Dear Neighbor:

The dust settled last month with an underwhelming conclusion and with great frustration about the spring session.

The Illinois House and Senate adjourned May 31 without closure on pension reform. While the House and Senate both passed many problem solving pension measures, no comprehensive piece of legislation has made it to the governor's desk. The gravity of this issue cannot be overstated.

On June 6, the governor announced that the legislature would reconvene on June 19 for a special session to address Illinois' fiscal crisis and unfunded liabilities. There will be many meetings between the House and Senate before the 19th, and I am cautiously optimistic that a compromise on a pension bill that both chambers will support can be hammered out.

I was disappointed when the House adjourned on Friday night without calling a vote on the marriage equality bill, and I am more resolved than ever to ensure that LGBT couples and families receive recognition as full and equal citizens in Illinois. Marriage equality will be a reality in Illinois, and I will continue to work with my fellow co-sponsors toward that ultimate goal.

Despite the letdowns on pension reform and marriage equality, we did pass some very important pieces of legislation this session. I was the chief House sponsor of SB 26, Medicaid expansion, which cleared both chambers and now heads to the governor's desk for final approval. The House and Senate also passed legislation regarding concealed carry, electronic medical data sharing, medical marijuana, senior property tax relief, and the FY 14 budget. Scroll down to the legislative update section below for more details.

Once again, thank you to everyone who got in touch with my staff and me about the issues that are important to you. Your perspectives and ideas are invaluable as I weigh critical legislation, and I encourage you to stay in touch as we prepare for special session this month.

As always, please feel free to contact me or a member of my staff if we can ever be of assistance to you. You can also follow my office on Facebook and Twitter.

Very truly yours,

Sara Feigenholtz
State Representative
12th District

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  • Legislative Updates

    Medicaid Expansion: The Senate and House have approved the first step of the Affordable Care Act in Illinois, extending health care to 342,000 low-income, childless adults. I was the chief House sponsor for SB 26, which will bring $4.6 billion in federal dollars to our state. Governor Quinn has promised to sign the bill, and we await its final approval.

    Concealed Carry: Pursuant to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling that the Illinois General Assembly pass a concealed carry law by June 9, both chambers approved HB 183 with veto-proof majorities. I firmly believe that municipalities (like the City of Chicago) should reserve the right to make decisions based on what is in the best interest of their residents. The reality is that home rule is the best legal reflection of the wide differences between downstate jurisdictions and Chicago. HB 183 does include a host of locations where people will not have permission to carry concealed weapons, including schools, public gatherings, government offices, public parks, public libraries, zoos and museums. The governor is currently reviewing the bill.

    Medical Marijuana: House Bill 1, which I co-sponsored, includes provisions and regulations for doctors seeking to prescribe cannabis to their patients suffering from a carefully defined list of diseases and conditions. This important legislation will increase the quality of life for patients who experience negative side effects from traditional painkillers. Both chambers of the state legislature have approved the measure and sent it to the governor for his signature.

    Senior Property Tax Relief: Residents in our district pay exorbitant amounts in property taxes, especially given that the economic recovery is slow and housing values remain depressed. I co-sponsored SB 1894, which increased the general Homestead Exemption and Senior Homestead Exemption by $1,000 each. These cost-savings will put money back into homeowners' pockets and lower the heavy burden on property owners in our area.

    Electronic Medical Data Sharing: I introduced HB 1017 to establish data sharing protocols to improve health care for patients and reduce costs for providers. In the 21st century, health care providers should be able to develop and have access to digital data sharing. HB 1017 passed in both chambers and awaits final approval from the governor.

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    Community Events

    Chicago Cubs and Illinois Heart Rescue, Hit a Home Run to Save Lives
    Monday, June 10, 4 pm - 7 pm
    The Purple Lot at Wrigley Field

    The Chicago Cubs and Illinois Heart Rescue invite you to Wrigley Field before our Chicago Cubs play the Cincinnati Reds. You can learn how to do Hands-Only CPR in the Purple Lot from 4-7pm. It takes just 15 minutes to learn how to save a life. Participants will learn to save a life, receive a free t-shirt, and be entered into a raffle for Chicago Cubs jerseys, game tickets, and baseballs. To learn more about this exciting event and to register, please contact Teri Campbell at (312) 720-0835 or tlc.ilhr@gmail.com.

    South East Lake View Neighbors, Monthly Meeting
    Monday, June 10, 7 pm
    Wellington Avenue Church, 615 West Wellington

    South East Lake View Neighbors (SELVN) is the local neighborhood organization encompassing the area bounded by Diversey, Halsted, Belmont, and the lake. All residents, associations, and businesses are welcome to join. General meetings are open to everyone to attend. You must be a member in good standing two weeks prior to a meeting in order to vote.

    Central Lake View Neighbors, Monthly Meeting
    Thursday, June 13, 7:30 pm
    Advocate Illinois Masonic (Clarke Auditorium), 836 West Wellington (7th Floor)

    Central Lake View Neighbors is a community based and funded non profit volunteer organization. CLVN represents the residents within the boundaries of Belmont to the north, Halsted to the east, Racine to west and Diversey to the south. The organization was formed to provide residents a forum to discuss issues ranging from development proposals, zoning, liquor license, street fairs and other community matters. The Alderman recognizes this group and refers local issues to this organization for comment, review and approval.

    Sausage Fest
    Saturday, June 15 and Sunday, June 16, 12 pm - 10pm
    Sheffield between Addison & Waveland

    This festival held right outside Wrigley Field features live music, arts and craft vendors and food from area restaurants, specifically favorite sausages and hot dogs citywide. Vendors include Murphy's Bleachers.

    Tuesday, June 18, 5:30 pm
    Lincoln Park Zoo South Lawn, 2001 N. Clark

    Lights, camera, action! Enjoy FREE outdoor movies at the zoo! Screenings begin at dusk on the zoo's beautiful South Lawn. General admission seating on grass and Park Place Caf´┐Ż patio. Low chairs and blankets (no larger than 5 feet by 5 feet) permitted. Food, wine and beer concessions available. No outside food or beverages permitted.

    Pride Fest
    Saturday, June 22 and Sunday, June 23, 11 am - 10 pm
    N. Halsted from Addison to Grace.

    Hosted by the Northalsted Business Alliance, this crowd-pleasing gay and lesbian celebration of community pride showcases an eclectic lineup of arts and crafts, food and other vendors. It also features entertainment on two stages with one dedicated to some of Chicago's fine performers in the gay community.

    In the News

    phone: (773) 296-4141