Lightford121718Cook County Treasurer's Office - 12/14/2018

With prescription prices and utility bills rising faster than Social Security payments, a tax-relief program can help senior citizens who are hard-pressed to pay their property taxes, Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas said today.

Seniors whose annual household income is $55,000 or less can apply to the Senior Citizen Real Estate Tax Deferral Program for loans to cover property tax payments.

“When property taxes are due, too many of our elderly are forced to make difficult choices about which bills to pay,” Pappas said. “This program is one way to ease their worries.”

The State of Illinois issues the loans, which do not have to be repaid until the property is sold or the homeowner dies. An interest rate of 6 percent per year is charged by the state. The maximum loan is $5,000 per year. To qualify, homeowners must be at least 65 years old by June 1 of the year in which the application is made.

To apply:

  • Download the application from
  • Submit the completed application and copies of the required documents to the Treasurer’s Office
  • The deadline is March 1, 2019. Applications after that date cannot be accepted
  • Homeowners must reapply every year
Category: News

Lightford121318Illinois Senate Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) last week celebrated another successful semester of Saturday University, a program run in partnership with The Black Star Project.

The Black Star Project is committed to improving the quality of life in Black and Latino communities of Chicago and nationwide by eliminating the racial academic achievement gap, and Saturday University is a comprehensive learning system designed to improve the academic performance of Chicago's children.

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Category: News

Loretto 121318The Loretto Hospital announced today that it now hosts FDA-approved clinical trials. Each clinical trial will be coordinated through the hospital’s new Clinical Research Department in collaboration with pharmaceutical companies. Current trials include sickle cell disease (SCD) and heart disease studies. Additional research studies include Crohn's disease and Ulcerative Colitis. The Loretto Hospital will be the first safety-net hospital in the State of Illinois to host clinical trials.

“The Loretto Hospital is one of the very few safety-net hospitals to offer clinical research. Our goal is to bring these type of programs to the Austin Community which will help improve outcomes in our community. Clinical Research will increase the discovery and development of better prevention, diagnostic and treatment methods of our patient,” said Dr. Anosh Ahmed, chief operating officer and medical officer at The Loretto Hospital.

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Category: News

Lightford112818SPRINGFIELD – 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.

 “Today, we made sure that wage equity continues to be a priority in Illinois,” Lightford said.

According to a 2017 Federal Reserve study, black men and women earn persistently lower wages compared to their white counterparts and this wage gap cannot be adequately explained by differences in education, age, job type or location.

That gap appears to be expanding rather than contracting. In 1979, the average black man in the United States earned about 80 percent compared to the average white man, by 2016 that gap had grown to 70 percent. The same is true for black women, who in 1979 earned about 95 percent compared to white women, but by 2016 earned only 82 percent of wages paid to white women on average.

House Bill 4743 prohibits employers from paying wages to an African-American employee at a rate less than the rate paid to an employee who is not African-American for the same or substantially similar work.

Governor Rauner’s veto was overridden in the Senate with a vote of 49-1, and is now under effect.

Category: News

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