Inspired by her mother who was a physician right here in the 12th district, Sara grew up having a unique and up-front view of what access to health care truly meant to individuals and working families.
A commanding voice for women’s health, Sara stood up to special interests by passing legislation requiring insurance companies to cover routine mammograms, earning her an award from Susan B. Komen for the Cure, an organization committed to bringing survivors and activists together by raising awareness about breast cancer.
Sara passed the first stem cell research bill in Illinois to improve the quality of care for persons living with mental illness and developmental disabilities and to help find cures for juvenile diabetes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Passage of this legislation brought hundreds of scientists and new jobs to Illinois and put Illinois on the map as a magnet for private research dollars.
Sara is the Chair of the Human Services Appropriations Committee in the Illinois House which oversees $29 billion of our state budget. Sara works to improve the quality of life for countless Illinois residents and at the same time works toward efficient, cost effective health care delivery models.
A robust AIDS drug assistance program keeps people with HIV living healthy, productive lives and helps them return to the workplace. Sara fights for this program because of its
extraordinary impact on the people in her community living with HIV as well as the cost effectiveness.
A firm believer that health care is a right, Sara worked alongside then-State Senator Barack Obama to pass the Family Care Bill. An efficient and cost effective program, today Washington sends 65 cents back to Illinois for every dollar we spend.
Sara has always fought for mart spending and quality health care.
See what this Chicago Tribune letter has to say about Sara's dedication to quality health care.
The Illinois Environmental Council has consistently given Sara a 100% environmental voting record. A member of the Illinois General Assembly Environmental Caucus, Sara has passed legislation promoting environment-friendly building designs for new school construction, championed a bill that would bring Illinois in line with the federal Clean Car Act and co-sponsored the Smoke Free Illinois law.
Representing the lakefront, Sara is committed to protecting its natural resources, including preventing the dumping of toxic chemicals and preserving the flora and fauna that depend on the lake.
Sara supports investments in renewable energy, including wind, solar, biomass and geothermal, which will fuel green jobs creation and usher in a new era of energy independence. She also sponsored a law that allows food scraps to be composed commercially, passed legislation that requires government and school-owned diesel vehicles to be fueled by 2% biodiesel, and passed a law that will make it easier for homeowners to install solar panels.
Sara receives the consistent support of the Sierra Club for her efforts to protect the environment.
Sara has been an outspoken and progressive leader on civil rights issues affecting the LGBT community in Illinois. She supports full marriage equality for same sex couples and is also a sponsor of legalizing civil unions. She has consistently sponsored hate crimes legislation to prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Sara is the leading advocate of the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), which provides lifesaving prescription drugs and treatment for individuals living with AIDS/HIV. She worked to clarify existing legislation regarding the Illinois Cares Rx prescription drug program to help Illinois residents reap the full benefits of the ADAP program.
Women's health and access to a full array of services is the driving force behind Sara's legislative agenda. Sara was the chief sponsor of the Contraceptive Equity Law, requiring insurance companies that offer prescriptions to also pay for contraceptives. Sara led the charge on breast and cervical cancer screening and treatment in Illinois, guaranteeing that insurance companies pay for mammograms for women over the age of 40.
She has championed legislation to codify the central tenets of Roe v. Wade and guarantees women’s access to prenatal care, information about adoption, and coverage for screening and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases.
This year, she authored legislation that would have required insurance companies to cover maternity care and would prevent women from being denied coverage based on pregnancy as a pre-existing condition; this provision was later incorporated into the federal healthcare plan.
Sara has repeatedly stood up for women in the workplace and fought to pass Illinois’ equal pay for equal work law.
At the top of Sara’s agenda is an economic recovery plan that will put Illinoisans back to work and put the state budget back on track. Sara supports a responsible state budget that will include long-term reform measures, cuts in unnecessary spending, reviews of state contracts and tax restructuring. Having voted against the FY 10 budget plan, she opposes quick fixes that compound the state’s financial woes.
This year, Sara served on a legislative panel on McPier convention industry reform, prompting a bill that drastically overhauls operations at McCormick Place and Navy Pier. These reforms eliminate exuberant costs and red tape for Chicago-based conventions at a time in which many have flocked to more affordable, hassle-free cities. This legislation will revive the once thriving convention tourism industry and bring tourism dollars back to the state. The 12th district’s many unique restaurants, shops, theaters, and attractions benefit greatly from the influx of conventions that come to Chicago.
In the Illinois House, Sara sponsored the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a tax credit that benefited thousands of low-income, working families by allowing them to keep a larger portion of their wages. She is a supporter of the 7% property tax cap to protect homeowners from skyrocketing property tax increases.
Enough is enough.
Illinois residents have endured everything from public contracts to U.S. Senate seats up for sale to the highest bidder with egos and personal agendas trumping the public interest.
Sara strongly believes that gamesmanship in Springfield must end. Instead, she focuses on solving problems and getting things done with her colleagues in Springfield, no matter what their party affiliation.
Sara fought to end pay-to-play politics by sponsoring a measure prohibiting anyone with a state contract worth more than $50,000 from making campaign contributions to officeholders who oversee the awarding of the contract.
Sara also passed legislation to prevent elected officials convicted of felonies related to their official duties from being appointed or running for office again and supported placing a constitutional amendment on the November 2 ballot that would allow public recall of the governor.
In order to curb the influence of special interests, Sara supported legislation that imposed campaign contribution limits for the first time in Illinois history. She supports further restrictions on contributions made by leadership and political parties and will to support measures that lessen the influence of special interests and money in politics.
Sara has been recognized by the Illinois Committee For Honest Government for her commitment to transparency in government.
Sara knows that some of the best public schools in Illinois are right here in the 12th district. Having seen firsthand the difference that parents, educators, and the community can make in improving education, Sara's commitment is to public neighborhood schools. She believes that public dollars belong in public schools and reaffirms her unwavering commitment to bettering the public education system.
Sara believes that an important component of education reform is providing educators and schools with the resources they need to best educate our students - this is why Sara has consistently voted for increased funding that would boost after school programs, keep teachers in the classroom, and provide funds to local school councils. She has co-sponsored bills to increase levels of per-student funding and increase health care reimbursements for teachers.
A believer in the benefits of public charter schools, Sara voted to expand the charter school system in Chicago.
Sara also knows that prioritizing all levels of education in Illinois is also important to attracting business and jobs. Any state that maintains the highest educational standards and encourages innovation is more likely to produce a highly educated, well-prepared workforce with the most up to date training. These students will then comprise an attractive hiring pool for businesses.
Sara has long been regarded as a champion for aging Illinoisans.
Guided by her constituents sharing their concerns about premature admission into nursing homes, Sara has worked hard to ensure that seniors are able to age in their home with dignity by providing 15 to 20 hours of visiting home care services. As the Chair of the Human Services Appropriations Committee, Sara was instrumental in expanding the Community Care Program - a market driven, cost-effective home care program.
Sara was a leading sponsor and proponent of nursing home reform that will make homes safer for residents by increasing staff, enhance the screening and admissions process, and transfer mentally ill patients into community-based services.
Sara will continue to fight for legislation that protects older workers from age discrimination and will continue to secure affordable senior housing options.
- 3023 N. Clark St., #785, Chicago, IL 60657