SPRINGFIELD – A new effort to expand diversity in state contracting is being lauded by members of the Illinois Senate’s black caucus as a positive move that will improve the economy and open doors to qualified minorities, women and disabled business owners who want to do business with the state.

The sheltered market initiative will apply to information technology contracting by the State of Illinois and will help to address disparities and discrimination against minority and female business owners.

“This new pro-business initiative is a huge step toward economic growth,” said State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago). “As an advocate for sheltered markets, I am pleased to know Illinois will provide equal opportunity for all contractors. In the past we’ve seen far too many female and black business owners suffer at the hand of discrimination.”

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Hunter in committeeSPRINGFIELD – Families will be able to communicate with incarcerated loved ones at lower costs because of legislation backed by State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) that was signed into law Monday.

House Bill 6200 limits the rates charged for telephone usage by prison inmates and prohibits additional service fees. It would cap rates at 7 cents per minute and remove excess charges.

The law aims to address the legal and social injustice of the extreme costs families face when communicating with their children, family and friends.

“Our prison system should be a place for growth and rehabilitation, not profit,” said Hunter, who co-sponsored the measure in the Senate. “It’s a shame families are faced with a costly burden while maintaining communication with their loved ones. The expense keeps inmates away from their families when I feel they need them most.”

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Hunter on the floor

SPRINGFIELD – Today, the governor vetoed a measure that could have increased youth participation in state elections. Senate Bill 250 would have created an automatic voter registration for Illinoisans.

Under current law, Illinois has an opt-in voter registration system where the default status is unregistered. The burden is with individual voters to register.

"I’m hopeful to see revised legislation in the coming months the governor can agree upon. Increasing youth voter participation will allow a necessary voice in our political system,” said State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago), a career advocate for youth rights. “Making it easier for residents to vote, especially young people, is important and should supported.”

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Hunter Debates

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a measure sponsored by State Senator Mattie Hunter (D- Chicago) to extend the time a drug and alcohol offender has to file a motion to overrule his or her conviction.

Currently, if an individual has successfully completed alcohol or drug addiction treatment as a condition of probation, he or she faces a short, 30-day window to find housing, transportation and employment.

The bill would extend the 30-day timeframe to 60 days following a successful discharge from probation and allow ex-offenders to ask a judge to vacate his or her conviction.

"This bill makes it easier for people to get back on their feet,” Hunter said. If people have served their time and corrected their wrongs, they should have longer than a month to restart their lives."

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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