Illinois drivers will soon be able to replace their current license plates with a new design, unveiled by Secretary of State Jesse White. The plate, which will feature images of Abraham Lincoln as well as a collage of Chicago and Springfield skylines, is intended to be an improvement upon the less reflective plates currently in use.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the current license plates have a tendency to rust and lose the ability to reflect light over time. The new proposed plates will be longer lasting and provide a fresh, updated design.

Free of charge to motorists, the Secretary of State's office will begin rolling out the new plates this upcoming January and Illinois vehicle owners will be notified when a new plate is available to them. The gradual process will begin with vehicles featuring plates manufactured in the year 2000 and will continue to newer plates. If you would like to read more, visit the Secretary of State's website here.
The Chicago Department of Aviation is looking to hear feedback from the residents surrounding O'Hare Airport on their current runway rotation test plan. The plan, which began in July, will expire in December and was an attempt to spread the noise generated by low-flying aircraft to different towns adjacent to the airport in weekly cycles. The intention of the plan is to give residents some predictability as to when to expect noise during those over night, Fly Quiet hours. 

"I encourage all my constituents to give their thoughts on the effectiveness of the runway rotation plan," state Rep. McAuliffe. "Providing feedback is a good step in continuing to implement changes to bring noise relief to the area."

If you are interested in taking the survey, click HERE

The newly announced Illinois Competitiveness Council is expected to help promote economic growth and job creation by cutting the red tape in Illinois. Created through Executive Order 16-13, the council will review all agency rules and regulations to ensure current regulations are up to date and relevant to today’s industries and practices; ensure the language in rules are easy to understand; reduce the amount of unduly burdensome requirements on businesses, social service providers, and citizens through both time and cost; and ensure there is a clear need for the regulation.

In addition, the Illinois Competitiveness Council will look for recommendations to improve Illinois’ licensing environment to promote job growth and job creation. Currently, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) has more than a million active licenses in more than 200 license categories, however for nearly a third, IDFPR has issued fewer than 100 licenses. The growth of these licenses has increased 184 percent in the last 20 years.

The goal of the council is to save Illinoisans at least $250 million in direct license fee costs over the next decade, and save Illinois taxpayers and business owners at least 4 million pages in paperwork.

Illinois residents are encouraged to talk directly to the Council through a website where they can report unnecessary red tape that they are familiar with.  

Park Ridge, IL… The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) recently announced a significant investment in communities, which will have a positive impact on Niles and Park Ridge in particular, according to State Representative Michael McAuliffe (R-Chicago). The grants are part of the Illinois Transportation Improvement Program (ITEP), which received 241 project applications requesting a total of $261.3 million. The highly competitive program awarded money to just 33 grants at a total of $30.7 million dollars. The money for the projects comes from a federal transportation bill signed in to law last year; Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, or “FAST Act”.  

“These grants are designed to help neighborhoods and towns showcase their attractiveness as places to live and the towns of Niles and Park Ridge are well deserving of that,” Rep. McAuliffe said. “The communities in the 20th district are already great places to work and raise a family; this latest commitment from the State will only improve upon that.”

Park Ridge will receive over $1.2 million dollars to landscape and beautify a section of the South Northwest Highway. Niles will receive a similar investment of almost seven hundred thousand dollars for work on Milwaukee Avenue improvements. Niles and Park Ridge must commit a local match of at least 20 percent to their projects.
State Representative Michael McAuliffe received recognition for his work to help those combating Hepatitis C by the American Liver Foundation's Great Lakes Division. As the chair of the Hepatitis C Task Force, Rep. McAuliffe has spearheaded efforts to bring awareness to what was once referred to as the "silent epidemic." 
"I am humbled to receive such an honor and will continue to work towards new solutions to make available proper testing and prevention for Hepatitis C," Rep. McAuliffe said.

The Hepatitis C Task Force has become a model for similar entities in other states and held its first Hepatitis C and Liver Health Awareness event this past spring. At the event over fifty people were tested for the HCV and further received helpful information regarding liver health.

