youth violence in their hometowns and neighborhoods.

Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control is helping lead the way with the STRYVE initiative, a central on-line source for information on how to reduce youth violence through education and prevention.

In Illinois, the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority, a state agency tasked with helping to prevent violence and chaired by the Illinois Attorney General and the Director of Public Health, works to find “a comprehensive, collaborative public health and public safety approach to violence prevention”.

For more information, click here for a National Youth Violence Prevention Week Action Kit, distributed by the National Youth Violence Prevention Campaign.

Click here to hear Senator Hunter's comments from the floor of the Illinois Senate {mp3}HunterYouthViolencePrevention{/mp3}

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Springfield Office:
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Springfield, IL 62706
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