08152019CM0226SPRINGFIELD – Legislation requiring a secure, electronic database to simplify the process of accessing all the communications between sexual assault victims and the many other parties involved in investigating their cases was signed into law today. This initiative is co-sponsored by State Senator Rachelle Crowe.

“Sexual assault investigations are complicated, and survivors are trying to keep track of everything during this time-sensitive process while also undergoing terrible personal trauma,” Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) said. “This program will allow secure conversations and status updates for all involved throughout a complex process. This is one more way we can empower survivors.”

The plan, Senate Bill 1411, specifies that survivors, health care facilities, law enforcement agencies and the State’s Attorney’s office are “stakeholders” with access to the files in question. The state will fund the program using moneys for crime labs and through additional funding for Illinois State Police.

“Our strong commitment to prosecuting sex offenders must be complimented by the very best support systems for sexual assault survivors. The criminal justice system can be challenging for victims to navigate- especially for those who have suffered such severe trauma,” said Tom Gibbons, Madison County State’s Attorney. “This law represents big progress toward providing real support for survivors at a time when the need it most. I am grateful to Senator Crowe for her tireless dedication to fighting for victims of crime with common sense reforms.”

Senate Bill 1411 is effective immediately.

Another measure signed into law today, Senate Bill 1183, allows proceeds from the issuance of Police Memorial Committee license plates to be used for grants and scholarships for spouses of police officers killed in the line of duty.

“There’s a good chance a widowed man or woman will want to further their education in order to provide for their family,” Crowe said. “This initiative gives them a chance to get back on their feet with help from a grateful public whose fees are already going toward supporting the memory of their loved ones.”

Currently, only children can receive this benefit. Senate Bill 1183 is effective Jan. 1, 2020.

Category: Press Releases

08112019CM0272SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Rachelle Crowe will serve as a strong voice for Metro East residents as co-chair on Illinois’ new state task force, to study how to relieve the burden of high property taxes, the Glen Carbon Democrat announced today.

“I’m looking forward to researching property taxes and reporting back with comprehensive solutions,” Crowe said. “This burden affects the majority of adults in Illinois, and I commend my colleague and friend, Senator Andy Manar, for passing this legislation.”

The Task Force will make recommendations for the development of administrative, electoral, and legislative efforts at property tax relief.

“This task force is one of the first steps in that process and I’m confident that by bringing Democrats and Republicans together to talk about this issue, we’ll be able to work together to find the solutions we need,” State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) said.

In addition to lawmakers like Crowe, the Department of Revenue and the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget will also work together on the task force.

The initiative was created by Senate Bill 1932, in a unanimous vote in both the House and Senate. The task force’s first report is due Dec. 31, 2019.

Category: Press Releases

05092019CM0362SPRINGFIELD – An initiative to give people stricter consequences that are convicted of assault or battery in a church, synagogue, mosque or other place of worship advanced by State Senator Rachelle Crowe was signed by Gov. Pritzker last week.

“Attacks on people in vulnerable settings, especially in their place of worship are intolerable,” Crowe said. “Our world has gotten used to living in fear, but your church is one place you should feel safe.”

Crowe, a Democrat from Glen Carbon, led the charge behind adding an aggravating factor to sentencing considerations for those who commit assault or battery when committed in religious settings. Aggravating factors can influence a court’s decision to include an imprisoning sentence or increase the chance for a more severe sentence.

This initiative is a continuance of Senator Crowe’s predecessor, former State Senator Bill Haine’s work. His legislation was in response to a traumatic shooting at the First Baptist Church in Maryville in 2009, in which Rev. Fred Winters succumbed to his injuries.

“When I introduced this measure, it aimed to ensure those who commit this serious crime will face consequences for their actions,” said former State Senator Bill Haine. “I am proud of Sen. Crowe and Rep. Mayfield for their determination in getting this passed for the people of Illinois.”

“I hope this legislation can encourage the violence in our communities and places of worship to cease to exist,” said Cindy Winters, widow of Rev. Winters. “I am extremely grateful to Sen. Crowe and the Illinois legislature for passing this legislation in Fred’s memory.

Crowe’s legislation also states that aggravated battery is a Class 1 felony when the person causes great harm or permanent disability to a victim engaged in prayer or religious service.

House Bill 38 will go into effect Jan. 1, 2020.

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Category: Press Releases

08122019LB0058SPRINGFIELD – In response to her district’s opioid crisis, State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) co-sponsored an initiative to expand Illinois’ medical cannabis program. It was signed into law this week.

“By expanding access to medicinal cannabis, we are giving those with an opioid prescription another option to manage their pain,” Crowe said. “Opioids are highly addictive when abused, and this program will offer qualifying individuals an alternative.”

Earlier this year, the Illinois Department of Public Health successfully launched the Opioid Alternative Pilot Program to give patients access to medical cannabis in exchange for their opioid prescription.

The legislation also expands access to the medicinal cannabis program. It gives nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants the authority to certify a patient’s eligibility for medicinal cannabis. Currently, only doctors have this authority.

The initiative also adds 12 qualifying debilitating medical conditions, bringing the total number of conditions to 54.

Senate Bill 2023 is effective Jan. 1, 2020

Category: Press Releases

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