pexels karolina grabowska 4386339MAYWOOD – Illinois Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood), is excited to announce the new $12 per hour minimum wage in Illinois is starting Jan. 1, 2022.

“Even before the pandemic, many working families were struggling,” Lightford, chief sponsor of the 2019 law raising the minimum wage, said. “This increase won’t solve all of their problems, but it will surely help.”

Public Act 101-1 was signed into law in 2019, putting the state on the path to a $15 per hour minimum wage by 2025. So far, there have been three increases to the minimum wage.

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Intervention Services

Access to early intervention services is an initiative under the Education and Workforce Development Pillar, now known as the Education and Workforce Equity Act. Early intervention services help children with disabilities overcome their difficulties and enter school better prepared to succeed.

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083121HAO00012MAYWOOD – Kimberly A. Lightford, Illinois Senate Majority Leader (D-Maywood) congratulated local businesses struggling from the pandemic that were awarded grants from the latest round of the Back to Business program.

The B2B program allocated $250 million in American Rescue Plan dollars for small businesses negatively affected by the pandemic. Grants ranged from $5,000 to $150,000 per business and can be used to cover a wide range of operations such as staff and overhead costs.

“Small Businesses struggled the most throughout the pandemic, and I’m glad these businesses received relief so that they can continue to operate in in our communities,” Lightford said. “Local businesses are the backbone of our economy and supporting them helps keep jobs in the community.”

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01112021CM0098MAYWOOD – Kimberly A. Lightford, Illinois Senate majority leader, will serve as the co-chair of the Commission on Workforce Equity and Access, which was created to expand equitable access to quality career opportunities for Illinois minority residents.

“Communities of color have suffered unprecedented unemployment during the pandemic, but we have always had less access to respected career opportunities in Illinois,” Lightford said. “This commission is charged with envisioning the future of Illinois’ workforce system that is both equitable and accessible.”

House Bill 2170, known as the Education and Workforce Equity Act, part of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus four-pillar agenda was signed into law March 2021. The act required the Illinois Workforce Innovation Board to perform a study to determine the feasibility of consolidating all workforce development programs under a single agency.

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