Senator Hunter stands in front of a microphone on the Senate floor.SPRINGFIELD — To further reinforce the goals of the Department of Children and Family Services, State Senator Mattie Hunter’s legislation that removes obsolete language from the Children and Family Services Act was signed into law.

“DCFS services are meant to be temporary, and our focus should remain on reuniting children with their families or placing them in safe, permanent homes,” said Hunter (D-Chicago). “This law makes these goals clear and ensures the language within this important act is current and compliant.”

Amending the Children and Family Services Act, the new law provides that DCFS is responsible for placing children in permanent family homes through guardianship or adoption — rather than adoptive homes — when restoration to the biological family is not safe, possible or appropriate. The measure clarifies DCFS’ responsibility for children or youth whose jurisdiction could not be clearly named as under one individual agency, or whose services may be provided by multiple agencies, and reaffirms that welfare services offered by DCFS are intended to be temporary until safe reunification or timely and permanent placement can be achieved.

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Category: News

A thermometer with temperatures in the hundreds against a sunny background with a city scape.SPRINGFIELD — Residents struggling to pay their gas or electric bills will not face life-threatening utility shutoffs on hot days thanks to an initiative sponsored by State Senator Mattie Hunter that was signed into law Friday.

“This is a major victory for public health and the people of Illinois,” said Hunter (D-Chicago). “Heat is extremely dangerous, and families should not be put in harm’s way due to their financial circumstances.”

The legislation amends the Public Utilities Act to prohibit a utility company from terminating gas or electric service due to nonpayment of bills on days when the forecasted temperature is 90 degrees Fahrenheit or above, or when the National Weather Service issues a heat watch, advisory or warning for the location of the residence. Previously, disconnections were prohibited during temperatures 95 degrees or hotter and did not take into account humidity or heat index.

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Category: News

Senator Hunter smiles while on the Senate floor.SPRINGFIELD — Joining fellow Senate Democrats in celebrating the signing of the state’s Fiscal Year 2024 budget, State Senator Mattie Hunter highlighted key investments that will uplift underserved communities.

"This budget reflects our unwavering commitment to the people of Illinois,” said Hunter (D-Chicago). “Prioritizing investments in education, housing, mental health care and other critical areas will give our communities the tools they need to live successful, meaningful lives.”

Continued funding for housing initiatives includes $350 million to the HOME Illinois program, which will support unhoused populations through additional housing units, rental assistance and workforce development opportunities. Additionally, significant investments in mental health services ensure enhanced access to essential behavioral health support for youth and adults.

“Investments in behavioral health care are investments in our future – our children, families and communities,” Hunter said. “By expanding our financial support of mental health care, housing support and workforce training, we can help individuals get back on their feet and secure an income and an address.”

The FY24 budget was signed Wednesday and will go into effect on July 1.

Category: Press Releases

Senator Hunter speaks while seated during a committee hearing.CHICAGO — State Senator Mattie Hunter, a staunch advocate for women’s rights and safety, has been appointed to a new task force that will study violence against Chicago women and girls.

“We cannot stand idly by while the lives of Chicago women and girls are cut short or shattered by violence,” said Hunter (D-Chicago). “This task force will serve as a catalyst for change, enabling us to better understand the root causes, devise effective prevention measures and support those affected by these devastating crimes."

The Task Force on Missing and Murdered Chicago Women – created through a law championed by Hunter in 2022 – is charged with exploring methods for tracking and collecting data on violence against Chicago women and girls, policies and institutions that impact them, measures necessary to address and reduce violence, and ways to help victims and their communities.

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Springfield Office:
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