(The following op-ed from Senator Mattie Hunter was submitted to the Chicago Tribune on July 28, 2020)

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For the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board to say our federal aid request had “little to do with public health” is disingenuous at best and a flat out lie at worst.

That request specifically asked for the single largest public health investment in Illinois minority communities in modern history.

It is an overdue investment.

It comes at a time when people in Black and Brown communities are being infected, hospitalized and dying at rates exceeding any other community.

It comes as a time when there is growing recognition of these communities’ economic, social and human needs being ignored decade after decade.

That’s why we sought $1 billion in public health investment targeted to these underserved, disproportionately impacted neighborhoods. We also requested hardship pay for the heroes working on the front lines against this virus in health care facilities.

The Tribune Editorial Board skipped all that.

Those are especially hard items to overlook given they were included in Tribune news coverage. Perhaps the Editorial Board should read the paper.

The Tribune Editorial Board’s views on federal relief are stunningly tone deaf at a time when millions of Illinoisans are facing unemployment, food insecurity and lingering racial divisions. I could point out the numerous errors in their argument and judgement, but that’s another letter for another time.

The Editorial Board may score political points in some circles with its finger wagging refrain. I hope it satisfies them. The rest of us will remain focused on getting Illinois through this crisis.

Category: News


CHICAGO - As a way to help Chicago’s young adults weather the economic and social challenges caused the COVID-19 pandemic, State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) is encouraging youth aged 16-24 to participate in the Illinois Department of Human Services’ COVID-19 Summer Youth Employment Program.

 “The youth I represent have been faced with a great deal of adversity over the past few months, especially in our underserved neighborhoods. For some, it can feel overwhelming,” Hunter said. “This program offers a productive way to combat financial uncertainty while building the foundation for a great career.”

The program offers paid career development and work experience to young adults by partnering them with local employers in need of summer workers.

Providers under the program serving Hunter’s district are listed below.


Provider Name



Phone Number

Boys & Girls Clubs Chicago

Fannieleah Brown

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Centers for New Horizons

Edwin Galletti

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Chicago Area Project

Howard Lathan

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Jewish Child Family Services

Nanette Cohen

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


SGA Youth Family Services

Jesenia Latorre

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Participants in this program will be placed in age- and experience-appropriate opportunities in one of three categories: work-based learning, career development experience, or pre-apprenticeship programs that target a registered or non-registered apprenticeship.

The state has dedicated $9.3 million to the program to employ low-income youth living in areas most affected by the pandemic.

“Young people should be able to see a promising future for themselves, which is why I encourage all eligible youth in Chicago to take advantage of this opportunity to enhance their job prospects,” Hunter said.

Opportunities are available through the end of August.


Category: News

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CHICAGO – To help ensure every Illinois family has access to fresh, healthy food, State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) has been appointed to the Illinois Commission to End Hunger.

“My career in public service has been dedicated to helping families lead safer and healthier lives, which is why I’m honored to join the Illinois Commission to End Hunger,” Hunter said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues on the commission to identify and execute solutions to address the systemic factors that give rise to poverty and child hunger.”

Launched in 2010, the Illinois Commission to End Hunger is a public-private partnership comprised of stakeholders from across the state tasked with developing a continuing plan of action to eradicate food insecurity.

Overall, 10.7% of Illinoisans experience food insecurity, including more than 15 percent of all children in the state.

The commission is set to release the Illinois Roadmap to End Hunger later this year, which will outline recommendations for both short-term recovery and long-term solutions.

The commission is currently holding regional listening sessions to gather input from local leaders, advocates, and families around the state. The remaining listening sessions are:

• Northern Illinois – Wednesday, July 15, 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m.
• Southern Illinois – Thursday, July 16, 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

Registration for the listening sessions is available here.

Category: News

Sen. Mattie Hunter

CHICAGO – State Senator Mattie Hunter’s (D-Chicago) legislation aimed at improving access to health care in communities across Illinois that have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic was signed into law yesterday by Governor JB Pritzker.

“In Illinois, you deserve access to high-quality health care and treatment, no matter your economic status, your ZIP code or what you look like,” Hunter said. “This law extends that promise to many of our neighbors who have been left out, often due to long-standing racial health and economic disparities.”

Senate Bill 1864, known as the Health Care Affordability Act, eliminates or loosens requirements on who can access Medicaid by:

  •  Providing HFS with the authority to accept an applicant’s or recipient’s attestation of income, incurred medical expenses, residency and insured status when electronic verification is not available;
  • Eliminating resource tests for some eligibility determinations;
  • Suspending redeterminations;
  • Suspending changes that would adversely affect an applicant’s or recipient’s eligibility;
  • Allowing phone or verbal approval by an applicant to submit an application in lieu of applicant signature;
  • Allowing adult presumptive eligibility;
  • Allowing presumptive eligibility for children, pregnant women and adults as often as twice per calendar year; and
  • Suspending premium and co-payment requirements.

The law recognizes that families have experienced unique challenges as a result of the pandemic and helps them enroll and maintain coverage through the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the ALL KIDS Act.

The new law also supports medical research and patient health by requiring Medicaid to cover routine care costs for members who participate in clinical trials to treat cancer and other serious diseases. In addition, it helps expand access to affordable home health care and mental and behavioral health care.

“We know that African-Americans are significantly underrepresented among those who participate in clinical trials, meaning we lose out on life-saving opportunities. Unanswered questions then remain on the effectiveness of these medications for Blacks,” Hunter said. “Because Medicaid recipients are much more diverse, this law will help reduce that disparity for Black patients and for low-income white residents, while advancing the overall fight against cancer and other life-threatening diseases.”

The law allows individuals who are not otherwise eligible for Medicaid to qualify for medical assistance for the duration of any federal or State declared emergency due to COVID-19. However, these services are limited to testing and treatment related to COVID-19.

SB 1864 takes effect immediately.

Category: News

COVID19 Updates

Office Information

Springfield Office:
619 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-5966
(217) 782-1631 FAX
District Office:
2929 S. Wabash Ave., Suite 102
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 949-1908
(312) 949-1958 FAX