The Village of Harwood Heights has received a $2.165 million grant from the state to build a new recreation center. The money had been suspended due to state budget restrictions, but is now finally being authorized.

From the Chicago Tribune:

State Rep. Michael McAuliffe brought an oversized check from the state to the Sept. 22 Village Board meeting. He said he pressured state leaders to release the funding to Harwood Heights.

"We had money that was approved by previous general assemblies, (but) the governor suspended a lot of grants," McAuliffe said. "Due to some hard work on behalf of myself and Senator John Mulroe, we're happy to see the governor is releasing it because that back room needs to be fixed."
The state of Illinois has backed off a 2-year-old policy that allowed only its sickest residents with hepatitis C who rely on the traditional Medicaid program to get disease-curing drugs.

The policy change, announced Friday evening, means Illinois residents on Medicaid with stage 3 liver scarring — not just the sickest patients with stage 4 liver scarring — will be able to access the drugs. If left untreated, hepatitis C can lead to liver failure, cancer and even death.

At least 12,000 Illinoisans covered by Medicaid had been diagnosed with hepatitis C as of last year, according to the state.


State Rep. Michael McAuliffe, R-Chicago, was elated to hear of the new policy Friday. McAuliffe is chairman of the state's task force on hepatitis C, which he created after losing his father-in-law, brother-in-law and uncle to complications of hepatitis C. The task force had been pushing for changes to the policy.

"I think it's going to save a lot of lives," McAuliffe said.

Read more on the policy change at the Chicago Tribune.
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) will begin accepting applications for winter heating assistance for seniors and people with disabilities beginning September 1, 2016. LIHEAP is a state and federally funded energy assistance program for low-income families, in which heating bill payments are made on behalf of households. LIHEAP and the Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) program are funded as part of the stopgap funding plan signed into law by Governor Rauner.

Applications are processed through a network of 35 local administering agencies around the state. These agencies will begin accepting applications on a first-come, first-served basis from the elderly and people with disabilities starting on September 1st.

Clients must bring all required documentation when applying for assistance including:
Springfield, IL… Today Governor Rauner signed in to law House Bill 4334, legislation that aimed to give drivers reprieve from penalties on vehicle registration should they receive no notice. In October 2015, as a result of the budget impasse, Secretary of State Jesse White announced that his office would stop the mailing of vehicle registration reminders. Many drivers were caught off guard by this sudden policy change and were hit with fees. The bipartisan bill, introduced by State Representative Jaime Andrade (D-Chicago) and co-sponsored by State Representative McAuliffe (R-Chicago), provides a one-month grace period for drivers who received no notice from the Secretary of State.

“The Secretary of State’s recent decision to resume mailing notices makes the signing of this bill untimely, but should the mailing policy change again in the coming months, this grace period will still be in place,” Rep. Andrade said. “I wish the legislative process had moved quicker in this case but I am nonetheless happy that I could advocate for my constituents on this issue.”

Earlier this month the Secretary of State’s office announced the resumption of the reminder mailers. The office made it clear that last month’s stopgap budget was a significant factor in the reinstatement of the notices. With the stopgap budget ensuring funds only until the end of the year and budget circumstances still unstable, this relief effort will give peace of mind to drivers who may suddenly found themselves again facing delinquency fees with little to no notice.

“I want to thank Representative Andrade for his proactive bipartisanship to get the bill passed as quickly as he could,” Rep. McAuliffe said. “Moving forward this could even open the door to saving taxpayer dollars in the Secretary of State’s office by not mailing these notices, but a change like that needs to be implemented slowly while ensuring no one is unduly penalized in the process, especially seniors.”

House Bill 4334 is effective until June 30th, 2017. 
Chicago, IL... State Representative Michael McAuliffe is offering residents in the 20th district the opportunity to show their support for police officers by picking up a blue light bulb they can display on their porches or in their driveways.

“In light of recent events, the brave men and women of our local law enforcement agencies deserve to know the support they have within our community,” Rep. McAuliffe said. “It is a small gesture, but one way we can show our respect to those who go to work every day to make sure our communities are safe.”

