Autism awarenessState Senator Mattie Hunter reflected this week on April’s designation as National Autism Awareness Month.

“Right now, an estimated 29,000 children in Illinois live with autism spectrum disorders, and the effects of these conditions on the individuals coping with them, their families and communities are sweeping,” Hunter said. “That’s why the time for commitment to autism awareness is now.”

Autism spectrum disorders are classified as chronic, neurologically based developmental disabilities of which the cause is still undetermined. They typically manifest during early childhood. These conditions impact mildly to severely the afflicted individuals’ cognitive, social and emotional functioning on a variety of levels. Those diagnosed with ASDs typically do not appear physically different; however, they traditionally communicate, interact, behave and learn in ways atypical in comparison to their peers.

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Category: Health & Human Services

Hunter BudgerState Senator Mattie Hunter had much to say in response to Gov. Pat Quinn's budget address on Wednesday.

Recognizing Illinois’ critical financial situation and the need to prioritize, Hunter elaborated upon some of her priorities in respect to the state’s fiscal plan.

Hunter took special interest in mental health, aging and human and health services funding in the governor’s budget plan.

“Overall funding for human services has been consistently slashed in previous budget proposals, and health care has also seen dramatic cuts,” Hunter said. "These represent important issues for me and the communities of the 3rd Senate District. I was glad to see his proposal emphasize these areas. Going forward, we must remain mindful of their significance when we craft a final budget.”

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Category: Health & Human Services

Illinois legislators wear red to spread awareness of cardiovascular disease

State Senator Mattie Hunter, clad in a striking scarlet dress, participated in the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women demonstration at the Illinois State Capitol yesterday. All state legislators and statewide elected officials were asked by the Conference of Women Legislators (which Hunter is a proud member of) to don red as part of an annual Statehouse event to spread awareness of heart disease, the number one killer of both men and women in Illinois.

“It was disheartening, to say the least, to be reminded today of the fact that per the American Heart Association, most women are unaware that heart disease is their number one potential health threat and killer,” said Hunter. “I’m happy to be involved and do my part to spread awareness.”

Senate Majority Caucus Whip Hunter was also adamant, “As a proud black female, it is unsettling that we as a community are particularly oblivious to this issue and thus not empowered to take charge of our health. Heart disease claims the lives of more than 20,000 black women annually, but only 36 percent of African American women know that this poses their greatest health risk; and only 52 percent recognize the signs and symptoms of a heart attack. This is an absolute shame and something we have to turn around, which is why I’m ‘going red’.”

Go Red For Women is the American Heart Association’s platform for educating women on their risk factors of heart disease. Over the last ten years, more than 600,000 lives have been saved because of Go Red. Throughout the last ten years, Go Red For Women has funded gender-specific research studies showing women’s responses to treatments and medications and has published women-specific guidelines on treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease.

To learn more about Go Red For Women, visit

About the American Heart Association The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 3 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit or call any of our offices around the country.

Category: Health & Human Services

State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) returns as chairperson of the Illinois Senate’s Human Services Committee. As a majority caucus whip, Hunter is known for taking on great challenges as a Senate leader, something she has consistently done since first being appointed to the Illinois General Assembly in 2003.

“I look forward to once more chairing the Human Services Committee,” Hunter said. “I assure I will continue striving for excellence and doing my utmost in fighting for my constituents.”

Hunter is deeply committed to continuing to push toward progress in the Human Services Committee for 3rd  District residents. She is eager to press forward in her efforts as chairperson and diligently work with her fellow committee members to finish the work she started.

“Although dollars may be limited, rest assured I plan to hold the administration accountable for its promise that all communities in the state of Illinois are served – not a chosen few,” Hunter declared.

Furthermore, Hunter is looking forward to serving on the Appropriations I, Executive and Public Health (where she is vice-chairperson) committees during the 98th General Assembly.

Category: Health & Human Services

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