The 103rd General Assembly is underway and I am working diligently with my colleagues to craft legislation to make Illinois a safer, fairer, and more environmentally-friendly place.
I recently introduced several pieces of legislation designed to protect Illinoisans’ online safety and privacy, cut through dangerous misinformation, and provide residents of senior living facilities important information about the facility in which they live.
I am also proud to introduce legislation curbing the use of polystyrene (foam), a harmful chemical used in fast food and other packaging. Reducing the use of polystyrene is an immensely important step in creating a greener Illinois.
These are the first of many pieces of legislation that I plan to introduce this session. If you have a priority or issue you would like to see addressed in Springfield, please reach out to me with your ideas and perspective.
And as always, if you are ever in need of assistance, do not hesitate to contact my office. We are available weekdays at (847) 486-8810, you can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Representative Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz|
In the 103rd General Assembly I will continue to serve as Chairperson of the House Judiciary – Civil Committee. In addition, I serve as Vice Chairperson of the Immigration & Human Rights Committee and as a member of the Higher Education and Judiciary – Criminal Committees.
As session begins, I wanted to highlight some of the key legislation I have recently introduced to protect Illinoisans:
- Deepfakes Protection (HB2123): AI-generated fake videos are becoming more common (and convincing). A staggering number are pornographic and produced without the consent of the person depicted. HB2123 would create a further path to justice for non-consensual deepfakes created with the intent to harass, extort, threaten or cause harm, violence or interfere with an official proceeding.
- Anti-Doxing (HB2954): Creates a civil remedy for victims of doxing, which is an extreme form of cyberbullying where someone’s personal information is published online with the intent to harass, intimidate or threaten a person’s personal safety.
- Polystyrene Ban (HB2376): Creates a path forward for the elimination of polystyrene (foam) containers from the restaurant industry by January 1, 2024 with reasonable expectations set for small businesses and food pantries.
- Life Care Facilities Residents Rights (HB2375): Aimed at increasing transparency and communication between residents and management in licensed life care communities by requiring facilities to be more communicative with their residents about changes to the facility and financial matters and allow residents to participate in a Resident’s Association.
Illinois Receives seventh credit upgrade
This week Illinois received another credit rating upgrade from S&P Global Ratings, the third from S&P in the past two years. Since 2021, Illinois has now received seven credit rating upgrades, following a period of eight consecutive downgrades from 2015-2017. Higher credit rating upgrades saves taxpayers millions of dollars and is an undeniable indicator that Illinois’ financial health has dramatically improved.
Shout Out – Glenview Community Church & League of Women Voters of Glenview-Glencoe
I want to thank The Glenview Community Church Faith in Action Team and the League of Women Voters of Glenview-Glencoe for organizing the successful, informative and meaningful Gun Safety Education Fair last month at the Glenview Community Church. The fair brought together over 150 community members to hear from nearly a dozen elected officials and community organizations about ways to move forward. Gun safety is literally a life-or-death issue for all of us and I am encouraged to see our community coming together to seriously address it.
North Shore Senior Center offering tax assistance
Tax season is here! If you have a simple tax return, North Shore Senior Center’s certified AARP Tax-Aide Program volunteers can do your return at no cost. Appointment times are: 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. To schedule an appointment between February 15th – April 12th, please call 847-242-6224. You will be prompted to leave a message and a volunteer will call you back to schedule. If you have a spouse that is homebound and unable to come in to sign the tax return, they can be accommodated with a provision. For more information please click HERE.
UIC Students and Faculty Organize for
Better Conditions and Mental Healthcare
As the daughter of a school teacher, I will always carry a special place in my heart for those who dedicate their lives to educating others. I was proud to join with colleagues, students, and workers at the University of Illinois Chicago to fight for more equitable working conditions and better mental health care for students. My colleagues and I were so energized and inspired by the passion and commitment to positive change that those students and educators exemplify.
Thanks to the hard work and dedication of all those involved, I am excited to announce that an agreement was reached that improves working conditions for faculty and creates a new mental health plan for students.
SNAP benefits returning to pre-pandemic levels
SNAP emergency allotments issued since the beginning of the Covid-19 public health emergency, to address food insecurity challenges exacerbated by the pandemic, will end after February 2023 and return to pre-pandemic levels in March. To prepare for this change, IDHS recommends SNAP customers visit www.abe.illinois.gov and update their account if there is a change in address, increase in housing costs, or decrease in income.
This will ensure SNAP customers are receiving the maximum benefit for which they are eligible. Please check for extra benefits from local food pantries. For more information about state services available and local food pantry options, CLICK HERE.
Events and Opportunities
- My office is has FREE General Admission tickets to the Brookfield Zoo valid through 3/31/2023 and a limited quantity of FREE VIP tickets to the Chicago Botanic Garden Orchid Show valid through 3/26/2023 for constituents.To request either of these tickets, please contact my office at 847-486-8810 or email@example.com.
- Evanston Ecology Center will be hosting an indoor farmers market on Saturday, March 11th from 8 AM to 12 PM. You can read more about vendors and see other farmers market dates HERE.
- The Wilmette Park District is hosting a polar plunge on March 19th to raise funds for Special Olympics Illinois. You can donate or sign up to do the plunge yourself, HERE.