Residents may pick up a light bulb Monday-Friday, 10am-4pm at Rep. McAuliffe's office, located at 5515 N East River Road in Chicago. Limit one per household. The light bulbs are free, but a donation of $5 is suggested. The money will benefit the Illinois Police Memorial Fund. The Illinois Police Memorial is a statue in Springfield that bears the names of the officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving their communities. 

For questions or more information, please contact Rep. McAuliffe’s office at (773) 444-0611.

Springfield, IL… A newly signed bipartisan bill, sponsored by State Representative Michael McAuliffe (R-Chicago), will assist veterans in their effort to receive help for mental health issues. Senate Bill 3401 amends the Veterans and Servicemembers Court Treatment Act to allow Veteran’s Assistance Commissions (VAC) to provide assessments, mentoring, and treatment programs to veterans. 

“By expanding treatment options available to veterans we can ensure that veterans are getting the help they need,” Rep. McAuliffe said. “Our veterans deserve the best and quickest treatment possible and this added flexibility will help to increase their access to these important services.”

Under current law, veterans can only receive addiction treatment and other mental health services at a federal Veteran's Affairs (VA) or the Illinois Department of Veteran's Affairs (IDVA) office. VACs are units of local government created by the Illinois Military Veterans Assistance Act to provide additional assistance to veterans.

“The Veterans and Servicemembers Court Treatment Act was passed because too often veterans unfairly encounter the criminal justice system as a result of invisible injuries or mental health problems stemming from their service to our country,” Rep. McAuliffe continued. “This new addition to the law will help to meet the specialized problems of veterans who are charged with crimes by providing more alternatives to criminal punishment through mental health treatment.” 

Governor Rauner signed the bill over the weekend on Veterans Day at the Illinois State Fair. It is effective immediately. 

State Representative Michael McAuliffe joined with members of the district on August 2nd to celebrate National Night Out. National Night Out is an event which brings communities together to promote camaraderie between neighbors and with the police that protect us. It is an effort to foster relationships that will make us safer and our communities better. National Night Out has been held annually since 1984 on the first Tuesday in August. The event is meant to increase awareness about police programs in communities, such as drug prevention, neighborhood watch ,and other anticrime efforts.

Secretary of State Jesse White announced today that his office has reinstated the mailing of vehicle registration reminder notices to Illinois drivers. To offset the cost of the mailings, White is drafting legislation allowing his office to offer advertising space on the mailings. In addition, White is urging the public to sign-up for email notices to further reduce mailing costs.

The Secretary of State’s office discontinued mailing reminders in October 2015 due to the lack of funding as a direct result of the state budget impasse. The stop-gap budget recently passed by the legislature and signed into law by the Governor allows White’s office to reinstate the notices.

“The notices are an essential tool for the public to be sure their vehicles are in good standing and avoid paying late fees and fines resulting from tickets issued by law enforcement,” White said. “The driving public paid the price for the budget impasse and it proved to be an unfair burden. With the funds from the stop-gap budget the notices will resume. In addition, we are reducing the number of mailings and seeking alternative funding sources for the postage costs.”

“Although we are now able to reinstate mailing the vehicle registration reminder notices, I continue to strongly urge motorists to sign up for email reminders,” said White. “Saving taxpayer dollars is always a priority of our administration.”

White noted that more than 2.3 million people have registered for the email notification, 800,000 of which signed up since October 2015.

Vehicle owners can sign up for email notifications by visiting the Secretary of State website. To register for the program, vehicle owners will need their assigned registration ID and PIN, which can be found on their current vehicle registration card. If that information is not available, they can call the Secretary of State public inquiry division at 800-252-8980 to obtain the Registration ID and PIN.

