News from Rockford, IL Democrats – more news at WinnDems.org.

Senator Stadelman's Weekly Bulletin - June 22, 2016




Stadelman joins Treasurer in calling for Rauner to close insurance loophole

State Senator Steve Stadelman, State Rep. Litesa Wallace and Terri Worman of AARP joined Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs at a news conference in Rockford to urge Gov. Rauner to sign the Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act.

The bill, which passed with bipartisan support in both houses of the General Assembly, would require insurance companies to do the right thing -- pay death benefits when they know or should have known that a policy holder has died. If signed into law, Illinois insurers must routinely check the federal Death Master File and make good-faith efforts to locate beneficiaries of policy holders who have died.

"It's a disappointing fact, but some life insurance companies admit that they avoid paying death benefits to increase their profit margins," Frerichs said Monday at the Zeke Giorgi Center in downtown Rockford. "Governor Rauner has an opportunity to sign into law a measure to ensure Illinois residents are not victimized."

Since 2011, Frerichs said, the state has used its auditing authority to identify more than $550 million in life insurance proceeds that should have been paid to beneficiaries in Illinois



Women adversely affected by Rauner's budget impasse
 
Women disproportionately are affected by Gov. Rauner's budget stalemate with the Legislature, a new Chicago Tribune report says.
Rauner has blocked funding for child care, college tuition assistance, health care screenings for women and children, rape crisis centers, domestic violence programs, disabled children, teen parents, homeless services and prenatal and family care management for at-risk mothers.
In addition, women predominantly make up the workforce of human service providers that have had to cut programs and lay off employees to make up for the absence of state payments during the budget impasse.
Women also account for nearly two-thirds of college tuition MAP grant recipients, which has been devastated by Rauner's budget stalemate. Figures released Thursday show a 13 percent decline in the number of students applying for MAP grants, leaving many to wonder if it's an indicator that low-income students simply are dropping out of college.
"We are faced with making some very tough decisions," Kris Salyards, program director at The Harbour Inc. in Park Ridge, told the Chicago Tribune. The agency will not be able to operate its housing assistance program beyond the end of July without state support. "This isn't just impacting 12 young moms who are working and paying rent, who are being a family own their own, but it also impacts about 20 little kids who will become homeless."

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