silverstein-budg-reax-021815Today I made the following statement after the budget address from the governor:

“Governor Rauner’s budget address was premised on deep cuts to Illinois, including seniors. I am particularly disturbed by his cuts to programs that assist our elderly. The Community Cares Program keeps seniors in their homes and out of long-term care environments. His plan reduces eligibility, which will cut seniors from the program.

“The additional proposed cuts to Medicaid and mental health programs would also harm many senior citizens, whose health challenges may extend beyond simply aging.

“I cannot see how the governor proposes these destructive cuts while having called for a more compassionate Illinois.”

handcuffsSPRINGFIELD – The choking death of 43-year-old Eric Garner by NYPD officers has led police departments, cities and states to review how and why police use force. State Senator Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) recently introduced a proposal to restrict police from using chokeholds.

“Every day, police officers put themselves in harm’s way maintaining order and protecting our families. This plan helps guarantee that police have clear guidelines for when and how they use force,” Silverstein said.

In addition to restricting chokeholds, the proposal limits how police use other tactics that restrict a person’s breathing. Officers would be restricted from positioning suspects so their breathing is reduced unless necessary to overcome resistance and obtain control of a person or to protect themselves or others from injury.

Police would also need to monitor an arrestee and seek medical attention if needed.

The proposed law does allow officers to perform chokeholds in cases where deadly force is justified.

Chicago aldermen introduced a similar proposal last month.

The plan, Senate Bill 65, now awaits debate in the Senate.

Rabbi Moshe Francis delivers inaugural benediction

ira-rabbi-inaugSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) welcomed Rabbi Moshe Francis and his wife Zelda to the Capitol on Wednesday. Rabbi Francis gave the benediction during the Illinois Senate Inauguration and the convening of the 99th General Assembly.

“Rabbi Francis is a gifted, dedicated Talmudic scholar and educator. I am honored that he accepted our invitation and gave a heartfelt benediction,” Silverstein said.

Rabbi Francis is a co-founder and Rosh Kollel of the Chicago Community Kollel, a nationally renowned educational institution. He is also a published author and community leader.

Silverstein condemns Paris violence

CHICAGO – Beginning Wednesday when gunmen killed 12 people during an attack on the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo, violence in Paris continued Friday.

While police have reportedly killed the two suspects from Wednesday’s attack during a hostage crisis in a warehouse north of Paris, at least four people have died as a result of a second hostage situation.

Another gunman, believed to be connected to the Charlie Hebdo attackers, took hostages at a kosher supermarket in Paris. Authorities ended the second situation and news sources have reported that four hostages were killed, another four were seriously injured but 15 were unharmed.

State Senator Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) issued the following statement responding to the violence in Paris:

Terrorism and violence of any kind is deplorable, appalling and wholly unacceptable in the modern world. The fact that this attack was religiously motivated only heightens is awfulness.

An appreciation for the freedom of speech and religious diversity needs to thrive in order to counter this violence and bring peace.

My thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ families and the people of Paris.

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