biss august floorSPRINGFIELD -- Licensed mental health professionals in Illinois no longer are able to treat patients under 18 using "conversion therapy" methods thanks to a bill signed into law today.

Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) and Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) sponsored legislation prohibiting the practice, which aims to change clients' sexual orientation.

"These so-called 'therapies' treat homosexuality as a disease," Biss said. "They're out of date and can be deeply destructive to youth. Outlawing these practices is a small step in our pursuit for LGBT rights, but it's an extremely important step in protecting young people in Illinois."

Under the new law, Illlinois youth still can get counseling to discuss concerns or thoughts about their sexuality. However, therapists and other professionals, if licensed by the state, may not try to change a minor's orientation. The clear consensus of professional associations and medical researchers is that conversion therapy can have terrible consequences, including increased depression and risk of suicide attempts.

Illinois joins a handful of other states and Washington D.C. with conversion therapy bans on the books.

Category: Press Releases

The legislature continues to convene in Springfield, but we seem no closer to agreeing on a state budget than we did a month ago.

There's been much media attention on the impasse, including this article from WSIU, in which I'm quoted.

I'm extremely frustrated by our lack of meaningful action, and I continue to stand ready to work with others who are willing to have substantive discussions about crafting a state budget immediately.

While it's crucial to devote our attention to the budget, it's important to remember that there are other aspects of state government we cannot ignore. To that end, I'd love to invite you to a town hall, co-hosted by state Reps. Robyn Gabel and Laura Fine at 7 p.m. Monday, July 27 at the Glenview Park Center, 2400 Chestnut Ave., in Glenview, to discuss some of the most pressing environmental issues facing Illinois.

I'm excited to be joined by speakers from the Environmental Law and Policy Center, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club.

This was an extremely well attended event last year so make sure to get there early to grab a seat. Please call my office at 847-568-1250 or email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions.

 

EnergyTownHallFlyer 1

Category: Press Releases

biss presser july 2015SPRINGFIELD — Substantial and detrimental changes to state-provided in-home or long-term care may be on the way under a new plan proposed by the governor.

If it is enacted, nearly 40,000 seniors enrolled in the Community Care Program alone will be forced out of their homes and into nursing home facilities.

To decide whether or not a person is eligible to receive services, such as a home health aide or admission to a nursing home, state agencies use a Determination of Need (DON) score. It’s a tool designed to assess the level and type of need in order to provide the best and most efficient care to older adults and persons with disabilities.

The governor has proposed raising the threshold citizens would need in order to receive care from state programs. With these changes in place, the minimum score to qualify for assistance would increase to 37 from 29. Many people who rely on these services to live and provide for their families are fearing for the future and the future of their families.

Read more: Tens of thousands forced from their homes, left without care

Category: Press Releases

serious floor 7 1SPRINGFIELD — Sen. Daniel Biss (D–Evanston) released a statement today in response to starting the new fiscal year without a state budget:

"Today we put an unnecessary and completely avoidable burden on our state workers, community service providers, and the most vulnerable Illinoisans -- indeed, on the whole state. When people lose their jobs, we can count on less state revenue to fund critical services, while more Illinoisans will need state services.

"As people are deprived of social services, we can expect to provide higher cost care such as emergency room visits and nursing home admittance, putting even greater pressure on our already diminishing revenues in addition to the real danger many will face without a safety net.

"This is not hypothetical. People lost their jobs today. People have already been told they can no longer get the services they depend on to make it from one day to the next. Without swift and meaningful action, we have failed our citizens, putting Illinois into a state of crisis.

"We need real leadership now more than ever. We need a leader who is interested in protecting the state and its citizens, not using the most vulnerable as human shields or a state of crisis as a bargaining chip. We needed leadership months ago. But today the state pays the price. I stand ready to work with anyone to resolve this responsibly and swiftly."

Category: Press Releases

Contact Me

District office:
3706 Dempster St.
Skokie, IL 60076
(847) 568-1250
(847) 568-1256 FAX

Springfield office:
417B Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-2119

Email:
senatorbiss@gmail.com

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