SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) passed a measure into law last week to help families in extreme poverty meet their basic needs.

House Bill 3129 eliminates the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) full family sanction. The TANF program provides monthly grants to help families meet their basic needs, including rent, utilities, clothing, personal hygiene products, diapers, transportation and more. Eligible families sometimes may receive a sanction, which suspends a TANF grant, when an adult does not meet certain participation requirements.

The measure, sponsored by Hunter and Rep. Mary Flowers (D-Chicago), would designate 75 percent of a family’s TANF benefit as the children portion that cannot be cut for any reason. When sanctioning, the remaining 25 percent is considered the parent’s portion and is subject to sanction. 30 percent of the parent’s portion can be reduced if a parent is not complying with TANF participation requirements.

The cash grant is meant to provide families living in extreme poverty assistance in meeting their basic needs, but sanctions can further push families into poverty and lead to children experiencing homelessness, ER visits and food insecurity,” Hunter said. “This new law allows us to avoid unfairly sanctioning families and leaving them at the risk of severe hardship.”

The legislation also creates a Good Cause exemption for families who are experiencing homelessness, eviction or utility disruption which ensures that the TANF grant amount remains at 30 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.

“It’s important that we are doing everything possible to ensure that families going through hard times have the assistance and resources necessary to help them get back on their feet,” Hunter said. “By making sanctions for the TANF program rare and fair, we are making sure that no struggling families are being unfairly punished. This new law would also make adjustments to the amount of TANF benefits recipients would receive so that it is consistent with Illinois’s current cost of living.”

HB 3129 takes effect immediately.

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CHICAGO – The National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women (NOBEL) presented State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago, 3rd) with the President’s Award at their annual conference on Friday.

On behalf of the Illinois NOBEL Women Delegation, Hunter also served as the Chair of the 34th annual NOBEL Women’s Conference from June 27 to June 30 at The Gwen Hotel in Chicago.

“It was truly an honor to serve as this year’s conference chair and be able to welcome some of the country’s top black female leaders to my hometown of Chicago,” Hunter said. “We had fruitful discussions on how women can shatter barriers to success, the importance of diversity in leadership, and ways to overcome challenges that black women face.”

The four-day conference included a roster of female powerhouses in the Illinois political sphere including Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Cook County Board President Tony Preckwinkle, Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton, Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL), Majority Leader Kim Lightford (D-Chicago), State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) and more.

“A woman’s role in politics is indisputable,” Hunter said. “If we want to have a direct role in shaping public policies that deal with our education, our pay, our reproductive health and other issues that matter, then we need to hold elected office and hold these positions of leadership. That’s why NOBEL Women’s mission is so important, especially now.”

NOBEL Women is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization primarily composed of black female state senators and state representatives that aims to serve as a global voice to address the myriad issues affecting the lives of women. Since its inception in 1985, NOBEL Women has worked tirelessly to increase and promote the presence of lack women in government, corporate, and nonprofit leadership.

Category: News

05242019CM0027SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago, 3rd) issued the following statement after the Senate passed a budget package that invests in vital health and human service programs:

“I am proud to support a budget plan that reflects our commitment to safeguarding the programs and services that make a tremendous difference in the day-to-day lives of Illinoisans.

“Under this budget, we are investing in our communities by fully funding community mental health centers, youth employment services, addiction treatment and prevention services, and the child care assistance program.

“I am also encouraged to see more investments in the programs our older population needs to continue to enjoy their communities and age comfortably and with dignity. I fought to ensure that those who care for seniors and individuals with disabilities receive a wage boost. Home health workers play a critical role in caring for our state’s most vulnerable individuals and deserve our support through fair and competitive salaries. Our budget includes much needed additional to funding to increase wages for these workers.”

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03272019CW0240SPRINGFIELD – To help McCormick Place stay competitive in the convention industry and facilitate an expansion that would create thousands of jobs and generate millions in spending, State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago, 3rd) advanced legislation through the Senate Wednesday.

“The conventions, conferences, meetings and events held at McCormick Place every year drive a significant amount of economic activity for Chicago and the state,” Hunter said. “With its vast footprint and capacity, it attracts millions of visitors each year and generates millions of dollars in spending.”

Governed by the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA), McCormick Place is the largest meeting facility in North America and is composed of four convention centers in downtown Chicago that includes the Lakeside Center and the North, South and West Buildings.

Hunter sponsored Senate Bill 485 to allow the MPEA to borrow an additional $600 million, increasing its bond limit to $3.45 billion, to finance renovations and new construction projects. The authority intends to tear down the above-ground portion of the Lakeside Center and build a new convention hall over King Drive.

The project would be paid for by expanding the restaurant tax zone within which the MPEA collects a 1% tax on food, beverages and alcohol sold.

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