Illinois State Senator Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago) refused to vote on measures last week that outright broke promises the state has made to public employees. 

“Both Senate Bill 1 and Senate Bill 35 were inadequate in protecting the public employees and working families of Illinois,” said Sandoval, a member of the Senate Licensed Activities and Pensions Committee. “Both of the proposals would strip benefits from workers who were made a promise when they were hired. Working families rely on their pensions to one day be able to retire, and under the measures proposed last week the state would deny those promises.”

Sandoval-RTACFOThe Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) announced the hiring of Bea Reyna-Hickey as the agency's Chief Financial Officer who will oversee the Finance and Performance Management Department. Senate Transportation Chairman Martin Sandoval (D-11) met with Reyna-Hickey at his Springfield office to lay common ground for pending mass transit projects.

Sandoval said Reyna-Hickey’s extensive financial management background and her proven track record in achieving efficiencies and optimizing performance are superbly suited to benefit the region’s transit system.  

Prior to joining the transit agency, Reyna-Hickey served the public in a variety of progressively responsible positions for over 27 years. 

"I am pleased to have Bea join the executive team to lead in further advancing the strategic priorities initiative," said Sandoval. "I look forward to working with Bea, the RTA Board and staff to make financially sound choices benefiting mass transit in northeastern Illinois.”

Senator Sandoval represents the 11th Senate District, which includes the neighborhoods of Brighton Park, Clearing, Gage Park, Garfield Ridge, Little Village, West Lawn, and West Cook municipalities of Bedford Park, Burbank, Cicero, Forest View, Lyons, McCook, Stickney, Summit and Riverside.

Sandoval-SB26El Senador Estatal Martín Sandoval, presidente de la Comisión de Transporte del Senado, copatrocinó la iniciativa SB 26 que permitirá que 340 mil residentes adultos con ingresos de 15,415.00 dólares, o inferiores, puedan recibir cuidados a la salud a través del programa Medicaid.

“El año pasado, la Asamblea General, demócratas y republicanos, aprobaron recortes de 2 mil 700 millones de dólares al programa Medicaid, dejando a miles de latinos, blancos, y afroamericanos de bajos ingresos sin servicio médico. Esto ocurrió un momento en que perdieron sus trabajos y sus hogares por la recesión económica. Por eso me opuse vehementemente a esos recortes y voté en contra”, dijo Sandoval.

“Por eso hoy apoyo e impulso esta nueva medida que permitirá que cientos de miles de personas accedan a servicios médicos. De hecho, casi el 20 por ciento de los posibles beneficiarios son de origen latino, tan sólo en mi distrito viven cerca de 19 mil de ellos”, dijo el Senador Sandoval.

La extensión de elegibilidad del programa Medicaid aprobada por el Senado de Illinois SB 26, por 40 votos a favor y 19 en contra, fue enviada a la Cámara de Representantes para su consideración.

Los fondos que financiarán esta medida provienen del gobierno federal. “En estos días no recibimos muchas cosas del Gobierno o del Congreso federal, por eso hay que aprovechar este financiamiento que beneficiará a muchísimos residentes del estado”, dijo Sandoval durante su discurso de apoyo a esta legislación en el pleno del Senado.

A continuación  se detallan algunos de los criterios de elegibilidad de la expansión del programa Medicaid, de acuerdo con la recién aprobada iniciativa SB 26.

• Todos los adultos con ingresos del 138 por ciento del nivel de la pobreza determinado por el gobierno federal ($15,415.00 por individuo) o con menores ingresos, podrán enrolarse en el Medicaid a partir del 1 de enero del 2014. Actualmente, los adultos sólo son elegibles para Medicaid si sufren de incapacidad o si tienen niños que dependen de ellos.
• El gobierno federal reembolsará a Illinois el 100 por ciento del costo de la cobertura de los nuevos elegibles hasta el 2017.
• El nivel de reembolso federal se reducirá gradualmente después del 2017 hasta alcanzar el piso de 90 por ciento del costo después del 2020.
• Si el gobierno federal no reembolsa el 90 por ciento o más del costo de estos nuevos beneficiados al Medicaid, las personas que enrolaron el programa bajo esta medida perderán su elegibilidad y el estado de Illinois no estará forzado a cubriendo los gastos.

• Llegará una entrada masiva de 1,100 millones de dólares en el primer año de implementación a Illinois, y más de 12 mil millones de dólares en los primeros ocho años de la expansión del Medicaid.
• El estado ahorrará 105 millones anuales gracias a que el gobierno federal cubrirá los gastos estatales por conceptos de salud mental, medicamentos para tratar el HIV/SIDA y otros renglones de gastos.
• Se reducirá la carga en los hospitales que dan cuidados y tratamiento a los pacientes sin seguro médico (mayormente en las salas de emergencia).
• Se contará con un mejor cuidado preventivo  y una mejor atención a la salud mental entre segmentos vulnerables de la población.

Senator Sandoval represents the 11th Senate District, which includes the neighborhoods of Brighton Park, Clearing, Gage Park, Garfield Ridge, Little Village, West Lawn, and West Cook municipalities of Bedford Park, Burbank, Cicero, Forest View, Lyons, McCook, Stickney, Summit and Riverside.

New buses offer increased efficiency and comfort for riders

SANDOVAL-SERPICO-PACEMelrose Park, Illinois – In mid-December, the first of the newest line of Pace buses were placed into service in the western suburbs, operated by Pace’s West Division in Melrose Park. On Friday, Illinois Senator Martin Sandoval and Melrose Park Mayor Ron Serpico joined Pace officials in welcoming the buses to the agency’s fleet.

Sandoval, who serves as chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, looked over the buses and took a tour of the garage, learning about Pace’s GPS-based dispatch system that helps to maintain on-time performance but can also provide critical information to first responders in the event of an emergency on a bus. “It’s always good to come out to a facility like this to see how the money that we, as a state, invest in services like Pace to help the people that rely on them,” said Sandoval.

The new buses are 40 feet in length and seat 37 people, or 31 when up to two mobility devices are on board. The buses have a low floor to ease boarding and exiting and feature a ramp that can be deployed for use by people with wheelchairs or other mobility devices. Manufactured in Riverside, California, the ElDorado Axxess model has a number of cutting-edge safety features including audible turn signals to provide an additional alert to pedestrians that the bus is preparing to turn, and security cameras. The buses are equipped with a system that can provide wi-fi access to riders, though it is expected to be activated at a later time. The buses are powered by diesel engines but are outfitted with emissions control systems that filter soot and other particles from the exhaust.

The buses are already in use in the area covered by Pace West Division, which includes western Cook and eastern DuPage counties. Communities include Cicero, Oak Park, Forest Park, Maywood, Oak Brook, Elmhurst, Melrose Park and many others. West Division employs approximately 270 people, including roughly 255 bus operators and maintenance personnel.


PHOTO: Senator Martin Sandoval (D-Cicero) - Chairman of the Transportation Committee in the Illinois Senate (second from the right) and Melrose Park Mayor Ron Serpico (left of Sandoval) joined Pace officials in welcoming the buses to the agency’s fleet

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Office Info

Springfield Office:
Senator 12th District
111 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706

District Office:
5807 W. 35th Street
Cicero, IL 60804