Lightford051018SPRINGFIELD – More than half a century since the Civil Rights Act became law, workers in the United States continue to earn different wages based on their race.

Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) is fighting for legislation that would prohibit wage discrimination against African-Americans under the Equal Pay Act.

“It is long overdue that African-Americans are paid a fair and equal wage for their work,” Lightford said. “My hope is that this legislation will provide the tools to close the wage gap between African-Americans and their white counterparts.”

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Lightford050918 4SPRINGFIELD – A proposal sponsored by Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) aims to protect access to child care for working families under the Child Care Assistance Program.

Lightford’s House Bill 5599 sets the eligibility threshold for childcare assistance at no less than 185 percent of the federal poverty level.

In July 2015, Governor Bruce Rauner made cuts to Childcare Assistance Program through administrative rule, lowering the income threshold to 50 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. The cuts left 90 percent of applicants throughout the state ineligible for childcare, decimated the program and caused massive layoffs in the childcare industry.

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Lightford050918 3SPRINGFIELD – While obtaining a college degree is increasingly vital to career advancement, low-income, racial minority and first-generation college students often struggle to transition into a college or university’s culture.

A plan led by Illinois Senate Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) that was approved in the Senate Higher Education committee Tuesday seeks to ease the transition into college by allowing Illinois’ public universities to establish bridge programs. These programs would provide access, academic support and financial aid to underrepresented students.

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Lightford050918 2SPRINGFIELD – A proposal from Illinois Senate Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) would implement a pilot program to make parenting courses part of the health education curriculum for high school students.

“Parenting education gives young adults a realistic overview of what life is like when you are responsible for another human being,” Lightford said. “It also gives them skills that will hold value in adulthood.”

House Bill 4442 requires the State Board of Education to administer a three-year pilot program providing support to school districts that utilize a unit of instruction on parenting education.

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