Senator Hunter says abuse and neglect deaths are unacceptable, demands improvement

HUnter-DCFSFrustrated by the number of children dying from abuse and angered by the tragic story of one Chicago girl’s recent death, Illinois State Senator Mattie Hunter confronted the state’s child welfare agency on Tuesday and demanded changes.

“We have 111 children that have died. That is not acceptable. Every single one of you all need to resign,” Hunter, a Chicago Democrat, told top administrators at the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services during a hearing.

Hunter, a member of the Senate Democrat’s leadership team, has long been an advocate for the state’s neediest children. Tuesday’s convening of a special Senate panel examining issues at DCFS comes in response to record high child fatality numbers and the high-profile death of an 8-year-old Chicago girl.

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Category: Social Justice

001hunter10One hundred women legislators and one hundred women community leaders from more than 35 states gathered Monday morning steps from the Capitol to call on Congress to work together to end the brinksmanship and get back to business doing the work of the people. The group is part of Women's Action for New Directions (WAND) and its program, the Women Legislators' Lobby (WiLL), a national nonpartisan network of women state legislators, who work together to influence federal policy and budget priorities.

“Our country is slowly recovering from one of the worst economic periods in our nation’s history and prolonging the budget process is a political cat and mouse game that is affecting our nation’s economy and people’s ability to provide for their families,” Illinois State Senate Majority Caucus Whip Mattie Hunter said. “We need to do what is best for the people of our country and shutting down the government as a political maneuver is unconscionable and irresponsible.”

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Category: Social Justice

New law pushed by Sen. Hunter will bring new data to ongoing debate

policeA newly signed law sponsored by State Sen. Mattie Hunter sets the state on course to begin a comprehensive examination of the race and ethnicity of every person arrested and entering the state’s prison system.

Hunter, a Democrat who represents the 3rd Senate District in Chicago, said the new law will provide a better idea of who is being arrested and allow for statistical analysis in determining whether minorities are unfairly targeted.

“It’s time to bring some solid data to this ongoing debate,” said Hunter. “We can’t solve problems until we know where, how and why they exist.”

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Category: Social Justice

Eviction8-23-13State Senator Mattie Hunter recently saw legislation she sponsored, Senate Bill 56, signed into law. The new law provides protections for tenants living in foreclosed buildings.

“Tenants shouldn’t be forced from their homes because of an irresponsible landlord,” Hunter said. “This measure gives families rights if the property they are renting is repossessed by the bank or sold.”

Currently, tenants living in foreclosed properties are protected under federal law, but those protections are set to sunset in 2014. An owner who acquires a property in a foreclosure proceeding can evict a tenant only at the end of the lease or, if there is no lease, with 90 days’ notice. If the new owner intends to use the property as his or her primary residence, he or she may terminate the lease but must give 90 days’ notice. A bank foreclosing on a rental property also must inform tenants of where they should pay their rent.

The new law takes effect immediately.

Category: Social Justice

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