FirefighterMemorial2015Firefighters from across the state gathered at the State Capitol in Springfield for the annual Illinois Firefighters Memorial and Medal of Honor Ceremony.

“It reminds us of the valor and the utter, complete dedication to duty of our firefighters.” Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) said. “Every day we go to sleep, we go to work and we depend on them to protect us.”

Fortunately, 2014 saw no line of duty deaths for Illinois firefighters.

“What an honor it is to be out here with our elected officials, our brothers and sisters in the fire service, and members of the community to recognize those who’ve lost their lives protecting the community and also those who’ve performed heroic acts saving others throughout communities across Illinois,” Pat Devaney, president of the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois, said.

Haine filed a resolution in the Senate to designate May 14 as Statewide Police, Firefighter and First Responder Appreciation Day in Illinois and urged all Illinoisans to recognize and honor those whose unwavering commitment to public safety has earned them our great esteem and admiration.

Category: News

Senator HaineSpringfield, IL – Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) recently filed legislation to save the Illinois Auto Theft Task Force by broadening the scope of the program.

The original law that created the Auto Theft Task Force – a program to assess the scope of the problem of motor-vehicle theft, as well as develop and implement a statewide plan to combat it – is being amended to broaden the scope of the program and thereby making it more efficient. The proposed legislation allows the task force to use money to battle things such as insurance fraud and auto-theft rings.

In January, budget cuts by Governor Rauner led to a $6 million loss in funds needed to keep this program running at full capacity. This is not the first time the program has lost its funding. The current amendment would establish dedicated funds for the program.

“The Auto Theft Task Force is a low-cost, high-results program,” Haine said. “Cutting it would be senseless. The funding for this program comes from a one-dollar fee that all Illinois auto insurance companies pay on each full-coverage claim. This comes at no cost to the taxpayer.”

The measure also extends the Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Trust Fund. The trust fund provides financial support for programs designed to reduce motor vehicle theft. As the chair of the Senate Insurance Committee, Senator Haine held meetings with Rep. Jerry Costello Jr. to discuss how to keep this program afloat.

Gary Brewer, Director of the Metro East Auto Theft Task Force said, “Since the inception of the program we have had as high as an eight-dollar return for every dollar investment made by the insurance companies.

“There is currently $1.5 million left in our account. If we lose any more funding we will have no resources to perform multi-jurisdictional investigations, which will cause local law enforcement agencies to take up the task, thereby costing them more money,” Brewer said.

The current legislation passed the House and will be sent to the Senate Insurance Committee.

Category: News

Senator Haine at Senior Services PlusAlton IL - Early this week Senator Haine (D-Alton) joined other local officials at a rally at Senior Services Plus to voice their concerns on Governor Rauner’s proposed cuts to funding to the Community Care Program.

Many of the speakers urged the audience to contact their legislators, as well as the governor’s office to let them know how these cuts would impact their lives. Senior Services Plus has called for immediate action saying, “These cuts would leave thousands of older Illinoisans without the care they need to age independently and with dignity in their own homes. This budget cut will result in unnecessary institutionalization, endangerment of seniors and cost the state more money.”

Negotiations for the new budget, which begins July 1, are expected to start this month. The governor’s proposed cuts will have a deep impact on social service agencies of all types.

 “If these programs are cut, where do people go if you have a loved one at home receiving community care? Are they going to be put into nursing homes or into state run facilities as in the past? These programs are profoundly and greatly more expensive to the tax payers than what is run here,” Haine said.

Others who spoke at the event included State Rep. Dan Beiser, Jim Pennebaker with AARP, Cindy Cunningham with Adult Day Services, William Wheeler with the Illinois Council of Case Coordination Units and Dian Drew with the Illinois Association of Community Care Program Homecare providers

 

Category: News


Senator Haine at Sen Approp Joint CommitteeOn Friday April, 17 Senator Haine was a part of a  joint appropriation committee hearing at SIUE. The committe heard from many individuals and organizations including; Southen Illinois University Edwardsville, local government, healthcare providers, social service providers and AFSCME.

"Today we heard a real representation of what the purposed cuts to next year’s budget would mean for education, health care, local government and social service agencies," Haine said. "As I have said before, these cuts are not an answer. Cutting funding to these programs means taking away vital services to our communities and taking away educational opportunity for our students."

Category: News

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