052621HAO00802SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) released the following statement in response to passage of the Fiscal Year 2022 budget:

“After the hard year we’ve endured, it was vital that we supported a plan that adequately funds our health care and human service programs. I am satisfied that the plan has prioritized funding for Medicaid and other health and human services.

“I’m also glad that several ethics reforms will be implemented including prohibiting elected officials from lobbying other units of government, prohibiting all political fundraisers during legislative session and pro-rating the salaries of General Assembly members who leave office prior to the end of their term.

“Many communities have been roiled by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially communities of color, and it is necessary that the organizations they count on most are properly funded during this time.

“I believe the massive debt reduction of over $3 billion will help families get back on their feet.”

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Medicaid Expansion FB

 

CHICAGO – After months of work to extend health care access to more Illinoisans, members of the Illinois Legislative Democratic Caucus are celebrating the extension of Medicaid coverage for new mothers from 60 days to 12 months postpartum. Illinois is the first state in the nation to extend coverage to ensure low-income mothers receive the support they need in the critical months following giving birth.

“We know that a significant share of pregnancy-associated deaths are preventable, and in 2021, mothers should absolutely not be dying from preventable causes after they give birth,” said State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin), who sits on the Senate Committee on Healthcare Access and Availability. “Extending Medicaid benefits to mothers for 12 months postpartum is a critical step toward reducing the maternal morbidity and mortality rate.”

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African American blood donations

CHICAGO – State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) is calling on healthy, eligible African-Americans in Illinois to help replenish the state’s blood supply, which is declining rapidly due to blood drive cancellations at businesses, churches and schools in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

African-American blood donors are particularly needed to help patients battling sickle cell disease amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Sickle cell patients are at high risk of serious complications from coronavirus infection.

“For the black community, this is another layer to our public health emergency. Sickle cell disease tends to affect African-American communities, which are disproportionately suffering from COVID-19 and already lack equal access to preventative health care and treatment,” Hunter said. “Even one donation could save the life of someone in our community.”

Red Cross blood centers have seen donations by African-Americans drop by more than 50% since the novel coronavirus outbreak began in March.

Patients with sickle cell disease depend on transfusions from donors with closely matched blood – beyond the A, B, O and AB types – to reduce the risk of complications.

According to the American Red Cross, each donation center is required to follow the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff – have been implemented to ensure the health of all those in attendance.

“This is a matter of life or death for patients with sickle cell disease and those who rely on transfusions to make it through surgery,” Hunter said. “Now is the time to support our neighbors. I strongly encourage all healthy, able Chicagoans to step up and help fill this void.”

Many blood centers throughout the state have extended their operating hours to meet the critical need for donations.

To make an appointment to donate blood with the Red Cross, residents can visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 800-733-2767.

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lounging cops

CHICAGO - State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) released the following statement in response to reports that 13 Chicago police officers were caught on tape lounging and sleeping in the congressional campaign office of U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush while violence and destruction ensued in the surrounding neighborhood:

"The disrespectful and careless behavior of these officers shows that there are two different standards of policing in Chicago, depending on which neighborhood you live in. It also further erodes public trust in law enforcement at a time when cultivating a positive relationship between police and the residents they serve couldn’t be more important. Needless to say, our neighborhoods deserve better than this."

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