Six terms as an Illinois State Representative
Susana Mendoza was honored to serve the people of the 1st District for six terms (over 10 years) as their State Representative.
Below are some of the highlights, accolades, and honors from Susana Mendoza’s time as a State Representative (2001 to 2011).
HIGHLIGHTS AS A STATE REPRESENTATIVE
- Served as Co-Chairperson of the Conference of Women Legislators and twice served as an Illinois delegate to the Democratic National Convention (DNC).
- Co-founded the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus.
- Named a Crain’s Chicago Business, 40 Under 40 Honoree in 2004.
- Selected by Robin Read, former President & CEO of the National Foundation for Women Legislators, at the behest of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as one of only seven women nationally to travel to Iraq as an international observer of the Iraqi elections held on March 7, 2010. Watch videos of Susana’s trip to Iraq on YouTube.
- Chosen by the U.S. Department of State as part of its Professional Speaker’s Program in an effort to promote democracy and leadership in the countries of Uganda, Tanzania, Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Venezuela and Chile.
- Appointed Chairman of the Illinois International Trade and Commerce Committee.
Throughout her 10+ years in the Illinois General Assembly, Susana was a strong advocate for the people of Illinois and developed an impressive record of legislative accomplishments.
Here is a small sampling of some of Susana’s favorite House Bills (HB) and Senate Bills (SB) that she sponsored.
- SB 3695 Cracks Down on Gang Members Where it Hurts Them… in their Wallets
In addition to any other penalty imposed, a fine of $100 shall be imposed upon a person convicted of any violation of the Criminal Code of 1961 who was, at the time of the commission of the violation, a street gang member.
- SB 2026 Provides Eavesdropping Devices for Hostage or Barricade Situations
This bill provides that any law enforcement officer or individual acting on behalf of a law enforcement officer may use an eavesdropping camera or audio device during an ongoing hostage or barricade situation, when necessary, to protect the safety of the general public, hostages, or law enforcement officers or anyone acting on their behalf.
- HB 562 Amended the Humane Care for Animals Act and the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act
Studies show that there is a direct correlation between animal abuse and child abuse. This law provides that an animal control officer, Department of Agriculture investigator, or humane society investigator with reasonable cause to suspect or believe that a child is being abused or neglected or is in danger of being abused or neglected must immediately make a written or oral report to the Department of Children and Family Services. In the same vein, Investigation Specialists, Intact Family Specialists, and Placement Specialists employed by the Department of Children and Family Services must immediately report suspected animal abuse or neglect to the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Animal Health and Welfare.
- HB 3587 Saved Over 3,000 Teaching Jobs in the State of Illinois
Prior to the passage of HB 3587, qualified legal U.S. resident teachers were losing their teaching certificates and jobs because of an antiquated law that required them to become U.S. citizens within six years of earning their teaching certificates. Our bureaucratic red-taped immigration system makes it practically impossible to meet this six year timeline. This law allows applicants and current legal U.S. resident immigrant teachers to file a letter with the Board of Education stating their intent to become U.S. citizens within 10 years of their certification date or at their earliest legal opportunity, ensuring that they keep their job and that we never compromise our children’s education.
- SB 1400 Created the Illinois School Breakfast Program
Prior to the passage of SB 1400, many children in poor communities were going to school with empty stomachs, making it incredibly difficult for them to focus in class. Working with the Illinois Hunger Coalition, Susana sponsored and worked tirelessly to secure the votes necessary to provide free breakfast to any child attending an Illinois school where 40% or more of the students are eligible for free or reduced lunches.
- HB 152 Created the Continuity of Patient Care for Immunosuppressant Drugs Act
This law ensured that a health insurance policy or health care service plan contract that covers immunosuppressant (anti-rejection medication) drugs may not limit, reduce, or deny coverage of immunosuppressant drugs if prior to the limitation, reduction, or denial of coverage the insured was using the drug and was covered under the policy or contract and the drug was covered under the policy or contract. This bill was critically important in providing peace of mind and stable drug regimens to recipients of organ transplants. Susana firmly believes that your doctor should make the decisions regarding what your best medical treatment plan is…not the big insurance companies.
- SB 3710 Created the Angel Investor Tax Credit in Illinois
Susana understands the importance of creating jobs and investing in emerging tech industries, particularly in the area of biotechnology. Her angel tax credit language was passed in 2010 and resulted in increased investments in Illinois start-up biotech companies.
ACCOLADES AND HONORS
- Legislator of the Year Award
From the Illinois Bankers Association for her commitment to supporting local businesses and consumers.
- John W. Maitland Award for Public Service
From the Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization (iBio) for her unwavering aid in the development of biotechnology for the State of Illinois.
- Outstanding Legislator Award
From the Illinois State’s Attorneys Association for her dedication to the Illinois criminal justice system.
- Chairman’s Award
From the Metropolitan Enforcement Group (MEG) & Taskforce Commanders’ Association for her legislative support for the Narcotics officers in the State of Illinois.
- Public Official of the Year
From the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) for her legislative support in Springfield.
- Bishop Shell Award
From the Illinois State Crime Commission for her impressive achievements and service to professional and civic organizations in the community.
- President’s Award
From the Illinois Drug Enforcement Officers’ Association (IDEOA) for her continuous support for law enforcement.
- Paul Simon Public Service Award
From the Illinois Hunger Coalition for her leadership in sponsoring and passing HB 1400 that created the School Breakfast program in the State of Illinois.