SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora, voted today to approve a balanced budget for 2018. If signed into law, it would end Illinois’ historically long budget impasse.


“Today, I voted for a solution,” Holmes said. “After more than two years without a budget, we finally have a plan that fully funds the services and grants that people rely on in the 42nd district and across the state.”


The budget fully funds programs including breast and cervical cancer screenings for underinsured women, domestic violence shelters, mental health programs and addiction treatment. Additionally, the budget reinstates grant programs, dedicating $4.3 million for autism support, $1 million for addiction prevention programs and $364 million for MAP grants.


Holmes emphasized that voting for the balanced budget is the responsible thing to do for Illinois, as it would put an end to a lengthy budget crisis that has created chaos across the state.


“This plan spends only as much as Governor Rauner had planned to spend in his budget proposals,” Holmes said. “Unlike Governor Rauner’s most recent proposal, it uses a combination of cuts and revenues to achieve balance. By approving this plan, we have done our part to give the people and businesses of Illinois the stability and certainty that they deserve.”


The Illinois Senate approved six measures that would implement and fund a budget for fiscal year 2018. The measures will now go to the House of Representatives for further review.

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SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate has approved legislation introduced by State Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora, to establish a task force investigating electronic notaries.


“With the technology that we have, it is worth looking into whether or not a person should need to see a notary in person anymore,” Holmes said. “This task force will look for inefficiencies in our current system and try to fix them with technology.”


Current Illinois law requires physical presence and proof of identity for individuals attempting to get a document notarized. The task force would investigate alternative verification methods including video or audio conference technology that are already in use elsewhere. The State of Virginia passed legislation allowing electronic notarization in 2015.


The legislation, Senate Bill 1459, has been approved by the Senate. It moves to the Illinois House of Representatives for further review and approval.

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SPRINGFIELD – For her efforts supporting and passing animal welfare bills, State Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora, was awarded this year’s Humane Society Legislator of the Year Award.


“It is an honor to receive this award,” Holmes said. “I am a lifelong lover of animals, so when I became a senator it was second nature to support legislation that protects animals.”


The Legislator of the Year Award is given to the General Assembly member who best advocates for the wellbeing of animals. Sen. Holmes has sponsored numerous animal welfare bills throughout her career. This year, she is sponsoring measures to ban elephants from traveling exhibitions, control feral cat populations and create adoption plans for research animals, as well as several others.


“On behalf of our members, supporters and allies in Illinois, we are proud of the animal protection initiatives that Senator Holmes has championed in our state” Humane Society of the United States Illinois State Director Marc Ayers said. “She is a leader bringing both sides together to achieve amazing advances in our movement and continues to support our efforts to protect companion animals and wildlife, among other important animal welfare protections.”


The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization. It provides hands-on care and services to more than 100,000 animals each year.

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SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora, has joined the Illinois General Assembly’s commission to audit government activity.

“As a public servant, I have always sought to make our state’s government more transparent,” Holmes said. “On the Legislative Audit Commission, I get to work with Democrat and Republican colleagues from the Senate and the House to root out waste, fraud and abuse. I take this opportunity very seriously and I look forward to getting started.”

The Legislative Audit Commission is a bipartisan group of twelve legislators from the Illinois Senate and House of Representatives. The commission oversees audits of state agencies, holds public hearings and makes recommendations to the General Assembly on how to correct weaknesses.

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