The one-time registration process will allow vehicle owners to receive a series of three email notices per vehicle each year highlighting the upcoming vehicle expiration date.
The AARP will be hosting a special "Night Out" to supply caregivers with helpful tips, update them on important legislation, and most importantly say THANK YOU for all the work that they have done. The event is conveniently located in the 20th Distict at Moretti's in Edison Park and I will be speaking and available for discussion. To register for the event follow the link here.
Pictured between Sen. Mulroe and Rep. McAuliffe are
 DrsMemmel and Fagin, co-medical directors
of  Caldwell Breast Center
Park Ridge, IL…Governor Bruce Rauner signed Senate Bill 466, sponsored by State Rep. Michael McAuliffe (R-Chicago) and State Sen. John Mulroe (D-Chicago) to require insurance plans in Illinois, including Medicaid, to cover breast tomosynthesis, or 3D mammography. The signing took place today at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital.

“This bipartisan legislation signifies the commitment of the General Assembly to the fight against breast cancer and protecting women's health,” said Rep. Michael McAuliffe (R-Chicago), chief sponsor of the legislation. “The best way to fight cancer is with early detection; I'm proud we're taking this step that will expand women's access to this important diagnostic tool.”

Springfield, IL… State Representative Michael McAuliffe (R-Chicago) today filed a resolution to pay tribute to the five Dallas police officers killed last week in a malicious attack. House Resolution 1360 recognizes the fallen officers and those injured in the attack who were struck down as they worked to maintain public order and safety. Rep. McAuliffe, whose father served as a Chicago police officer, has been a longstanding supporter of police and firefighters in the community and in Springfield.

“What happened in Dallas was a national tragedy,” Rep. McAuliffe said. “I'm honored to put forth this resolution to recognize their sacrifice. We here in Illinois are not immune to the dangers that police officers face on a daily basis. In my role as State Representative, I meet upstanding officers every day; in Springfield I have worked hard to represent them and advocate on their behalf.”
Rep. McAuliffe also recently took charge of legislation that would make specifically targeting a police officer or firefighter in Illinois a hate crime. The recent uptick in attacks against police officers, spurred Rep. McAuliffe to spearhead House Bill 6587.

“Given recent events and the rash of outbreaks of violence against officers across the country, legislation to protect those who put their lives on the line to protect us is more important than ever.” Rep. McAuliffe continued.

HR1360 has been filed and awaits committee assignment. Upon adoption of the resolution, copies will be shared with the Dallas community.
The new plan to start rotating nighttime flights in and out of O’Hare begins Wednesday night. This six month test will run through Christmas Eve, when it will be evaluated for its effectiveness. The “Fly Quiet” plan from the Chicago Department of Aviation has received both the Federal Aviation Association and O'Hare Noise Compatibility Commission approval in recent months.

The plan will utilize diagonal runways more so than the current nighttime flight configurations. This will shift noise away from where it is concentrated around the western suburbs and NW Chicago and shift some additional noise to Rosemont, Palatine, and Des Plaines. It will help to reduce noise on the communities most severely affected and mitigate the negative impact by distributing it more evenly across other neighborhoods and communities.

Under the plan, runways used for nighttime travel will change from week to week. Below is the runway rotation schedule indicating which communities will be impacted and when (you can also download it here):
The Fly Quiet Program is a voluntary program that is ultimately intended to direct aircraft over less populated areas. It's implementation has been a part of Rep. McAuliffe's advocacy efforts in Springfield. The testing of this plan will be another tool that the city can use to evaluate how best to mitigate and reduce noise and pollution from O’Hare.

The House of Representatives adopted House Resolution 960 which urges the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) and the FAA to adjust the O’Hare noise contour map using the new noise data being collected. Because of the O’Hare Modernization Project, it is widely known that thousands of residents outside the current map configuration are now adversely impacted by the increased jet noise.

“The current noise contour map is rooted in old noise data and therefore does not include the many residents living in communities surrounding O’Hare who now live in the new flight paths,” explained sponsor Representative Michael McAuliffe (R-Chicago). “As we are collecting this new, updated data, we should take into account these new findings in order to update the noise contour map so that those that are newly affected receive some aid towards noise relief.”

HR 960 is adopted as an ongoing plan is being presented to the FAA by the O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission that would spread runway usage during the night hour Fly Quiet period.
State Representative McAuliffe hosted his third annual Kid's Health & Safety Expo on Saturday, June 11th and the event was a success. Local families that attended the event had the opportunity to learn while having great fun. 

