Increasing employment for youthA new law sponsored by State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) will aid qualified homeless and court-involved youth in finding potential job openings.

“Cuts made to the budget have decimated critical funding for youth employment programs,” said Hunter. “It seems as though year after year we make more cuts failing our youth and their future opportunities.”

House Bill 2987 requires a state agency to notify the Department of Human Services, the Department of Juvenile Justice and the Department of Children and Family Services of available job openings. Those agencies are then required to notify qualified applicants, and then keep record of the number of job applications they receive.

“This legislation is simply about giving youth a fighting chance to enter the workforce,” Hunter said. “Our youth should not be left homeless and jobless. We all heavily rely on employment and other resources to meet our basic living needs.”

Qualified applicants are to be 21 years of age or younger, and are currently or have been a dependent child in foster care, a homeless youth or a court-involved youth.

The legislation becomes effective Jan. 1, 2018.

Category: News

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

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