Local schools receiving grant for library books, materialsSPRINGFIELD – Fifteen school districts in the 40th Senate District have been awarded library grants from the Illinois Secretary of State’s School District Library Grant Program. The program is designed to help provide more library books and materials for public school students in Illinois.

More than $24,200 will be awarded to the fifteen school districts.

“Having access to resources that broaden horizons and improve reading skills is paramount to future success as a student and as an adult in the workplace,” said State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights).

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New law acknowledges tragic effects of untreated post-partum depression, psychosisSPRINGFIELD – Illinois will become the first state in the nation acknowledging the correlation between postpartum depression and psychosis and certain crimes committed by women, after a new law was signed this week by the governor.

House Bill 1764, sponsored by State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights), allows women charged with certain felonies to challenge court sentences of crimes committed as a direct result of suffering from postpartum depression or postpartum psychosis. The new law also allows a court to consider a defendant’s postpartum depression or psychosis as a mitigating factor during sentencing.

“For too many women who have recently given birth and are suffering from postpartum depression or psychosis, issues of guilt are common,” Hutchinson said. “While not every woman who feels down after giving birth suffers from postpartum depression or psychosis, it is important that we recognize this is a real health issue that can have potentially tragic consequences if left untreated.”

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Sen. Toi HutchinsonSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) responded this afternoon after the Senate passed several proposals to address serious shortcomings in Illinois law related to responding to and preventing sexual harassment.

“A few weeks ago, more than 300 women and men took a stand and demanded a change in the culture of sexual harassment in Springfield,” Hutchinson said. “Today marks an important first step in addressing these serious concerns had by those who signed that letter along with countless others who have heard, seen or been a victim of sexual harassment.”

A key provision of today’s action included a proposal that addresses a current gap in state law that limits the Legislative Ethics Commission and the Executive Ethics Commission from making a ruling on a sexual harassment complaint or imposing penalties against state officials, including members of the legislature. The plan – contained in Senate Bill 402 and co-sponsored by Hutchinson – changes state law to expressly prohibit sexual harassment and allows the commission to issue judgements on founded complaints.

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Sen. Toi HutchinsonSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) released the following statement this afternoon after Governor Rauner announced he would be signing House Bill 40, a measure co-sponsored by Hutchinson that protects a woman’s right to choose in Illinois:

“On May 10, when House Bill 40 was debated in the Illinois Senate, I said that there is nothing more intrinsic to freedom than bodily autonomy. Our ability to make our own decisions with advisors whom we chose to make the best decisions for ourselves and our families must be fiercely protected regardless of income.

“Today, Governor Rauner agreed with me and thousands of women and men who stood up and used the most powerful tool we have: our voices. Thanks to those voices, House Bill 40 will become law in Illinois. We did it!”

Click here to listen to Sen. Hutchinson's floor speech on HB 40 from May 10, 2017.

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