01132021HAO3644 rSPRINGFIELD – With the passage of landmark legislation that would establish Illinois as a national leader in the clean energy sector, Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) released the following statement:

“Illinois would be at the forefront of the fight against the climate crisis with this progressive energy policy. We can be proud of our state, as it leads the way with equity-focused legislation to fight global warming.

“This legislation is a bold step towards sustainability in Illinois, and we need to continue to take bold steps into the future to protect the longevity of our environment for the next generation and generations to come.”

03232021HAO0500 rSPRINGFIELD – Legislation sponsored by State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) that requires insurers to cover important tests for people with or at risk of developing diabetes was signed into law by Gov. JB Pritzker on Friday. 

“Diabetes is serious, but often preventable,” Ellman said. “People have the right to know if they’re at risk, and this law guarantees insurance providers will cover the tests.” 

Risk factors for people who have or may have prediabetes and diabetes include vitamin D deficiency and low blood sugar levels, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ellman’s new law requires insurers to cover A1C and vitamin D tests that are recommended by health care providers for people who may have or have prediabetes, Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. 

The A1C test, also known as the hemoglobin A1C, is a simple blood test that measures the average blood sugar levels of an individual over the three months prior to the test being administered. It’s one of the most common tools used to diagnose prediabetes.   

As of 2020, nearly 34.2 million people in the U.S. have diabetes and an additional 88 million have prediabetes, according to the CDC.

“Data associated with COVID-19 consistently showed disproportionately poor outcomes for people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, especially African Americans,” said Janice Guider, a constituent who brought forward the idea for the legislation. “Expanding testing for diabetes and vitamin D sufficiency, especially in marginalized populations, will save lives and lessen the physical, psychological and economic burden of preventable diseases like diabetes.”

The law takes effect Jan. 1, 2022.

Alexs law r1SPRINGFIELD – People seeking help for an individual experiencing an opioid overdose will no longer fear arrest under Alex’s Law, a new statute sponsored by State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) that was signed into law on Friday.

“Fear of criminal charges should never result in someone not receiving the medical assistance they need,” Ellman said. “Saving lives has to be our first priority.”

The idea for the measure came from the death of a 25-year-old Naperville resident, Alex Green, who died of a fentanyl overdose in 2018. Alex had been with others at the time of his overdose, but none of the others on the scene called 911 for assistance. This meant the officers who arrived on scene were not able to identify what had happened until it was too late, despite having Narcan (a medicine used to treat opioid overdoses) with them at the time.

“Had an unknown person who was on hand accompanied Alex into a public business and alerted staff that his friend was overdosing, proper 911 calls may have been made,” said Bill Green, Alex’s father and the original proponent of the legislation. “Friends, strangers and passersby need to know that it’s always safe to help someone in distress, so they may see those they love at least one more day.”

Ellman, Green, House sponsor Rep. Janet Yang Rohr and other proponents hope that Alex’s Law will lead to more people contacting 911 when others around them suffer an opioid overdose, potentially saving lives.

"With the passing of Alex’s Law, we’re making sure that the tragedy affecting one of our community’s own doesn’t have to happen to anyone else,” Rep. Yang Rohr said. “I’m grateful to have been trusted by the Green family to help them honor Alex’s memory, ensuring that those facing addiction problems can get the help they need."

The new law takes effect Jan. 1, 2022.

04212021HAO0075 rSPRINGFIELD – Public schools will recognize the historical and present-day contributions of Muslim Americans and those of other faiths in the state of Illinois under a new law sponsored by State Senate Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) that was signed into law on Thursday.

“It’s our responsibility to ensure all Illinoisans feel represented in this state,” Ellman said. “That begins by making sure students learn about people like them in school.”

The law requires all Illinois public schools to cover contributions made by Americans of different faith practices in history classes. Currently, the teaching of history in Illinois public schools must include the roles of African Americans and other ethnic groups. This legislation would emphasize the importance of contributions by Muslim Americans and other collective communities of faith in the state of Illinois. 

Senate Bill 564 would also honor one of the most famous practicing Muslims in modern American history by creating a new commemorative state holiday, declaring Jan. 17 Muhammad Ali Day in Illinois.

Senator Ellman worked closely with Representative Edgar Gonzalez, Jr. to craft the legislation.

"I'm happy to have championed Senate Bill 564,” Rep. Gonzalez said. “Not only are we highlighting the work and patriotism of Muhammad Ali, but we also help school curriculums capture the diversity of our state and elevate the contributions to society of individuals from all communities of faith.

Senate Bill 564 is effective immediately.

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