Hunter BudgerState Senator Mattie Hunter had much to say in response to Gov. Pat Quinn's budget address on Wednesday.

Recognizing Illinois’ critical financial situation and the need to prioritize, Hunter elaborated upon some of her priorities in respect to the state’s fiscal plan.

Hunter took special interest in mental health, aging and human and health services funding in the governor’s budget plan.

“Overall funding for human services has been consistently slashed in previous budget proposals, and health care has also seen dramatic cuts,” Hunter said. "These represent important issues for me and the communities of the 3rd Senate District. I was glad to see his proposal emphasize these areas. Going forward, we must remain mindful of their significance when we craft a final budget.”

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Category: Health & Human Services

State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) watched on as representatives from the Office of the Comptroller, the Governor’s Center for Tax and Budget Accountability and other state fiscal authorities and agencies presented on the state’s current financial situation and status regarding old bills.

The individuals representing these offices and agencies were clear about the large issue of human and health care service bills that have still not been made good on.

“Paying our old bills is being fiscally responsible and investing in and paying our social service providers is investing in Illinoisans,” Hunter said. “This is what we in the General Assembly need to be committed to.”

Throughout the committee, the speakers expounded upon old bills owed to the Medicaid system and state agencies such as the Department of Children and Family Services, the Department on Aging and the Department of Human Services.

“This large and expensive pile of overdue bills is unacceptable,” said Hunter. “We must pay back what we owe, keeping in mind that we’re not going to solve this problem overnight and we must look at the big picture and ensure these bills are accounted for in whatever fiscal plan for FY 14 we craft.”

Category: Press Releases

On Tuesday,March 13,the Illinois Capitol saw a variety of individuals representing different interest groups demonstrating their support for Senate Bill 1418, which provides for a hydraulic fracturing moratorium and the creation of a “fracking” task force.

“I appreciate this outpouring of support for SB 1418,” State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) said. “But this is only the start. We have to push to ensure this fracking moratorium and task force happen so we can truly do what we’re sworn to do and represent the best interest of our state and citizens.”

Activist and interest groups, in particular Illinois People’s Action and Southern Illinoisans Against Fracturing our Environment, lobbied in favor of Hunter’s hydraulic fracturing proposal.

Additionally, a coalition of about a dozen other citizen and environmental groups lobbied on behalf of SB 1418 and in support of the House’s fracking regulation bill, HB 2615, sponsored by Rep. John Bradley (D-Marion). HB 2615 is currently being touted as one of the strongest hydraulic fracturing regulation proposals in the nation and legislation that could serve as a model for other states. However, there are still many questions that remain with respect to Bradley’s legislation.

“Although I do respect the efforts to create solid regulations concerning fracking, this is not the answer,” Hunter said. “This is not a cause for swift judgment, and we must assure we have worked out every issue and left no stone unturned. It is simply too critical.”

Category: Press Releases

State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) saw four measures passed out of the Illinois Senate on Friday, including one resolution that was adopted.
“I am pleased with what I was able to accomplish today with passing my four measures,” Hunter said. “I am appreciative of my colleagues’ consideration and support of this legislation, and am hopeful we will see similar outcomes in the House.”
The measures passed Friday are:
SB 62 adapts current state mental health law regarding the definition of what constitutes a “clinical psychologist” in Illinois.
“Having a background in counseling,” Hunter said, “I know firsthand the importance of clearly defining the responsibilities of a licensed counselor and making sure that our mental health care professionals and their practices are on par.”

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Category: Press Releases

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