To learn more about events throughout the district, sign up for Rep. McAuliffe's newsletter here
Springfield, IL... State Representative Michael McAuliffe (R-Chicago) passed a bill that would benefit the Chicago police officers and their families unanimously from the House today. Senate Bill 2431 passed on a 116-0 vote and would require the Secretary of State to make the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation license plates for motorcycles. 

"Chicago police have an incredibly tough job and the memorial foundation helps to ensure some peace of mind every time an officer leaves his or her home to go to work," Rep. McAuliffe said. "This bill will help to increase the foundation's awareness and resources, fundamentally assisting our heroes in blue." 

Currently, specialty license plates featuring the foundation’s logo are available for purchase through the Illinois Secretary of State, but only for cars. The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation is a non profit dedicated to honoring the lives and memories of fallen Chicago police officers by providing support and assistance to their families. The foundation receives $25 dollars for every plate purchased through the Secretary of State's office. 

The bill now heads to Governor's desk. 
Springfield, IL… The House today passed legislation to address Chicago police and fire survivor’s benefits to achieve parity with the rest of the State according to Chief Co-Sponsor of the legislation, State Representative Michael McAuliffe (R-Chicago). It would correct an issue that was overlooked in previous law with the ultimate effect of increasing widow’s benefits.

“Those who put their lives on the line deserve to know that their families will be taken care of should something happen,” Rep. McAuliffe said. “This legislative change won’t be a significant financial burden on the City, but it will make a huge difference to surviving family members.”

Senate Bill 440 changes the Chicago pension codes to increase the Tier 2 survivor’s annuity as well as the Tier 1 Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for retirees born before January 1, 1966. It also increases the minimum annuity for widows from $1,000 a month to 125% of the Federal Poverty Level, which is $14,850 annually.

SB 440 passed the House by a vote of 86-24. It previously passed the Senate unanimously and now heads to the Governor’s desk.
Springfield, IL…. State Representative Michael McAuliffe (R-Chicago) passed a bill unanimously from the House yesterday that would expand women’s access to better breast cancer diagnoses. Senate Bill 466 amends State law to provide that insurance plans and Medicaid cover breast tomosynthesis, or 3D mammography. This form of breast cancer screening is newer and more effective than low-dose mammography. The State is not expected to be obligated to defray the costs of the expanded coverage.

“One in eight women develops breast cancer, a truly awful statistic” Rep McAuliffe said, “This is a national medical issue that deserves our full attention and support. As with any form of cancer, the earlier you catch it the better and this bill will help women get diagnosed and start their journey to recovery sooner.”

Rep. McAuliffe passed similar legislation last year, Senate Bill 54. SB466 is a follow-up bill to ensure that the intent of last year’s legislation is seen through and women are provided with the necessary screening coverage. Both SB 466 and SB54, now Public Act 99-0407, were carried in the Senate by Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago).

SB 466 now heads to the Governor’s desk for further consideration. 
Springfield, IL… Veterans will soon see more flexibility in seeking help for addiction treatment and other mental health services according to the House sponsor of Senate Bill 3401, State Representative Michael McAuliffe (R-Chicago). The legislation would amend the Veterans and Servicemembers Court Treatment Act to allow Veteran’s Assistance Commissions (VAC) to provide assessments, mentoring, and treatment programs to veterans. Under current law, veterans can only receive such services at the federal Veteran's Affairs (VA) office or the Illinois Department of Veteran's Affairs (IDVA).

“It is imperative that we provide our veterans with the best and quickest treatment possible,” Rep. McAuliffe said. “This bill will increase access to important services for veterans.”

The Veterans and Servicemembers Court Treatment Act was passed because some veterans encounter the criminal justice system as a result of post-traumatic stress, brain injury, and depression that is related to their service to the country.  The purpose of the Act was to provide necessary flexibility to meet the specialized problems faced by the veterans who are charged with crimes through the creation of an alternative court system that could provide alternatives to criminal punishment including treatment for mental health issues and addiction issues. VACs are units of local government created by the Military Veterans Assistance Act to provide assistance to veterans. 

