SPRINGFIELD – Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs and State Senators Ann Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights) and Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) announced a new commemorative state coin this week to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote.

Senate Joint Resolution 28, sponsored by Gillespie and Hunter, authorized the State Treasurer to issue a coin to celebrate the landmark moment in history. The measure was approved unanimously by the General Assembly during the 2019 legislative session.

“One hundred years after women secured the right to vote, I am honored and privileged to celebrate the women who dedicated their lives to the suffrage movement, including African-American suffragists who continued to face racial barriers to the ballot box long after the ratification of the 19th amendment,” Hunter said. “Let us always remember and strive to emulate the persistence, courage and grit of these women and all who have fought to give a voice to the voiceless. There is nothing more American.”

“I am proud to celebrate the 100th anniversary of our hard-fought right to vote with this commemorative coin and by continuing our work to ensure that all people are included in our democracy,” Gillespie said. “We can't take anything for granted and we won't go backward.”

The coin was designed by Illinois artists Leslie Bodenstein and Jason Pickleman of JNL Graphic Design. They were selected through a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process. The coin is being minted by MTM Recognition out of Princeton, Illinois.

Congress passed the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on June 4, 1919. It was ratified by the Illinois General Assembly on June 10, 1919, followed by 35 other states. The 19th amendment became part of the U.S. Constitution on August 26, 1920.

The coin can be purchased online here.

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Hunter mask photo

CHICAGO - State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) released the following statement in response to the signing of the state’s fiscal year 2021 budget by Governor JB Pritzker:

“This budget will go a long way toward mending the health and economic damages caused by the current pandemic, which have been largely concentrated in black communities I represent. Additionally, it will help protect the health and well-being of older Illinoisans and people with disabilities by strengthening the Community Care Program and the Home Services Program, which are key to our fight against COVID-19.

“While it will take bold investments for years to come to close the vast racial health inequities further exposed by the pandemic, this budget lays the groundwork by expanding funding for Medicaid and community health centers. I appreciate Governor Pritzker recognizing that critical need, and I hope he will continue to make these disparities a priority when we return to Springfield.”

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Day of Action

CHICAGO – State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) and other black leaders called for solutions to address police violence and systemic racism at a South Side Day of Action event Friday afternoon.

“Now is the time to do away with this broken system that protects racist police officers over the basic human rights of our brothers and sisters,” Hunter said. “If we lived in a country that held police accountable for their actions, the man who murdered George Floyd would’ve never had the chance to kneel on his neck after 18 incidents of misconduct on his record. He would’ve been dealt with the first time he abused his power to violate the rights of another American.”

The event at 63rd and Halsted St. was the second leg of a Days of Action series organized by black elected officials in response to the recent killings of black Americans at the hands of law enforcement. Leaders distributed face masks, food, and water to South Side residents in need.

Hunter urged legislators at every level of government to respond to the murder of George Floyd and ensuing outrage with policy initiatives that go far beyond police reform, including solutions to educational inequity, economic disadvantages, the school-to-prison pipeline, and mental and primary health disparities.

“We’re not just demanding police accountability,” Hunter said. “We’re demanding reforms that encompass every aspect of racial injustice with no exception, and we won’t settle for anything less.”

Hunter closed with a message to Chicago’s youth and young people, calling for them to harness their anger productively.

“With solidarity and respect for one another, your power to advance justice and equality is boundless,” Hunter said. “Don’t let up, don’t give up, and don’t stop fighting until you achieve the respect, dignity, and investments that you deserve.”

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SPRINGFIELD – Following the passage of the state’s next budget out of the Illinois Senate, State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) issued the following statement:

“Illinoisans, especially in my community, are seeing their own livelihoods and the health of their loved ones diminish in the midst of this pandemic. Today, we passed a budget that prioritizes those families above all else.

“We strengthened our investment in programs that allow seniors to access essential services and stay in their homes, out of harm’s way. We provided additional support to help small businesses in our most underserved communities keep their doors open and recoup their losses. Finally, with significantly increased funding for Medicaid and community health centers, we’re one step closer to closing the health disparities that continue to plague African-American communities.”

The budget package expands funding for the Community Care Program and the Home Services Program – programs that ultimately help vulnerable senior citizens and Illinoisans with disabilities stay in their homes who would otherwise have to be in assisted living, which significantly increases their risk of contracting COVID-19. Similarly, with the help of federal funding, the state’s Home Delivered Meals Program will nearly double its capacity for the upcoming year.

In addition to approving a budget, the legislature passed legislation to enact the Coronavirus Urgent Remediation Emergency (CURE) Act to provide support through grant programs to support public health businesses, and residents. This program will deliver more than $3 billion to support long-term care facilities, small businesses, local health centers, rent and mortgage assistance programs, and medical assistance providers.

The spending plan sets aside $600 million to fund grants for businesses impacted by COVID-19, with money specifically set aside for daycare providers.

Also included in the budget is $30 million for additional mental health and substance abuse programs for people effected by COVID-19.

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Office Information

Springfield Office:
417-C Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-5966
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Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 949-1908
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