December, 2014

Dear Neighbor,


As 2014 comes to an end, let's look back on some of our legislative accomplishments with an eye on issues we'll be working on in 2015. Below are some pictures that capture highlights of this year's community activities in the 12th District. 


L: Our annual women's health fair was a hit and the Junior League makes a killer smoothie!; R: It is always great connecting with our older population. Cheers to yet another successful senior health fair. 

This year, we passed a broader telehealth services bill designed to address the issue of healthcare access for people in underserved areas of Illinois. These services are rapidly changing the way healthcare is delivered, especially in areas with physician shortages.

L: Rep. Feigenholtz joins Senate President Cullerton and Rep. Greg Harris to address concerned allied health care professionals; 
R: Rep. Feigenholtz with former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy, Mariel Hemmingway, Brandon Marshal and Peter O'Brien at The Kennedy Forum Illinois launch (Photo by: Stoptime 341 Productions).

In 2014, I joined former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy, Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall, Mariel Hemmingway and our very own restaurateur Peter O'Brien in launching The Kennedy Forum Illinois--  a new initiative that brings business and civic leaders together with philanthropists to raise awareness to end the stigma attached to mental illness and substance abuse. 

With more than 700,000 Illinoisans gaining health care coverage in 2013-2014, it's time to focus on improving mental illness and substance abuse awareness and treatment in our state. 




L: Governor Quinn celebrates with Rep. Feigenholtz at the screening of "A Simple Piece of Paper" along with one happy constituent who obtained her original birth certificate; R: Siblings embrace on the fourth anniversary of original birth certificates for adult adoptees being signed into law. 


More than 8,000 community members in the 12th District and across Chicago signed our Lakefront Coalition for Responsible Fire Sprinkler Policy petition. With your help, we, along with Senate President Cullerton and other elected officials were able to reach an agreement with the Illinois State Fire Marshal to receive assurance that any future fire sprinkler proposals will be considered with full transparency and open discussion.



L: Rep. Feigenholtz brings community members and condo lawyers together to address condo-related questions and issues; R: Sima Kirsch joins community members for our second installation of Condo 101



Legislation creating the Office of the Condominium and Community Ombudsperson, which I co-sponsored, successfully passed both houses of the legislature and is now on the Governor's desk for consideration. After years of  routine calls to our office from condominium owners, the law creating the Office aims to assist condo owners, boards and associations, help resolve disputes between owners and associations, and provide educational tools for best practices. 



L: Rep. Feigenholtz joins U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, U.S. Rep Mike Quigley, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Ald. Tom Tunney for the grand opening of Town Hall Apartments; R: Town Hall Apartments, the first LGBTQ-friendly senior affordable housing in the Midwest (3600 N. Halsted)

In June, marriage equality extended to every corner of our state.  On the housing front, I joined local elected officials and community members for the grand opening of Town Hall Apartments in Lakeview, the first LGBTQ-friendly affordable senior housing facility in the Midwest. 

Recently, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled the new bipartisan pension reform bill unconstitutional. This measure addressed  many of our state's pressing financial issues including its $100B unfunded pension liability. These solutions were not perfect, but they were critical in sparing devastating cuts to education, public safety, care for seniors, veterans and healthcare. Our office is monitoring this issue closely. Continue to stay tuned in for updates on appeals and other solutions.




L: Rep. Feigenholtz participates in Ice Bucket Challenge; R: Rep. Feigenholtz delivers soy crayons to neighborhood students. 

To muster support and raise awareness for ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease), our office took the "Ice Bucket Challenge" to the next level by creating an online fundraising challenge calling community members and friends to contribute to valuable research for ALS. With your help, we were able to donate $1,100 to the Les Turner ALS Foundation, one of the nation's largest independent ALS organizations based in Chicago. Thank you all who pledged your support to contribute to meaningful research-- brrrrr!




L: We delivered backpacks to local public schools just in time for the new school year; R: Rep. Feigenholtz speaks to congratulate Nettelhorst Elementary's class of 2014. Way to go, guys!



Supporting our students is critical in fostering a productive school year and overall student readiness. This year, we delivered backpacks to every public school in our community and nearly 1,000 soy-based crayons to schools most in need. A big thank you to all of our donors for supporting our neighborhood schools. A special thanks to the Illinois Soybean Association for their generous crayon donation. 


There is more work to be done as 2015 approaches and the 99th General Assembly begins, however it is important to recap and highlight this year's accomplishments with you. 


Moving forward, we must continue to monitor the courts as the pension reform bill winds throughthe judicial branch of the Illinois government. At the same time, we will focus on revenue reform and budgetary matters as the temporary income tax expires on January 1, 2015. 


We look forward to keeping you apprised on matters important to you as the 99th General Assembly is seated on January 14. 

From our office to you, we wish you and your families a joyous holiday season and a prosperous New Year. As always, if you have questions or comments on matters regarding the State of Illinois, contact us via email or by phone at (773)-296-4141. Also be sure to check us out on  Facebook and Twitter for community updates and events. 

 Happy holidays, 


Sara Feigenholtz

State Representative

12th District

Ridesharing (HB 4075): The veto on this bill was upheld. This means that Uber and other ridesharing companies across Illinois will continue to operate without unfair restrictions.
A very minor clean-up bill passed unanimously, which addressed safety and insurance concerns. It requires transportation companies to maintain insurance for drivers with passengers. 

Minimum Wage (HB 4377):  Mayor Emanuel and the Chicago City Council approved a $13/hour wage increase by 2019. This creates a slightly tipped playing field against Chicago businesses until we return to Springfield and try to level it off statewide when the 99th General Assembly convenes in January 2015. 

Condominium Ombudsperson (HB 4204): The final passage passage of this bill is now on the Governor's desk, awaiting his signature.  This bill creates the Office of the Condominium and Community Ombudsperson, which will assist condo owners and associations on condo law in Illinois, and serve as a resource for questions and/or concerns. Contact Governor Quinn today urging him to sign HB 4204 by calling 217-782-0244!

Condominium Assessments (SB 2664): This not-quite-so-ready-for-prime time bill 
would have a measure that would have put the burden of paying off foreclosures, special assessments, and legal fees on the backs of current unit owners. Thanks to the heavy lifting you did, the veto stands.