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Budget

In this time of fiscal crisis on the local, state and federal levels, it is clear that the General Assembly must stay on the path of passing a streamlined, responsible budget using very conservative revenue estimates every single year. The State cannot afford to return to the policies of the past.. unchecked spending, deferred payment, and the accumulation of billions of dollars in unpaid bills. We simply cannot return to the days of spending money we don't have.

Ann has advocated for and will continue to push for openness and accountability in the budget process - a critical part of keeping our budget in check.

Ann's budget priorities include paying down our backlog of bills, and funding education and our most critical human services. We must continue to streamline, consolidate and cut where we can. In Ann's first term, many worthwhile programs and services were significantly cut and unfortunately these cuts must continue. The budget that was ultimately passed, however, preserved funding for the most critical human services.

Until there is significant economic recovery, the State's budget situation will continue to be extremely challenging. Ann will continue to make the tough choices necessary to get us back on track.

Education

Ann strongly advocates maximizing funding for education, and understands that strong schools make strong communities - and vice versa.

This means that within our limited budget, as much money as possible must go directly into the classrooms and administrative and bureaucratic costs must be reevaluated and cuts made.

Our state has historically done a woefully inadequate job of funding education and the Chicago Public Schools have greatly suffered from this problem. Ann has joined a coalition of legislators working to increase the role the State plays in funding our children's education and address the overreliance on property taxes for this purpose. This is a critical issue and one that must be addressed in a way that does not shortchange our children.

Environment

Ann understands that protecting our environment must be a top priority, and believes economic development and environmental protection can and should go hand in hand. In her first term, Ann worked on legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote the development of renewable energy in Illinois. She advocated for tougher energy efficiency standards to help Illinois consumers reduce their usage of electricity and help lower their bills. Renewable energy and energy efficiency programs create new green jobs for Illinois.

Ann will continue to push for cleaner air and water. This includes reducing emissions from coal-fired power plants, obtaining power from cleaner energy sources, and adequately funding public transportation. Ann sponsored and passed HB 2001, which increases penalties on polluters who dump large quantities of waste on public land. [Public Act 97-0286] Ann knows that clean air and clean water mean a healthier Illinois, with less asthma and importantly, lower rates of cancer.

She also sponsored a bill, HB 2902, to create the "Electric Car Advisory Council" - a private and public sector collaboration created to ensure that Illinois has the policies and infrastructure in place to help this rapidly growing industry flourish in Illinois, bringing us numerous environmental and economic benefits. [Public Act 97-0089]

Ann will continue working to protect our natural resources by being an advocate for renewable energy, providing incentives for the creation and use of alternative energies, and building partnerships between corporations and communities on these issues.

Health Care

Ann is committed to ensuring all Illinoisans have access to the best quality healthcare possible, and has supported policies to make that happen in Illinois.

In her first term, Ann sponsored a groundbreaking bill, HB 1825, to provide for parity in coverage of cancer medications. When faced with a devastating cancer diagnosis, a patient's only concern should be getting the best treatment possible - not how much it costs. However, many patients have been forced to forego the most advanced treatment options due to insurance coverage limits.

Intravenous drugs are traditionally covered under a patient's medical benefits, and patients would pay only a reasonable co-payment. The newer oral chemotherapies and targeted cancer drugs, in contrast, were often covered as part of a patient's prescription drug benefit. This put the newest oral cancer treatments financially out of reach for many patients. Working with the American Cancer Society, Ann passed a law to require insurance companies to cover intravenous and oral chemotherapy therapy drugs equally. Illinois joins a growing number of states to require such parity in coverage. [Public Act 97-0198]

Ann also helped defeat legislation that would create major exemptions to Illinois' smoking ban, and will continue to fight to keep this ban intact.

Consumer Protection

As an Assistant Attorney General, Ann was at the forefront of working to protect consumers' rights. Ann has continued in her role as an advocate for consumers throughout her first term in the Legislature.

Ann broke ranks in the 2011 Legislative Session to vote against a major legislative initiative advanced by ComEd to invest in "smart grid" technology - but which had the unwelcome side effect of significant consumer rate increases.

Additionally, Ann was successful in getting HB 3034 signed into law, a bill to protect homeowners from "stormchasers" - fly by night contractors, often from out of state, who sweep areas in the wake of a storm or natural disaster, taking money and doing no, or substandard, or work. [Public Act 97-0235]

Ann currently sits on the Consumer Protection committee.

Job Growth & Business Development

Improving the climate for businesses large and small in Illinois is a top priority. In her first term, Ann supported a bill containing significant reforms of the workers compensation system in Illinois. Also, she has advocated for a comprehensive review of our corporate tax structure - identifying and implementing real, long term solutions to help Illinois businesses create and retain jobs, and to provide the stability necessary for job growth.

Public Safety


Before being elected as State Representative, Ann worked to keep our communities safe both in a volunteer capacity - on the board of the Illinois Council for Handgun Violence - and while working for Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

Ann has continued to prioritize public safety in her first term, working with a coalition of organizations and individuals against a renewed effort to push legislation allowing permits to carry concealed, loaded guns in most public places.

Ann also sponsored and passed HB 3390, which increases penalties for criminals who pull loaded guns on police officers, firefighters or other first responders. [Public Act 97-0159]

Seniors

Ann supports policies and legislation to make sure that our seniors have the tools and resources to enjoy safe, productive, healthy lives. She was a strong advocate for full funding of the Community Care Program - which provides much-needed assistance to help keep seniors in their homes. Ann supports the development and maintenance of an array of affordable housing options for seniors in all communities - ensuring that seniors are able to live in their own neighborhoods and continue to be an integral part of community life.

LGBT

Ann believes all of us deserve equal protection and access to benefits, regardless of sexual orientation. Ann strongly supports and will work toward full marriage equality on behalf of all the families in the 11th District.

Under current law, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons are discriminated against by legal protections and benefits that are tied to existing marriage laws. Illinois parentage laws also fail to provide the same legal protection for lesbian and gay parents as they do for heterosexual parents. Ann fully supports efforts to eliminate these barriers and ensure that all persons may participate equally in our society regardless of their sexual orientation.

Reproductive Rights

Ann is absolutely committed to preserving every woman's access to reproductive heath services, and will work against any attempt to limit or restrict this right. She supports common sense sex education that will provide our children the basic healthcare information necessary to make the right choices for their future.



Click to follow Ann's legislation throughout the legislative session at ilga.gov