Entrepreneurial Grant Program Thanks to a new business program sponsored by State Senator Mattie Hunter (D- Chicago) individuals interested in entrepreneurship could receive state dollars for startup and project plans.
 
“Starting a business involves planning and making key financial decisions,” said Hunter. “We have many low-income residents with skills and talents who, unfortunately, can’t afford to start and run businesses on their own.”
 
House Bill 736 establishes a small business grant program that will provide money to low-income individuals on public aid. The legislation will serve as a pilot program that stems from the welfare overhaul reform that started in Wisconsin under former governor Tommy Thompson.  
 
“This bill levels the playing field for those hoping to start a business and enter the workforce,” Hunter said. “We have to get money in the hands of individuals willing to grow and produce for the economy of the state.”
 
The program will be monitored by the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. DCEO will review application materials and make a decision on the qualifications and eligibility of each applicant, the grant amount awarded, if applicable, and the number of grants an eligible applicant will receive.

Category: News

Sealing criminal records In an effort to streamline the sealing of criminal records, a new law backed by State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) will allow a defendant to immediately petition for the sealing of arrests or charges following an acquittal or dismissal of a case.

“This bill is a step in the right direction toward correcting unfair practices in our criminal justice system,” said Hunter. “Far too many people deal with the consequences of an unfair judicial system after being wrongfully convicted.”

House Bill 514 provides that following acquittal or dismissal, a defendant must be informed by the court of the petition procedure and his or her eligibility for immediate sealing of the records. A petition may then be brought by the defendant's attorney, and decisions concerning the immediate sealing of records may be made at the very same hearing.

In the event that the petition is not granted, the petitioner, State's Attorney or State Police may file a motion to vacate, modify, or reconsider the order of the petition to immediately seal the records within 60 days of service of the order denying the original petition.

House Bill 514, however, will not impede on a person's right to petition for sealing of these charges at a later date.

This legislation becomes effective immediately.

Category: News

Feminine Hygiene Products are now free for students Feminine hygiene products will now be free and accessible for students grades 6-12 in public and charter schools thanks to legislation backed by State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago).

“This is not only about personal hygiene but about dignity as well,” said Hunter. “One of the reasons girls miss many days of school is because they do not have access to these products. We as women know that a menstrual cycle is something we don’t plan, it just happens, so it’s an absolute necessity to supply our younger women with the resources they need.”

House Bill 3215 is an initiative of “Illinois Moving Women Forward,” a group that aims to remove gender inequalities in order to enable women to achieve their full potential. Of their three principles, the group’s main focus is to protect and improve access to affordable healthcare for women.

“Our younger women deserve to be taken care of and we as a state can do so at a small expense,” Hunter said.

The legislation will make the products available, at no cost to students, in the bathroom of school buildings.

The legislation becomes effective Jan. 1, 2018.

Category: News

Governor denies Propmt Payments In response to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto to House Bill 3143, a plan that would expand the Prompt Payment Act to ensure all human service contractors and vendors receive payments on time, State Senator Mattie Hunter (D- Chicago) released the following statement:

“We should treat the people that care for our most vulnerable citizens fairly. Human services have suffered tremendously for the almost two years we’ve gone without a budget. Programs like Redeploy Illinois, homeless youth services and many others have been bearing the financial burden of the state of Illinois.

The governor’s veto will further delay funds to our most vulnerable citizens. It’s time we prioritized the payments human service providers need but also compensate organizations for delayed payments.”

Category: News

Office Information

Springfield Office:
619 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-5966
(217) 782-1631 FAX
 
District Office:
2929 S. Wabash Ave., Suite 102
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 949-1908
(312) 949-1958 FAX