Rep. Kifowit and Sen. HolmesSPRINGFIELD — To provide more protection for persons with autism spectrum disorders and greater ability for medical personnel to quickly assess patients who have them, the governor signed legislation last week by Aurora-area lawmakers State Rep. Stephanie Kifowit and State Sen. Linda Holmes that would issue informational wallet cards.

“This is good legislation that will be beneficial for first responders as they engage with individuals who may have developmental disabilities such as autism,” said Kifowit, D-Aurora. “It came from a concerned parent who was able to foresee how we can avoid some of these concerns. The main goal is to reduce conflicts and bring awareness of individuals with the special needs that came with autism.”

“This is another means of using a little forethought and preparation to help people (and help the people that help people),” said Holmes, D-Aurora. “I thank the governor for signing it into law and want to remind family members of those with disorders on the autism spectrum that you, too can get a card to have handy to provide to medical personnel in an emergency.”

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White commended Holmes and Kifowit’s efforts to raise autism awareness in a statement Monday.

“Providing these new cards to eligible drivers is a service that can help both emergency responders and law enforcement officials when they must be able to quickly assess a situation and the individuals involved,” White said. “It is my hope that by doing so we can avoid some unpleasant and unfortunate misunderstandings.”

Much like medical bracelets, the wallet cards are designed to convey crucial personal medical information to first responders and hospital personnel in situations when a person may be incapacitated or otherwise incapable of communicating to the people treating him or her. Cards will be available from the Secretary of State’s Office to drivers who have an annotated disability on their licenses.

The legislation was House Bill 4257. It becomes effective Jan. 1, 2017.

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Category: New Releases

State Senator Linda HolmesSPRINGFIELD — To further ensure insurance coverage on a critical women’s health issue, the governor signed legislation today co-sponsored by State Sen. Linda Holmes that builds off broad 3D mammography legislation enacted last year.

“This builds further on lifesaving measures we took last year to combat a disease that takes so many women from us every year,” said Holmes, D-Aurora. “This continues pushing for important changes to how insurance covers the cutting edge treatments that will save lives.”

Under the previous measure, insurance companies were required to cover 3D mammography, but only Medicare and Blue Cross Blue Shield covered the screening. Other insurance companies followed suit, but not quickly enough.

The new law closes loopholes in last year’s legislation that would have rendered some mandated coverage null.

The legislation was Senate Bill 466. It is effective immediately.

Category: New Releases

State Sen. Linda HolmesSPRINGFIELD — The governor signed legislation by State Sen. Linda Holmes and Attorney General Lisa Madigan to streamline some state laws to improve accessibility for people with disabilities in Illinois.

“Simplifying and streamlining codes makes it easier to comply with laws, and making accessibility laws easier to follow will help ensure equal access for people with disabilities who live in and visit our state,” said Holmes. “I applaud Attorney General Madigan’s leadership on this issue and thank the governor for signing it into law.”

Attorney General Lisa Madigan called for the legislation, sponsored by Holmes, to update the Illinois Environmental Barriers Act (EBA). First enacted in 1985, that statute authorizes the Attorney General’s Office to enforce accessibility laws mandating that public buildings and multi-story housing units in Illinois be fully accessible to individuals with disabilities.

“Our commitment to equality for all must extend to making sure people who have disabilities have equal access to facilities within their communities,” Madigan said. “People who have disabilities lead active lives, and our laws should enhance their ability to do so.”

The legislation that passed today amends the EBA to update state law with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act’s (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design and streamlines the existing state statute so architects have an easier time referencing the law.

Changes to the Environmental Barriers Act under this update include:

  • Updating definitions to conform with the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design and corresponding updates to the Illinois Accessibility Code;
  • Replacing an outdated state standard for accessibility with an easier-to-use standard that mirrors the ADA;
  • Clarifying which version of the EBA and the Illinois Accessibility Code applies to new construction and alterations; and
  • Updating the enforcement provisions to reflect the current emphasis on working with businesses to resolve issues and alleviate future barriers for individuals with disabilities.

The legislation was Senate Bill 2956. It becomes effective Jan. 1, 2017.

Category: New Releases

Residents will have a chance to learn more about their property taxes during a series of upcoming question-and-answer sessions with Naperville Township Assessor Warren Dixon.

Dixon is inviting property owners to join him for coffee on multiple dates in July, August and September. Guests will be able to ask him questions about property tax assessments, exemptions and appeals, and they can learn more about the factors that affect property taxes.

These informative sessions will take place between 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. as follows:

  • Monday, July 18 at the Pomegranate Cafe, 55 S. Commons Drive, Aurora
  • Monday, Aug. 15 at the Alfred Rubin Riverwalk Community Center, 305 Jackson Ave., Naperville
  • Monday, Aug. 22 at the Pomegranate Cafe, 55 S. Commons Drive, Aurora
  • Monday, Sept. 12 at the Alfred Rubin Riverwalk Community Center, 305 Jackson Ave., Naperville
  • Monday, Sept. 19 the Pomegranate Cafe, 55 S. Commons Drive, Aurora

For more information, contact Dixon's office at 630-355-2444 or visit the Naperville Township website at napervilletownship.com.

Warren Dixon PDF Flyer 

Category: News

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