SB3401 passed the House on a unanimous 111-0 vote. The bill, filed by State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake), previously passed the Senate in April without opposition. The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk for further consideration.

Springfield, IL … Today State Representative Michael McAuliffe (R-Chicago) moved House Resolution 960 out of the House Executive Committee on a unanimous vote. The Resolution urges the Federal Aviation Authority to revisit the O’Hare noise contour map and use new ‘community noise equivalent levels’ (CNEL) to expand those areas newly effected by runway reconfiguration.

House Resolution 960 further commends the Federal Aviation Authority and the Chicago Department of Aviation for their work in supporting the usage of CNEL data to in order to find ways to bring noise relief to the communities surrounding O’Hare Airport.

“Over the course of the past year, we have worked with the FAA and Chicago Department of Aviation in trying to find ways to help mitigate the increased noise and air pollution of our constituents living in the shadow of the airport,” explained Rep. McAuliffe. “Today, we are asking them to use the data that we have collected over the course of the past year to help redraw the noise contour map in order to include those areas newly impacted by the extreme noise pollution cause by low flying jets.”

In passing committee, House Resolution 960 will now be read on the House floor for consideration.
The Illinois Secretary of State’s Office announced new changes to Illinois driver’s licenses and ID cards designed to protect against identity theft and to bring Illinois into compliance with the federal REAL ID Act of 2005. The enhanced security features will include a new photo structure, a design that includes patterns, lines and images to make it more difficult to counterfeit, a laser perforation and an ultraviolet feature.

There’s no need to replace your driver’s license or ID card immediately, but there are a few changes to the process you should be aware of when it comes time to renew your license or ID. 

The transition will take place in phases. Beginning immediately, Safe Driver Renewal applicants will receive by mail their new driver's license with the upgraded security features. Beginning in late June 2016, through a gradual rollout, DMV’s throughout the state will implement the new process. By the end of July 2016, all DMV’s will have transitioned to the new process.

Click here for a step by step guide to the new process.

Springfield, IL… Representative Michael McAuliffe (R-Chicago) today held a press conference announcing May 17, 2016 as Hepatitis C Advocacy Day at the Capitol in Springfield. The press conference highlighted the progress of the Hepatitis C Task Force as well as outlined the events of the day designed to raise awareness of this “silent epidemic”.

As a part of the advocacy day, Representative McAuliffe and his partners through the task force will have an educational table in the South Hall of the Rotunda and free screenings for legislators and staff in the Capitol as well as free screenings for the general public via a mobile screening van.

“I would like to extend a special thank you to the American Liver Foundation, Caring Ambassadors and the members of the Hepatitis C Task Force for their continued work in raising awareness and finding solutions and strategies to combat Hepatitis C,” Rep. McAuliffe said.

Springfield, IL...State Representative Michael McAuliffe (R-Chicago) released the statement below following today’s bipartisan, bicameral vote to appropriate $700 million in stopgap funding for human services:

"Similar to the recent bipartisan effort on higher education funding, Senate Bill 2038 will use available revenue to provide a lifeline to our deteriorating human service network. This bill is fully funded, meaning that providers, agencies, and programs that administer vital services to some of our most vulnerable will be able to get their money immediately. I'm incredibly pleased that this deal was reached, our most vulnerable citizens need help now and shouldn't be bargaining chips in the difficult budget negotiations ahead. This is far from a solution, but it will keep services running while we move forward to find a bipartisan, compromise resolution for a full budget."
Springfield, IL....The bipartisan O'Hare Impact Legislative Committee met on Wednesday morning to discuss ways to mitigate the negative environmental and noise impacts on the surrounding airport communities. They discussed efforts to expand soundproofing and reduce emissions as well as the increased use of airline incentives to encourage implementation of voluntary Fly Quiet rules. The committee also discussed the new plan to rotate nighttime runway use. The committee was joined by representatives from the Attorney General's office who added to the conversation as part of their office's duty to protect the public health.

