Illinois schools to be tested for lead under Senate planA plan co-sponsored by State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) requiring testing for lead in drinking water in Illinois schools passed the Senate today.

“Research has proven that no amount of lead exposure is safe for children, as even small amounts can have disastrous long-term health effects,” Hutchinson said. “If the situation in Flint, Michigan has taught us anything, it’s that we must take a proactive approach in preventing exposure before it’s too late.”

The proposal, contained in Senate Bill 550, requires schools and daycares constructed before 2000 to test water fountains and other potable drinking pipes for lead levels. If found to contain lead, the Illinois Department of Public Health will work with the school on how to properly mitigate the exposure risk for students.

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Polling LocationSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) responded this afternoon after voting to override Governor Rauner’s veto of a plan to institute automatic voter registration in Illinois.

“Voting in America today is supposed to be a fundamental right enjoyed by all citizens,” Hutchinson said. “Years of hard work guaranteed that discriminatory laws and barriers were broken down to give women, people of color and lower-income voters the chance to have their voices heard. We should be working to advance these policies, making voting simple, easy and accessible for all.”

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Sen. Hutchinson with Channel 9KANKAKEE COUNTY – Three days a week, Jane Binner wakes up early to catch a River Valley Metro shuttle, her first step in a long commute to the University of Illinois at Chicago.

“I will be graduating in the spring with a Bachelor of Arts in English degree,” Binner said. “It’s been a rough journey, but the end is finally in sight.”

Binner doesn't trust her aging car to get her to classes. She's one of thousands in the region who count on the availability and reliability of the River Valley Metro’s shuttle service. Now, that service is jeopardized.

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SPRINGFIELD – Every year, there are an estimated 293,000 incidents of sexual assault in the United States. Shockingly, nearly 70 percent of these assaults are not reported to the police.

For survivors, the process of recovering and confronting an accuser can be an arduous process.

“Sadly, we know most sexual assault and domestic abuse cases don’t make it through the court system,” State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) said. “For those that do, the process can take a huge emotional and psychological toll on a survivor.”

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