Senator Turner

SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to address the nursing shortage, State Senator Doris Turner championed a measure through the Senate that would bring back a much-needed program to give licensed nursing professionals more time to provide critical resident care.

“We have seen the impact the nursing shortage has left across the state and country,” said Turner (D-Springfield). “Ensuring our loved ones have the care they need is important, while also prioritizing the people caring for them. Nurses work long hours and this program can provide some relief while also uplifting them.”

Senate Bill 1779 would establish the Medication Aide Program to give licensed nursing professionals more time to provide critical resident care, while also heightening job satisfaction levels for nurses and offering a potential career path for Certified Nursing Assistants.

The Medication Aide Pilot Program was established during the 98th General Assembly, but expired June 30, 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the workforce shortage within long-term care facilities. Currently, 38 other states utilize medication aides as an integral part of their long-term care workforce.

“The passage of SB1779 is a crucial step in alleviating the staffing pressures long term care providers are experiencing in Illinois,” said Matt Hartman, Executive Director of Illinois Health Care Association. “This will allow registered nurses to focus on other more critical direct care concerns, create an important step on the career ladder for certified nursing assistants, and help to continue quality improvement in long term care centers across the state. IHCA is grateful for Senator Turner’s dedication to this and to the Senate as a whole for passing it from the chamber.”

Senate Bill 1779 passed the Senate and now heads to the House of Representatives.

Category: Press Releases

Senator Turner

SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to increase student safety, State Senator Doris Turner passed a measure through the Senate Transportation Committee Tuesday that would allow school busses to have two extended stop arms.

“When students are getting on or off a school bus, we have to prioritize their safety,” said Turner (D-Springfield). “Drivers often don’t take stopped school busses seriously. An extended arm would prevent drivers from putting students in danger.”

Senate Bill 2340 would allow a school bus to be equipped with a maximum of two stop arms that partially obstruct the roadway. The extensions would be required to be on the driver's side of the school bus and contain a system of flashing red lights.

According to a survey conducted by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services, 79,959 school bus drivers from around the country reported that 51,593 vehicles had illegally passed their buses on a single day during the 2021-2022 school year.

“It’s statistics like this that show us that there is a problem,” Turner said. “We have to ensure our kids can get to and from school safely.”

Senate Bill 2340 passed the Senate Transportation Committee and heads to the Senate floor for further consideration.

Category: Press Releases

Senator Turner sb1818

SPRINGFIELD – To promote public involvement and embody civic pride for Illinois, a measure spearheaded by State Senator Doris Turner that would create a commission to develop a new official state flag passed the Senate Thursday.

“History is living, breathing and ever evolving,” said Turner (D-Springfield). “We need to ensure government is evolving with the times so that people are engaged and a part of what is going on across the state.”

Senate Bill 1818 would create the Illinois Flag Commission to develop new state flag designs. The commission would make recommendations to the General Assembly deciding whether the current state flag should be replaced with a redesigned state flag by Sept. 1. If they decide the flag should be replaced, the commission would report recommendations to the General Assembly by Dec. 3, 2024.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources explains Illinois’ state flag history. There have been two official state flags – the first was adopted in 1915. The second was adopted in 1969, which did not change the original design of the flag but added “Illinois.”

In 2021, Utah passed a similar law creating the Utah State Flag Task Force which provided design toolkits to libraries, schools and other institutions. The task force received around 7,000 flag designs and over 44,000 public comments. According to Utah’s Department of Cultural and Community Engagement, students, educators, families and more were invited to participate in the process of choosing Utah’s new state flag.

“We need a flag that truly represents Illinois – a state with a strong workforce, an agriculture champion and so much more,” said Turner.

Senate Bill 1818 passed the Senate and heads to the House of Representatives.

Category: Press Releases

Senator Turner Committee 3.9

SPRINGFIELD –  To prioritize agricultural education experiences, State Senator Doris Turner passed a measure that would ensure schools consider students as being "in attendance" for a Future Farmers of America or 4-H program competition or exhibition through the Senate Education Committee Tuesday.

”I’m a strong supporter of ag education and I want students to be able to continue their education outside of the classroom,” said Turner (D-Springfield). “Hands on learning is essential for students to get the experience they need to understand the agriculture industry.”

Senate Bill 2132 would require schools to consider students as being "in attendance" if the student's absence is to participate in a FFA or 4-H program competition or exhibition.

Illinois FFA is a youth organization that prepares members for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. 4-H is the largest out-of-school youth organization across the state aimed at teaching practical skills to youth by offering lessons in communications, leadership, career development, livestock, home improvement and computer technology.

“These groups often participate in events like fairs and competitions that can conflict with school schedules,” Turner said. “As chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee and a member of the Senate Education Committee, I have seen and heard the hurdles students have faced. It’s time we let them learn through experiences without being jeopardized.”

Senate Bill 2132 passed the Senate Education Committee and heads to the full Senate for further consideration.

Category: Press Releases

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Office Info

Capitol Office:
108D Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-0228

Decatur Office:
1210 S. Jasper St.
Decatur, IL 62321
(217) 706-5311

Springfield Office:
725 North Grand Ave. E.
Springfield, IL 62702
(217) 670-1828

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