This meeting comes on the heels of news reports that O’Hare noise complaints are up 77% over last year. A large percentage of those complaints came from just a handful of addresses. 

         State Representative Michael McAuliffe, in partnership with Caring Ambassadors, ECHO, the American Liver Foundation, and many other partners, hosted an event to bring awareness to a largely unknown, but impactful, viral disease- Hepatitis C. 
        According to HepCCATT, approximately 70,000 people in Illinois are living with Hepatitis C, but most remain unaware. The event on Saturday included a free Hepatitis C screening and 49 people were screened. HepCCATT is one of just three nationwide organizations that received a sizable grant from the Centers for Disease Control to increase testing, awareness, and diagnoses of Hepatitis C at the community level. Saturday's event will become the template for many more successful events and screenings across the Chicagoland area.
        Rep. McAuliffe passed legislation in 2014 to create the Hepatitis C Task Force, which he now serves as Chair. 

I-Cash is the Illinois State Treasurer's Unclaimed Property Division. Formerly called Cash Dash, the unclaimed property program was re-named I-Cash in 2012. It connects state residents with unclaimed property. The state currently has $2.1 billion dollars in cash, plus other assets including everything from stocks and CDs, to safe deposit boxes which need to be returned to Illinois residents. One in eight Illinois residents has an asset to be claimed in I-Cash. The largest will claim is $1.8 million. Most assets are transferred to the state after they've been inactive for at least five years. 

The law that created the unclaimed property program was established in the early 1960's as a consumer protection initiative. The names of 780,000 additional residents were added to the public web database after the state recently double-checked claims from years 1976 to 1992 – a time period before a computer-system upgrade streamlined the database's maintenance.

The Treasurer's office recently posted public notice of the program in the Chicago Sun-Times. Find out if you have unclaimed property here
Springfield, IL.... State Representative McAuliffe's House Bill 6109 passed out of the House on Wednesday by a 114-0-1 vote. HB 6109 provides that the Illinois Supreme Court may establish a pilot program to allow for the filing of petitions for temporary orders of protection and their issuance by electronic (i.e. audio-visual) means. The bill, modeled off similar legislation passed in New York last year, seeks to make the process of filing for an order of protection less stressful on the victims who may be afraid of the consequences of their abuser finding out.

The legislation is supported by the State Appellate Defender, the State’s Attorney Appellate Prosecutor, and the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Chicago, IL … State Representative Michael McAuliffe (R-Chicago) is set to offer his yearly Senior Driving Seminars in collaboration with the Illinois Secretary of State. The classes are offered through May and give senior citizens an opportunity to refresh their memory for the written driving test when renewing their licenses. The seminars are taught by an instructor from the Secretary of State’s Office and include an extensive overview of the contents of the Rules of the Road booklet and sample test.

“Every year, the seniors in my district express to me the importance of these driving seminars. They really accredit their successes on the written portion of the driving test to having been in attendance at this refresher course,” explained Rep. McAuliffe. “I invite any and all senior citizens to these driving seminars as I know they will benefit greatly.”

WHAT: Senior Driving Seminars

WHEN: Tuesday, April 26th at 10:00am – White Eagle Banquet Hall (Niles)

Monday, May 9th at 10am – Schiller Park Community Center 

Wednesday May 18th at 11am – Oriole Park Field House (Chicago)

State Representative Michael McAuliffe presents House Resolution 969 in honor of "Red Sari Day" for South Asian Cardiovascular Disease Awareness. 
Springfield, IL… A vehicle registration relief bill sponsored by State Representative Michael McAuliffe (R-Chicago) is set to move to the Senate. House Bill 4334 says that the Secretary of State cannot impose a delinquent registration renewal fee if a vehicle's registration expires when there has been no notice, by U.S. mail or email, sent to the vehicle owner. The bill further says that law enforcement officers may not issue citations until one month after the registration has expired giving drivers more time to adhere to the law.

“As a casualty of the current budget impasse, many motorists are unknowingly breaking the law,” Rep. McAuliffe said. “These fines and citations are an inconvenient and unfair, especially to older drivers who have difficulty signing up for email notifications. This bill is a commonsense attempt to rectify that.”

