Chicago Lawmaker Continues to Bring the “Silent Epidemic” to the Forefront

Springfield, IL … Yesterday, the Illinois House of Representatives adopted House Resolution 214 which designates next month as “Hepatitis C Awareness Month. The initiative, which was led by State Representative Michael McAuliffe (R-Chicago), received unanimous support as it continues to shine light upon a disease which, up until recently, received very little attention.

“Hepatitis C has been affecting people for decades. However, due to a lack of awareness, there is large segment of the population that is considered at-risk of having unknowingly contracted the virus,” explained McAuliffe. “Hepatitis C became known as the ‘Silent Epidemic’ due to a general lack of knowledge of the at-risk groups and treatment options, and in recent years, the medical community has identified veterans of the Vietnam-era and anyone born between the years of 1945 and 1965 to be at increased risk of carrying the virus.”

McAuliffe has been a leader in tackling awareness, treatment and prevention issues for the Hepatitis C virus since 2013 when he pioneered the creation of the Hepatitis C Task Force in Springfield. The task force, which was the first of its kind in Illinois, was inspired by his own personal story of how he saw the effects of the disease on close family members. Since its creation, the bipartisan task force members have successfully recommended thoughtful legislation. The group was recently recognized by the House for their positive work by receiving an extension to continue their work until 2017.

“I look forward to continuing to work on behalf of those currently living with Hepatitis C and also those who are still unaware that they may be carrying the virus. We are making some great strides in increasing the awareness, prevention and treatment of Hepatitis C, something that was never done in the past,” continued McAuliffe. “The month of May, in its designation as ‘Hepatitis C Awareness Month’, will serve as a reminder and an inspiration for the task force and the medical community as we work toward our common goals.”

State Representative Michael McAuliffe has been the Chairperson of the Hepatitis C Task Force since its inception.
Pictured (L-R): Mayor Barbara Piltaver of Schiller Park, Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich, State Representative Michael McAuliffe and Mayor Arlene Jezierny of Schiller Park.

Representatives from the Park Ridge Park District were in Springfield today in attendance for the yearly Parks Day at the Capitol.

Executive Director Gayle Mountcastle and staff were on-site to exhibit the wonderful offerings and facilities of the Park Ridge Park District. State Representative Michael McAuliffe had a chance to visit their display and discuss the issues facing local park districts.

The Park Ridge Park District was recently recognized with the 2015 "Outstanding Facility & Park" Award given by the Illinois Parks & Recreation Association for their creative design and innovation at the Centennial Aquatic Center.

Beginning next Wednesday, April 29th, residents of Edison Park and neighboring communities will have the opportunity to visit a series of weekly Farmers Markets.

The Farmers Markets, which will continue on the last Wednesday evening of every month, will feature fresh produce, an assortment of prepared foods, flowers/plants and other family-friendly entertainment.

Location: 6730 N. Olmsted (Metra Parking Lot)
When: Last Wednesday evening of every month, 4:00pm - 8:00pm

Veteran Lawmaker Sees More Work Ahead for Productive Group

Springfield, IL … State Representative Michael McAuliffe (R-Chicago) is looking to keep the important work of the Illinois Hepatital C Task Force rolling by extending the groups charter as set by the Illinois General Assembly as established in May of 2013.

“Many times, task forces here in Springfield just don’t take off or gain any traction,” said McAuliffe. “In this case, the interest and productivity of this group has exceeded all expectations. We met consistently and produced a number of solid legislative recommendations which is why I feel it’s important to keep it going.”

The group, which first met in February of 2014, has met consistently on a bi-monthly basis and has produced a multitude legislative initiatives aimed at curbing the growing issue of Hepatitis C in our veteran and senior communities. The group has also hosted Hepatitis C Day at the State Capitol which provides informational displays and brings leading medical experts and free screenings to our State’s capitol.

“Hepatitis C has been known as the ‘silent epidemic’ because of the lack of awareness of prevention and treatment for those infected with the virus,” explained Rep. McAuliffe. “After being personally touched with family and friends who have been tragically affected by the disease, I felt it was important to bring Hepatitis C into the forefront.”

“I am encouraged by the unanimous support from my colleagues in allowing the Task Force to continue. We’ve accomplished quite a bit in its first year, but there is always more work to do,” added McAuliffe.

The Hepatitis C Task Force was originally set to expire January 1, 2016. Once approved by the Senate, this date will advance to January 1, 2017. McAuliffe hopes to remain the chair of the group.
Springfield, IL … Yesterday afternoon on a unanimous vote, State Representative Michael McAuliffe (R-Chicago) moved legislation out of the House of Representatives that would serve as an added protection to Illinois veterans, active military personnel and members of the military reserves seeking employment.

“We took a step today to continue to implement programs focused on protecting the civil rights of the men and women of our armed forces,” said Rep. McAuliffe. “Many veterans and current members of the United States Military are not fully aware of the laws already in place that protect them as they try to obtain employment during their transition to civilian life and also while serving on reserve and active duty.”

Specifically, the law would require the Illinois Department of Veteran’s Affairs to consult with the Human Rights Commission in informing all members of the U.S. Armed Forces that it would be unlawful for any potential employer to not hire them, regardless of their military status. The bill further states that any prospective employer who refuses to hire a job candidate based off of their military status could be subject to civil penalties in accordance with the Illinois Human Rights Act.

“While many veterans and current members of the US Armed Forces are able to seek and find employment outside of the military, there are many frequent instances where they are unlawfully discriminated against,” stated McAuliffe. “I am proud to see this legislation pass unanimously out of the House chambers and am happy to see our legislative body continue to protect the rights of the members of our military.”

The legislation, known as House Bill 3748, will now advance to the Illinois Senate where it will await consideration.

State Representative Michael McAuliffe attends the wreath dedication ceremony honoring the death of President Abraham Lincoln.

House Republican Caucus after the wreath dedication ceremony recognizing the 150th year anniversary of the death of President Lincoln.