“How our schools discipline our children is one of the most significant predictors of our state’s future.” - State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D - Chicago Heights)

ReportCardRSPRINGFIELD – Has your child been suspended? Expelled? Arrested? Do a large number of students at your child’s school receive severe disciplinary action that keeps them out of the classroom on a consistent basis? A new law spearheaded by State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights), is forcing our state to start taking solutions-oriented steps to keep our kids in school and out of trouble.

“How our schools discipline our children is one of the most significant predictors of our state’s future,” Hutchinson said.

The new law requires the Illinois State Board of Education to provide a comprehensive report on school discipline by Oct. 31, 2015. The report must include data on the issuance of out-of-school suspensions, expulsions and removals to alternative locations, broken down by race and ethnicity, gender, age, grade level, limited English proficiency, incident type and discipline duration.

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HB28SigningRSPRINGFIELD – Pregnant women across Illinois can collectively exhale as discrimination against their current condition is now a civil rights violation in Illinois. State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) sponsored a new law that is making it illegal for employers to discriminate against women because they are pregnant.

“I am so relieved that vital protections are finally being offered to women who want to keep working throughout their pregnancy. Unfortunately, many women in this country still face unpaid maternity leave, which forces them to forego needed income right when another child adds to the family budget,” Sen. Hutchinson said. “For women with healthy pregnancies who need to work as long as possible, this law is crucial to their ability to stop having to choose between their jobs and their ability to provide for their families. This strong pro-family bill should unite people from all across the political spectrum who want to give strong support to families across our state.”

The law requires employers to reasonably accommodate pregnant women in the workplace, as long as it would not put undue pressure on the business to do so. An employer is in violation of the new law if the pregnant woman is forced to take a leave of absence when another workplace accommodation would be feasible, or if a potential employer refuses to hire a qualified applicant because of accommodation requirements.

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081214 js 0553RSPRINGFIELD - Legislation helping Illinois farmers was signed into law yesterday afternoon at the Illinois State Fair. The new law will allow farmers to use a wider range of vehicles for work without having to deal with CDL, medical card and hours of service restrictions.

Sponsored by State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights), smaller trucks under 12,000 pounds with drivers possessing only a B or D license, no longer just trucks 16,000 pounds and heavier, may now be designated as covered farm vehicles when pulling a farm-plated trailer.

With the “covered farm vehicle” designation applying to more vehicles, farmers can now simply focus on crops and not on more trucking rules and regulations.

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roadconstructionRSPRINGFIELD – Illinois’ roads, bridges and highways are going to receive a substantial upgrade in the form of $1.1 billion in increased state investment for transportation infrastructure maintenance and improvement. Sponsored by State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) and signed into law this morning, Senate Bill 3224 is a key part of Illinois’ transportation redevelopment project.

“Our state desperately needs the proper resources to improve our transportation infrastructure,” Sen. Hutchinson said. “With this law, we can make Illinois known for having one of the safest and most streamlined road systems in the nation.”

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