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Mary Flowers


PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
Thu Jun 16, 2016

Chicago Workers Cheer Committee Passage Of Paid Sick Time Ordinance

Chicago workers burst into cheers Thursday after a city council committee advanced legislation to make earned paid sick leave a requirement in the Windy City.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
Mon Aug 10, 2015

Child Care Advocates Rally Against Budget Impasse, Call Rauner A 'Budget Bully' (VIDEO)

Gov. Bruce Rauner is a "budget bully," according to a group of child care advocates and Illinois legislators who rallied in Chicago on Monday against the state's ongoing budget impasse and changes to the state's Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP).

"Ladies and gentlemen, this governor is out of control," said state Rep. Mary Flowers (D-Chicago). "There are certain things that you're not supposed to mess with. You're not supposed to mess with my child."

Flowers joined other members of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus and Child Care Advocates United, an association of about 300 Illinois child care providers, at a rally outside of the Thompson Center at 100 W. Randolph St.

As they called on Rauner to find additional revenue to pass a balanced budget, the ralliers decried new CCAP eligibility requirements that went into effect after the state entered the 2016 fiscal year on July 1 without a spending plan.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Mon Feb 24, 2014

Chicago-Area Residents Urge State Lawmakers To Address Social Service 'Crisis' In Illinois

The health and human services system in Illinois is in "crisis," according to Chicago-area residents who pressed state lawmakers at a public forum Friday night to address problems facing social safety net programs.

At the forum held at St. Ita's Church in Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood, residents provided personal testimony on a number of issues, including understaffed Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) offices and inadequate wages paid to frontline service workers, to name a few.

A coalition of labor and community groups hosted the event, including Alliance for the Community Services, AFSCME Local 2858, IMPRUVE, Northside Action For Justice and SEIU* Local 73.

The coalition specifically wants a wage bump for direct service professionals, more assigned caseworkers in DHS offices and the restoration of Medicaid prescription drug and dental benefits.

State lawmakers in attendance, including Chicago Democrats State Sen. Heather Steans and State Reps. Kelly Cassidy and Greg Harris, all pledged to help bring change and increased funding to Illinois' health and human services system. But the first order of business, the elected officials said, is addressing the state's revenue dilemma.

Quick Hit
by Michael Sandler
Fri Jul 26, 2013

Emergency Hearing Called To Discuss Sex Abuse In IL Juvenile Facilities

In the wake of a Bureau of Justice Statistics report that revealed Illinois’ juvenile detention facilities have some of the highest sexual abuse rates in the country, state legislators have called an emergency hearing to discuss the issue.

The Restorative Justice Committee will meet July 30 at the Michael A. Bilandic Building in downtown Chicago, and testifying before them will be Department of Juvenile Justice (DOJJ) Director Arthur Bishop, as well as members from the prison watchdog group the John Howard Association and officials from the Bureau of Justice Statistics.    

“Before pointing fingers, we need to ask questions,” State Rep. La Shawn Ford (D-Chicago), the committee chairperson, told Progress Illinois. “We want answers from the results of the study, and solutions moving forward.”

Quick Hit
by Michael Sandler
Wed Jan 23, 2013

Pluses And Minuses Of Retail Clinics Still Being Debated

Retail medical clinics in stores such as CVS and Walgreens can be a cheaper and more convenient option for patients seeking relief from minor ailments. But just how these clinics fit in to the country’s health care system, and how much they fragment an already disjointed system, is being debated by primary care physicians and retail clinic representatives.

The clinics accept patients on a walk-in basis, are open on nights and weekends, and accept most insurance plans. But the clinics do not have actual doctors on staff; instead, nurse practitioners and physician assistants attend to the patients. Retail clinics offer treatment for common illnesses, vaccinations, and monitoring of chronic conditions.

According to Walgreens spokesman Jim Cohn, there are more than 360 Walgreens Take Care Clinics across 19 states. Cohn told Progress Illinois that retail clinics are the next logical step in the evolution of health care, and provide cost relief to a health care system that is already overtaxed.

Quick Hit
by Robert Dietz
Fri Apr 8, 2011

Renewed Push For Single Payer Starts Next Week In Springfield

HB 311 has been kicking around Springfield for a while. Sponsored by State Rep. Mary Flowers, the bill otherwise known as the Illinois Universal Health Care Act, would make health care financing in the state public, cutting out private insurers. The bill was introduced last session, but never made it out of committee.

PI Original
by Adam Doster
Mon Apr 19, 2010

The Community Bank Of Illinois: A Banking "Public Option"?

Responding to the growing anger at the banking industry, one Illinois lawmaker proposes that state take its investment dollars out of Wall Street and go it alone.