My legislative agenda is driven by concerns brought to me from local residents and advocates who have identified ways our state can better help families. In the midst of a pandemic, I am particularly focused on passing proposals that address mental health concerns and assist people in getting the help they deserve.”

House Bill 2847: Requires state-regulated insurance plans to cover one (no cost and no diagnosis) mental health wellness visit per year as of January 2025.

House Bill 3230: Builds out our 988 crisis response system, which when fully implemented, means that someone in a mental health crisis will have a (non-law enforcement) place to call, someone to come, and a place to go.

House Bill 2365:  Will make the path to licensed social work more accessible by providing an alternative to the licensure exam, focusing instead on education, field work, experience and supervision.

Senate Bill 57: Expands our state’s Community Behavioral Health Professional Loan Repayment Program, which now includes several licensed and unlicensed employees of substance use treatment providers and state-operated psychiatric hospitals.

Senate Bill 167: Creates short- and long-term stabilization homes in Illinois for our residents with developmental disabilities needing a higher level of care.

Senate Bill 855: Gives more powers to the Department of Human Services Inspector General to hold workers in the DD field accountable when they witness abuse and materially obstruct an investigation.

House Bill 3850 – Ensures treatment courts in Illinois (mental health courts, drug courts and veteran’s courts) follow best practices to get at the root causes of crime.

House Bill 4797 – Removes barriers to allow new state residents, college students and visitors to continue their therapeutic
relationship with an out-of-state social worker.

House Bill 4952 – Pushes state agencies to ensure Illinois has the capacity to serve children with developmental disabilities and assist with residential transitioning.

House Bill 5179 – Connects discharged opioid-related overdose patients with community-based mental health and substance use disorder treatment providers.

House Bill 5285 – Listens to recommendations from parents, education experts and teachers to prohibit unsuitable and unreliable standardized state testing on children from pre-K through 2nd grade.

House Bill 5490 – Strengthens and expands child sexual abuse laws, elevating grooming penalties, updating consent requirements and expanding services to survivors.

House Bill 5499 – Empowers the Legislative Inspector General with greater investigative authority and increases transparency in state ethics systems.

House Bill 5500 – Renames High School Equivalency Certificate to State of Illinois High School Diploma in effort to combat discrimination.

House Bill 3977 – Creates a First Responders Behavioral Healthcare Bill of Rights to expand and protect access to behavioral health services and treatment for police, firefighters and EMTs.

SB471 (Network Adequacy) – Increases access to mental health and substance abuse treatment by requiring insurance plans to offer accessible services within reasonable time and distance.

SB340 (Tax Credit Scholarship) – Helps families to save more for college through extension of an employer match program.

HB576 (School Mental Health Day) – Allows families to cite mental health as a reason for an excused absence from school up to five days in the school year.

SB1575 (First Responder Mental Health) – Improves first responders’ access to mental health services by requiring the Department of Human Services to create/maintain an online mental health database and resource page specifically for first responders.

SB661 (Building a Diverse Workforce of School Social Workers) – Creates a scholarship program for licensed social workers to transition into school social work. Prioritizes racial minority applicants to increase diversity in school social work.

SB2093 (Teacher Pensions) – Ensures Chicago teachers in contract schools have access to the same retirement benefits as teachers in traditional public schools and charter schools.

SB1631 (Licensed Social Worker Qualifications) – Removes barriers to basic social work licensure by focusing on education, training, and experience.

SB136 (Child Welfare Worker Retention Stipend) – Creates a six-year stipend program to increase recruitment and retention of eligible students in social work programs at public universities who commit to working in the Illinois child welfare system.

HB3853 (Water Rate Study) – Enables and funds a water rate study in Illinois with the ultimate goal of making water rates more equitable and affordable.

HB3950 (Dual Credit Quality) – Creates more college opportunities for young people with disabilities after high school.

HB3849 (Supported Decision Making Act) – Creates a mechanism for adults with disabilities to identify a supporter for life decisions, creating an alternative to the restrictions of guardianship.

HB1577 (Youth Suicide Prevention) – Codifies guidance requiring school districts to include specific high-risk populations, such as LGBTQ youth, in their suicide prevention policies and curriculum.