State Senator Laura FineSPRINGFIELD – Student debt is the second leading source of consumer debt in America, just behind mortgage loans. Illinois students across the state would have more options to protect themselves from falling behind on their student debt under a measure championed through the Higher Education Committee by State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) on Tuesday.

Under Senator Fine’s legislation, universities would be prohibited from withholding transcripts as a means of debt collection.

“Currently, students are not able to access their transcripts due to the student owing money to the university,” Senator Fine said. “Having access to their transcripts would allow students to seek the jobs necessary to pay off these loans.”

Universities would be required to offer debt repayment plan options for any student who has a balance of $250 or more immediately following the semester. Students who owe less than $2,500 who are on a repayment plan would also be able to avoid an academic hold.

“Student debt is an enormous burden on students and the economy,” Senator Fine said. “This bill gives students a pathway to economic stability by creating a debt repayment plan that will rein in fees and interest charges. It also prohibits withholding of transcripts that may inhibit students from seeking employment.”

SB 3032 passed through the Higher Education Committee and now goes to the full Senate for further consideration.

Category: Press Releases

BooksGLENVIEW – Libraries in Evanston, Glenview and Northbrook will be given nearly $100,000 in grants thanks to Secretary of State Jesse White, State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) announced Tuesday.

“Libraries are a vital resource for continued education, growth, community and outreach,” Senator Fine said. “This grant ensures their resources are available to all community members, especially people who are concerned about their safety in these unprecedented times.

The initiative is aimed to respond directly to difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant provides funding for libraries to modify services, transform spaces and develop resources for their local recovering workforce and to ensure all operations can be provided safely and effectively as the pandemic continues.

The following cities in Senator Fine’s district will receive these funds:
• Evanston: $24,500
• Glenview: $49,000
• Northbrook: $24,912

“I am proud of the resilience of our libraries’ staff who have been finding creative ways to make these resources accessible to their community in the face of adversity,” Senator Fine said. “I hope this grant will continue to advance our community to create new educational resources and make these tools even more accessible than before.”

Approximately $98,400 in funding was granted to libraries in the 9th Senate District. For a full list of libraries receiving a grant, click here.

Category: Press Releases

State Senator Laura FineSPRINGFIELD – Individuals in crisis nationwide will soon be able to utilize a 9-8-8 universal hotline number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which would be funded and maintained in Illinois under legislation sponsored by State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview).

“A fully functioning and well-funded crisis hotline is critical to prevent suicides nationwide,” Senator Fine said. “Mental health is as important as physical health, and 9-8-8 will soon become a household number that is as easily remembered in times of crisis as 9-1-1.”

Senator Fine’s measure would create the Statewide 9-8-8 Trust Fund in the State Treasury, which would be used by the Department of Human Services to establish and maintain a statewide 9-8-8 suicide prevention and mental health crisis system.

“The 9-8-8 Lifeline will prioritize suicide prevention by increasing access to behavioral and mental health resources and treatments," Senator Fine said. "This legislation will provide people with the support they need and save lives."

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s 9-8-8 number will be live across the nation by July 2022, pursuant to the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act of 2020. However, people in crisis should continue to call the Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) until then.

SB 2945 passed the Behavioral and Mental Health Committee on Tuesday and now goes to the full Senate.

Category: Press Releases

State Senator Laura Fine on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD – Families across Illinois will now have more resources to help support relatives seeking treatment in mental health facilities under a new law sponsored by State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) that took effect in the new year.

“Family members can feel helpless if they aren’t able to receive any updates about the status of a loved one receiving treatment in a mental health facility,” Senator Fine said. “This law will inform families, which will in turn help them create a plan of action to support the individual receiving treatment after discharge.”

Senator Fine’s Access to Basic Mental Health Information Act gives certain family members access to information about their loved one’s care, including whether the individual is located at the mental health facility, their current physical and mental condition, diagnosis, treatment needs, services provided, services and medication needed, discharge planning or continuity of care, and a physician’s report if clinically appropriate.

The parent, adult sibling, adult child, spouse or adult grandchild of the individual in care can request information from the mental health facility if they meet certain criteria.

“Mental health care can be a lifelong journey, and having a well-informed support system is critical for healing,” Senator Fine said. “These changes will help ensure people seeking treatment have a safe space to return after their care so they can continue on a positive path forward.”

Public Act 102-0372 was signed into law Aug. 13, 2021, and took effect Jan. 1, 2022.

Category: Press Releases

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Contact Information

Springfield Office:
121C Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-2119

District Office:
1812 Waukegan Road
Suite A
Glenview, IL 60025
(847) 998-1717

laura@senatorfine.com