APRIL 2014

Dear Neighbor,


With Spring upon us, our office has much to share with our readers regarding activity in Springfield. More locally, we also wanted to give you an update on mandated fire sprinklers in Illinois. 


If you have yet to sign the Lakefront Coalition for Responsible Fire Sprinkler Policy petitionplease do so. It is important that we reach a critical mass with signatures so we can send a loud and clear message that a statewide mandate is bad public policy. 


As always, if I can be of any assistance regarding state issues or programs, please do not hesitate to contact me at my district office at 773-296-4141, email me at sara@staterepsara.com, or visit my website at www.staterepsara.com.


Very truly yours,



Sara Feigenholtz

State Representative

12th District

Chicago Municipal Pensions - SB 1922
Makes a number of reforms to Chicago's Municipal Employees' Annuity and Benefit Fund (MEABF) and Laborers' Annuity and Benefit Fund (LABF), including increased employer and employee contributions, increased retirement ages, COLA adjustments, and funding obligations. The property tax increase that was in the original bill was removed before it passed the House.

Ridesharing Regulations - HB 4075
Creates new regulations on ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft. Despite my opposition, the bill passed through the House. Innovative and reliable transportation methods are crucial for thousands of people that rely on ridesharing every day. I am eager to work with ridesharing companies in the future on alternative ways to develop sensible, effective regulations that keep riders happy, safe, and well-serviced.

Pregnancy Accommodations in the Workplace - HB 8
Requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees. It also makes it a civil rights violation if employment opportunities are denied to women because of pregnancy.

Voter Rights Protection - HJRCA0052
Proposes to amend the Suffrage and Elections Article of the Constitution. It provides that no person shall be denied the right to register to vote or to cast a ballot in an election based on race, color, ethnicity, status as a member of a language minority, sex, sexual orientation, or income. This measure reinforces Illinois' commitment to the Voter Rights Act of 1965, despite recent pushes in other states to restrict voting rights. 

Cyberbullying Prevention - HB 4207
Seeks to help local school districts develop further policies and procedures to address and prevent the issue of cyberbullying. 
Creates the Office of the Condominium and Community Interest Community Ombudsperson, an independent office to offer training and educational materials and courses to condominium unit owners and condominium associations.
Takes aim at one of the root causes of the major adoption issue of rehoming and limits forced custody relinquishment for mental health services.

Expands a scholarship program for youth under the care of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), youth who aged out of care at age 18 or older, or youth formerly under care who have been adopted or are in a guardianship placement. These scholarships greatly increase opportunities for these youth to attend and finish their post-secondary education. 

Ensures that alcohol servers in Cook County have basic training in responsible alcohol service and handling. Under HB5926, the State Liquor Commission will develop training modules and certificate programs focused on all aspects of responsible alcohol service, including: spotting signs of intoxication, preventing DUIs, stopping underage sales and underage drinking, and creating safer communities where alcohol is served.  

To view a full list of bills I have introduced and check on their status, please visit the ILGA website

In the past three weeks, over 3200 people have signed my Lakefront Coalition for Responsible Fire Sprinkler Policy petition. Thank you to everyone who has demonstrated their support for more transparency and public input on the issue of fire sprinklers in Illinois.

I still need your help. The best way for you to help this bill pass into law is to sign on to my petition, explain your concerns, and share this information with your friends, family, neighbors, and associations, and 

encourage them to urge their State Representatives and State Senators to support this bill.


Click here to sign on to the Lakefront Coalition for Responsible Fire Sprinkler Policy Petiton, and share the information with others. 


Thank you for your support!

HB 4609

As you probably remember from my last newsletter, I introduced House Bill 4609 last month. The bill is a measure to ensure that any potential changes to state fire sprinkler laws are created with more transparency and deliberation from experts. The bill makes it the responsibility of the elected General Assembly, not the State Fire Marshal and JCAR, to adopt any rules requiring the installation of fire sprinklers in any structure.


Due to a huge surge of community support, the bill passed out of the State Government Administration Committee hearing on March 26 and will soon be called for a vote in the General Assembly.


Below is a link to a short podcast with audio recordings from the committee hearing on March 26 regarding HB 4609. If you need further evidence of the State Fire Marshal's intentions for a fire sprinkler mandate, I encourage you to listen at 4:09.



Illinois State Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis was very clear in his remarks that a fire sprinkler mandate is his ultimate goal.


However, in this recent Chicago Tribune article, the Fire Marshal was quoted as saying, "I'm not changing the fire code. I'm leaving it as it is now, and I have no timeline to change that code. I am not going to hurt people in condos on the North Side."


The Fire Marshal just can't seem to clarify his position. The people of Chicago deserve clear answers and assurances that a sudden, unfunded mandate for fire sprinklers will never happen again. 


Until this issue is resolved, we will continue to build our Lakefront Coalition for Responsible Fire Sprinkler Policy.


I will continue to keep you informed of new developments and ways you can help in the future. 


Our area has one of the highest concentrations of condominiums and high-rises in the city. If you are a condominium owner or member of an association who wants to learn more about holding your neighbors accountable, effective communication methods, and ensuring your association is running effectively, join us for a Condo 101 Workshop this Thursday evening. 

Please RSVP by calling our office at 773-296-4141 or email me at sara@staterepsara.com

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