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.