SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) issued the following statement in response to Illinois Governor JB Pritzker’s State of the State address:

“In his first year, Governor Pritzker made good on his campaign promise to put justice and social equity at the forefront of his policy agenda. In today’s address, it was clear that Governor Pritzker understands that this work must continue.

“I was encouraged by Governor Pritzker’s commitment to expanding child care in our state. For working families, access to high-quality child care is imperative to their ability to build a bright future.

“My work in the Senate has largely focused on improving mental health, and tackling substance use and drug-related crime. I am deeply concerned with recent reports that opioid deaths in my own community are rising, while decreasing in the communities of my white colleagues. The governor has made a sincere commitment today to social equity in how the state deploys resources and funding to battle the opioid crisis. While the recent executive order is a strong step forward, I look forward to holding Governor Pritzker to that promise over the next year.”

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opioidsCHICAGO – Illinois Governor JB Pritzker today signed Executive Order 2020-02 to better address racial disparities in responding to the opioid crisis by establishing the Governor’s Opioid Overdose Prevention and Recovery Steering Committee. It was also announced that Illinois is also dedicating $4.1 million state dollars to expand recovery and prevention services for individuals with opioid use disorder in all corners of the state. State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) issued the following statement regarding the order:

“I commend Governor Pritzker for his efforts to curb racial disparities in the state’s response to the opioid crisis. This executive order will help ensure fair distribution of preventative resources and remove barriers to addiction treatment for Illinois families in disproportionately impacted communities. Every Illinoisan hurt by this epidemic, regardless of zip code, deserves a full shot at recovery.”

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CHICAGO – State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) received TASC’s 2019 Legislative Champion Award at the agency’s annual Leadership Awards Luncheon on Tuesday for her efforts to improve opportunities for substance-use disorder treatment, recovery, and community engagement, especially such opportunities for individuals who have had contact with the criminal legal system.

“Working to create a healthier, more equitable, more just society has been the bedrock of my career. I’m so honored to be recognized for these efforts by an organization equally committed to those values,” Hunter said. “I look forward to continuing this mission alongside groups like TASC to identify and implement new, innovative, and more holistic ways to address health inequities and stop the cycles of substance abuse and drug-related crime in Chicago and communities statewide.”

Senator Hunter, who serves as Majority Caucus Chair of the Illinois Senate Democrats, was one of four Illinois lawmakers to receive the award in its inaugural year.

“We have known Senator Hunter for many years, first as a fellow addiction-recovery services provider, and then more deeply through an array of initiatives that she has led to support alternatives to incarceration, and to address racial and ethnic disparities in the justice system,” said TASC President Pam Rodriguez. “Recognizing her tireless commitment to these issues, we presented Senator Hunter with our Justice Leadership Award in 2014, and since then she has continued to be a leading advocate for people affected by substance use, justice-system involvement, and poverty.”

Rodriguez also presented the agency’s 2019 Justice Leadership Award to Illinois Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton, and the agency’s Public Voice Leadership Award to the U.S. State Department’s Brian Morales, branch chief within the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.

TASC (Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities) is a statewide, nonprofit organization in Illinois that advocates for diversion, alternatives to incarceration, and reentry services for people who come in contact with the justice system and child-welfare system, specializing in case management for adults and youth who have substance use disorders.

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SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate today approved a resolution introduced by State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) to create the Kidney Disease Prevention and Education Task Force to raise awareness and reduce the burden of kidney disease throughout Illinois.

The task force, established under Senate Joint Resolution 49, will work with the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois and leading educational institutions to create health education programs to increase awareness of and examine chronic kidney disease, transplants and kidney donations, and the greater rates of diagnosis in minority groups. This will include a statewide public awareness campaign consisting of health education workshops, seminars, and social media, TV, and radio outreach.

“Lack of awareness and access to treatment is costing us lives. Far too many Illinoisans are falling victim to a disease that is largely preventable,” Hunter said. “On this World Diabetes Day, we’re taking action to creating a healthier Illinois. This is the first step toward reducing the burden of kidney disease and the racial disparities in kidney health and treatment.”

If chronic kidney disease is detected early and managed correctly, swift treatment can slow and even stop kidney deterioration.

Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease. Roughly 1 in 4 adults with diabetes has kidney disease.

Thirty-one million Americans, including 1.12 million Illinois residents, are living with chronic kidney disease.

African-Americans are four times as likely to develop kidney failure as Caucasians, while Hispanics are twice as likely.

Kidney disease is the ninth leading cause of death in the United States.

The task force will consist of legislators, doctors, non-profit leaders, and officials from the Department of Public Health and the Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

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