03032020HAO0695SPRINGFIELD – This afternoon, the Illinois Senate Public Health Committee, chaired by Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago), heard from the Illinois Department of Public Health on the status of the response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Illinois.

Illinois Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike explained the testing process. First, samples are taken to a state lab. If a result is positive, it is sent to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for confirmation.

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Category: Press Releases

02272020CM0275SPRINGFIELD – the Illinois Senate is one step closer to approving an effort led by State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) to allow an early learning and youth development center to purchase the state-owned property it has occupied for decades from Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, a move that would require General Assembly approval.

Because the Carole Robertson Center for Learning sits on land that is not technically surplus state property, the transaction requires specific legislation. The plan has received the approval of Governor Pritzker’s office and DCFS.

“I am happy the Senate has moved The Carole Robertson Center one step closer to reaching independence. Unfortunately, the Center is in need of renovations that the state is simply unable to perform,” Van Pelt said. “Selling off state property is not a move anybody involved makes lightly, but in this case it is necessary. Under the Center’s ownership, it will become possible for thousands of disadvantaged children on Chicago’s West Side to benefit from renovations to the site.” 

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Category: Press Releases

data-dataset-word-data-deluge.jpgCHICAGO –With the Chicago Police Department poised to unveil a new gang member database in light of pervasive concerns about the current system, Senator Patricia Van Pelt called on police to ensure the new registry is designed with effectiveness as well as justice in mind.

“The public demands that this law enforcement tool be effective, but we must all demand that it be just and fair to all Chicagoans, and in particular the people of color who were disproportionately targeted by the current system,” Van Pelt said. “If the Criminal Enterprise Information System does what it’s supposed to, it could be a great boon to public safety. But to do that, it must have strong and constant oversight.”

A report from the Inspector General last April showed the operation of the original gang database to be unethical and unreliable in ways that harmed citizens who were not guilty of any crime. It overwhelmingly affected people of color, who made up 90 percent of the database. Once entered, there is no way for a registrant’s name to be removed. The entry also appears on a person’s background check, exposing them to housing and job discrimination and even deportation.

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Category: Press Releases

02182020CM0307.JPGSPRINGFIELD – Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) recently filed legislation that would require an employer to reimburse an employee within 30-45 days after the receipt of a required business expense, a common workplace scenario that currently isn’t governed by any sort of statute.

“A lot of employees despair of ever seeing their business expenses reimbursed,” Van Pelt said. “This should be a common labor protection, just as a 40-hour workweek is. Employees who float costs for their employers should receive reimbursements in a timelier manner.”

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Category: Press Releases

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