Kids get new opportunities under Winger legislation signed by Gov

On Friday, Governor Rauner signed two important pieces of legislation sponsored by Rep. Christine Winger (R-Wood Dale) that will positively impact children by providing them with new opportunities for positive growth and development.

Identify hearing impairment in newborns

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) two to three out of every 1,000 children in the United States are born with a hearing impairment. If hearing loss is not identified early, language development is delayed, affecting a child’s ability to learn and develop social skills.

Public Act 99-0834 will ensure newborns receive bilateral hearing screenings within 30 days of birth. If results warrant, parents then will have the opportunity to begin intervention immediately.

“Research shows that children with hearing loss who are identified and receive appropriate intervention before age 6 months are able to develop language skills comparable to their hearing peer group,” said Winger. “This law will help kids will get the services they need.” Read more about PA 99-0834.

Providing a little normalcy

While most children can spend the night at a friend’s house, or go to prom or get an after-school job with the permission of their parents, children in foster care must seek permission not of their foster parents, but of state bureaucrats. Public Act 99-0839 will permit foster parents to make decisions about normal activities for their foster children.

“As parents we are in the best position to make decisions for our children. Foster parents are no different but up until now they had to defer to state officials,” said Winger. “This new law will instill a little normalcy into the lives of children in the care of the state.” Read more about PA 99-0839.

Both laws are effective immediately.