Sen. Connor addresses Senate Bill 2565 on the floorSPRINGFIELD – Thanks to State Senator John Connor (D-Lockport) and State Representative Lindsey LaPointe (D-Chicago), the framework for veterans and service members’ court, drug court, and mental health court will be updated and improved for the first time in years.

“It is vital that the problem-solving courts are made uniform and updated to follow best practices so that individuals have the best chance for success. Courts like drug court, which is very difficult to get into and even harder to finish successfully, try to break the cycle of untreated problems that can often lead to ever increasing installments in jail or prison,” said Connor. “Until we address the root cause in that cycle, it will always continue.”

Senate Bill 2565 addresses the drug court, mental health court, and the veterans and service members court by making the programs more uniform and encourages them to follow evidence-based data to ensure the best chances for breaking cycles.

The courts will also include additional harm-reduction services and allow a state’s attorney to file motions to vacate and expunge convictions and records to people who successfully complete these programs.

"Problem-solving courts are a critical and cost-effective tool to provide alternatives to incarceration in a way that holds people accountable while getting at the root causes of crime,” LaPointe said. “Through evidence-based practices, this bill ensures better outcomes for defendants with mental health and addiction needs in our drug, mental health, and veteran’s courts."

Senate Bill 2565 was passed successfully out of both houses Friday.

Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator John Connor (D-Lockport) is the Chief Senate Sponsor for House Bill 4979 and was joined by Assistant Majority Leader Natalie Manley (D-Joliet), advocates from the Illinois Funeral Directors Association, as well as other legislators on Tuesday to push for elderly individuals to use their insurance benefits toward funeral and burial expenses.

"I appreciate all the work that stakeholders invested to find a solution to end this problem of those on Medicaid in Illinois being denied the dignified burial that they had set aside for. The flaws in the current law have hurt the most vulnerable of our society: the indigent elderly in nursing homes. I'm honored to bring this long overdue bill in the form of HB 4979, before the Illinois Senate and correct an oversight, which has caused too many grieving Illinois families additional heartache,” said Connor.

House Bill 4979 would allow elderly individuals with life insurance to use their benefits toward funeral and burial expenses. Currently, Illinois does not have a law that allows for this to happen. Instead, individuals and their families must cash in their policies and receive little funds back to pay for their services.

House Bill 4979 awaits further movement in the Senate.

Category: Press Releases

Sen. Connor champions clean water measureSPRINGFIELD – Legislation sponsored by State Senator John Connor (D-Lockport) to ensure clean water is accessible to all communities passed both houses recently.

“Affordable water will become more of an issue as the regional water commission builds a pipeline to Lake Michigan water,” Connor said. “Representative Walsh and I continue to work on making it easier to receive grants for clean water in our area.”

Connor’s Senate Bill 3905 creates a committee to study how Illinois agencies handle affordable water grants intended to help underserved communities maintain affordable water rates. Right now, cities like Joliet may not be eligible for grants even though Joliet has lower income areas where residents may need help as rates increase as the new regional water commission begins building the new system.

“Clean drinking water is a necessity,” Connor said. “My priority is to fight for the people of Joliet to have access to not only clean water but affordable water as well.”

Senate Bill 3905 passed the House Friday.

Category: Press Releases

Senator Connor presenting SB 3096 on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD – Illinois residents could have the option to have their driver’s license on their phones thanks to efforts of State Senator John Connor (D-Lockport).

“By introducing the option for driver’s licenses to be digital, we could open the doors for easier travel across the state and country,” said Connor. “Having the access to your license from a cellphone keeps important documents from being lost or damaged.”

Senate Bill 3096 requires the Secretary of State to lay the foundation for the implementation of digital driver’s licenses in Illinois, with a report laying out the choices and features of systems available, along with an analysis of national standards and how other states are preparing for this feature. The Secretary of State will report the findings to the General Assembly by the end of 2022.

“We need national standards for digital driver’s license apps so that when Illinois chooses a system, that system will be compatible with systems in all other states and the TSA for air travel, and will allow Illinois residents the best features coupled with privacy and security,” Connor said.” This report will allow informed decisions and bring Illinois a step closer to a digital driver’s license app for all Illinoisans.”

Senate Bill 3096 passed the Senate Friday.

Category: Press Releases

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