BUFFALO GROVE – To help begin to repair Black and Brown communities after nearly a century of housing discrimination, State Senator Adriane Johnson (D-Buffalo Grove) has sponsored a measure to give Illinois homeowners a path to remove racist language from their property deeds.

052120210097“Restrictive covenants have a long and painful history in the U.S., and it’s time that we finally rid our systems of the remnants of this racist practice,” Johnson said. “The antiquated language contained in many property records can be offensive and even harmful to today’s communities—homeowners should have an avenue to eliminate it once and for all.”

The legislation would allow individuals, condominium associations, unit owners’ associations and other property owners to remove language for unlawful restrictive covenants from recorded property interests, including deeds to property, by submitting a request to the local county recorder.

Under Johnson’s plan, the recorder could charge a fee of no more than $10 for filing a restrictive covenant modification.

Starting in the 1920s and continuing throughout the mid-20th century, the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) actively segregated metropolitan areas, guaranteeing bank loans for the construction and development of suburbs on the condition that the sale of the homes in that suburb be restricted by race. Deeds to these homes also included racial restrictive covenants prohibiting resale of the home to people of a certain race.

In 1948 the Supreme Court deemed all racial restrictive covenants unenforceable. Despite this ruling, developers and realtors continued to include racial restrictive covenants in deeds until 1968, when the FHA outlawed these covenants altogether.

“Racial covenants are no longer enforceable, but the language lingers in many of our property records, potentially encouraging racist sentiments,” Johnson said. “Striking these discriminatory provisions from our records would show we are committed to undoing the historical harms done to Black and Brown communities.”

House Bill 58 passed the Senate Thursday with bipartisan support.

Category: Press Release

BUFFALO GROVE – The Waukegan community will see nearly $9.5 million in improvements to roads, sidewalks and bridges over the next year, and millions of dollars more will fund projects in surrounding areas, State Senator Adriane Johnson (D-Buffalo Grove) announced Monday.

Construction training“For too long, our infrastructure has suffered from historic underinvestment, threatening the safety and security of our community,” Johnson said. “These funds will go toward revitalizing our roads, creating jobs and boosting growth in the area.”

Residents can expect a number of upgrades in the community, including a $2.8 million project to improve a 2.31-mile stretch of Genesee Street, from Belvidere Road to Buckley Road in Waukegan and North Chicago. In addition to repaving, the repairs will make street crossings safer and easier for people in wheelchairs or who otherwise have limited mobility.

The improvements are part of the Illinois Department of Transportation’s multi-year plan to maintain and expand Illinois’ transportation infrastructure. Other area projects scheduled for the upcoming year include bridge replacements on Belvidere Road and Greenwood Avenue.

IDOT also announced over $7.7 million for improvements in Vernon Hills and $2.8 million for Park City, including a $2.3 million bridge rehabilitation project on Washington Street.

Riverwoods, Beach Park, Mundelein, Long Grove, Gurnee and other surrounding communities are slated for millions of dollars more in improvements by 2027.

“Good infrastructure is key to easier commutes, more tourism opportunities and enhanced economic activity,” Johnson said. “I’m thrilled to see these construction projects begin soon.”

IDOT’s full multi-year plan is available at IDOT.Illinois.gov.

Category: Press Release

SPRINGFIELD – School districts could move forward from the pandemic without worrying about funding cuts due to temporary low enrollment under a measure sponsored by State Senator Adriane Johnson (D-Buffalo Grove), which has passed both chambers of the Illinois legislature.

04212021CM0669“Our teachers and administrators worked overtime to adapt to remote and hybrid learning during the COVID-19 crisis,” Johnson said. “To cut their funding now would be to pull the rug out from under them just when they are beginning to recover.”

Currently, the school funding formula uses average student enrollment over the previous three school years to determine the amount of money districts receive. To lessen the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on schools’ budgets, Johnson’s legislation would allow school districts to calculate their average student enrollment based on pre-COVID levels.

Under the measure, districts could choose to use attendance records from the 2019-20 or the 2020-21 school year, whichever is greater, in their funding formulas to ensure they don’t lose out on crucial dollars as a result of the temporary drop in attendance some schools experienced during the pandemic.

“For many kids, school was a lifeline to the outside world during the pandemic,” Johnson said. “It’s important that our districts don’t miss out on a single cent as they make the transition back to the classroom.”

Senate Bill 813, an initiative of Waukegan School District #60, passed the Senate in April with bipartisan support and advanced out of the House Thursday with a vote of 75-39.

Category: Press Release

SPRINGFIELD – In a victory for northern Illinoisans with mental illnesses and their families, a plan proposed by State Senator Adriane Johnson (D-Buffalo Grove) to eliminate barriers to mental health care access has passed both houses of the Illinois government.

04142021CM03381“For many patients, being able to stay connected with loved ones during care can mean a faster recovery and a smoother transition to life after treatment,” Johnson said. “The passage of this measure is great news for northern Illinois residents, who will now be able to receive care at a location that’s more convenient for them and their families.”

The legislation would create the Interstate Contracts for Mental Health Disorder Treatment Act, allowing Illinois and Wisconsin residents who are involuntarily admitted for inpatient treatment of a mental health disorder to be treated at private facilities across state lines.

For residents who live near the border of Illinois and Wisconsin, the closest qualified hospital or facility is often not in their home state. However, current law prohibits residents from being committed for mental health conditions outside the state, meaning that these residents must undergo treatment hours from family and loved ones.

Similar collaborative arrangements have been successfully enacted in Michigan, Iowa and Minnesota, which allow providers in these states to accept patients from Wisconsin for mental health treatment.

“Expanding access to mental health treatment means making it easier for people to receive care that fits their needs,” Johnson said. “Part of that is allowing patients to seek treatment within their own communities.”

Senate Bill 1966 passed the House and Senate with unanimous support.

Category: Press Release

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