Due to the lack of a state budget, the Secretary of State's office suspended the mailing of vehicle registration renewal reminder notices which has led to a significant increase in the number of drivers failing to renew their registration. This legislation is intended to remove the $20 renewal penalty motorists while the Secretary of State is not mailing renewal notices. Should the Secretary of State’s office resume mailing out renewal notices, the office and law enforcement may recommence collecting the delinquency fees.

House Bill 4334 passed unanimously from the House today. 
Vehicle emission test notices will finally be mailed out, despite a state budget stalemate, state officials said Wednesday.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency had stopped mailing the reminders in December because of the state budget crisis. It resumed doing so Wednesday after the testing contractor, Applus Technologies, agreed to eat the cost of the mailings, state EPA officials said. The reminders started to go out Wednesday for vehicles due for emission tests in March, April and May, Illinois EPA spokeswoman Kim Biggs said. That covers as many as 498,000 vehicles, she said.

Because of the delays, the Secretary of State’s office has agreed not to require drivers seeking renewals of their license plate stickers to have emission testing until June 1. Normally, drivers cannot obtain a license plate sticker renewal unless their vehicle has passed emissions testing. 

For more information from the Secretary of State click here.
Springfield, IL… Victims of domestic violence are one step closer to easier access to protection.  State Representative Michael McAuliffe (R-Chicago) filed House Bill 6109 so that the Supreme Court may establish a pilot program to allow domestic violence victims to seek temporary orders of protection through electronic means rather than having to appear in person.

“This legislation seeks to make the process of filing for an order of protection less stressful on victims who may be afraid of the consequences of their abuser finding out or otherwise have difficulty filing for protection,” Rep. McAuliffe said. "We should explore whatever efforts we can to try to make this emotionally difficult process more painless."

Currently domestic violence victims face significant obstacles in securing protection from their abusers. Some victims require immediate temporary orders of protection, but have no means to travel to the appropriate family court or they fear the consequences of their abuser finding out. To remove these obstacles and ensure these victims are able to secure much-needed orders of protection, this bill would allow the Supreme Court to develop a pilot program to allow victims to petition for temporary orders of protection remotely through audio-visual means.

HB 6109 passed unanimously from the Judiciary-Civil Committee and will now head to the floor for full consideration. 

On Wednesday morning State Representative McAuliffe (R-Chicago) testified with fellow Representative Winger (R-Bloomingdale) in front of the House Revenue and Finance Committee. Testimony was given on House Bill 4396, a bill which would provide an income tax credit to homeowners affected by O'Hare noise who chose to soundproof their homes.

Representative McAuliffe testified in Committee on behalf of HB 4396 which provides noise relief for constituents who have been negatively impacted by increased jet noise as a result of O'Hare expansion. To read more about the legislation click HERE.
Chicago, IL… Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death and disability worldwide, impacting one community more so than others. State Representative Michael McAuliffe (R-Chicago) has filed House Resolution 969 to declare March 12, 2016 as "Red Sari Day" for South Asian Cardiovascular Disease Awareness and recognize the work being done by the South Asian Cardiovascular Center at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital.

The risk for heart disease is four times higher in South Asians. Due to a variety of factors including genetics and lifestyle, South Asians have the highest CVD mortality rates and are prone to developing CVD at a younger age, often before the age of 40 in men. The South Asian Cardiovascular Center at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital is the first of its kind in the Midwest designed to serve the South Asian community and inspire change and provide options to live a heart healthy lifestyle.

“The high risk of heart attacks and stroke is often unknown and overlooked in this community,” Rep McAuliffe said. “The efforts at Advocate Lutheran to educate, screen, prevent, and treat South Asians for their high risk of cardiac disease are exemplary.” 

On Saturday night Rep. McAuliffe attended ‘A Red Sari Evening’, a benefit hosted by Advocate Health Care. The event was put on to raise awareness of the South Asian heart disease epidemic and the partnerships that will explore solutions and save lives.