Lightford053119SPRINGFIELD – To protect women across Illinois’ access to healthcare, Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) supported a measure that passed the Senate.

“Women across the country are living in fear that their rights to reproductive healthcare will be stripped away,” Lightford said. “As for Illinois, we are standing up to protect our women and families at a time when the White House has no interest in the wellbeing of women.”

The Reproductive Health Act does the following:

• restricts the State’s ability to deny a person’s reproductive healthcare decision,
• repeals felony and disciplinary penalties imposed on doctors offering abortions,
• prohibits a husband from obtaining an injunction to prevent his wife from having an abortion,
• permits burial or cremation after a miscarriage or abortion, and
• requires insurance companies to cover abortions.

Senate Bill 25 was drafted in response to 20 cases awaiting a hearing before the Supreme Court that aim to weaken or overrule Roe v. Wade. Those cases could be heard during the court’s next term, which begins on October 7.

Category: News

Lightford053019SPRINGFIELD – Students across Illinois could soon have consent taught as a part of their sex education curriculum. Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) passed House Bill 3550 through the Senate on Wednesday.

“The stigma of being sexually assaulted has kept so many victims silent for decades,” Lightford said. “Teaching consent helps young people establish boundaries and feel empowered to speak out against an abuser.”

The legislation requires students in grades 6-12 to learn the meaning of consent and how to respect personal boundaries. Under current law, consent is briefly mentioned in the School Code, but no definition or guidance is provided.

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Category: News

Lightford052919SPRINGFIELD – Illinois residents 21 and older could soon be able to purchase and possess cannabis legally under legislation approved by the Senate on Wednesday.

Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) voted in support of the legislation that creates an automatic expungement process, a Social Equity Program and a vocational training pilot program.

“Minority communities have struggled for decades under laws that overly criminalized cannabis,” Lightford said. “We made sure to include social justice aspects that work towards equity for our communities and start to make right the wrongs caused by the prohibition of cannabis.”

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Category: News

Lightford052819SPRINGFIELD – Children taken into protective custody under suspicion of abuse could soon take part in a forensic interview without parental consent as a result of legislation by Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood).

House Bill 909, approved by the Senate on Friday, addresses issues in cases where an abused minor’s parents do not wish for the child to participate in a criminal investigation that may implicate a family member or close friend.

“Children need to feel safe and empowered to report their abuser, and most importantly, have the opportunity to end their abuse,” Lightford said. “By removing parental consent, we are ensuring that no child will be forced to stay silent.”

A forensic interview is an interview between a trained forensic interviewer and a child in which the interviewer obtains information in an unbiased and fact-finding manner, with the goal of supporting accurate and fair decision-making by caseworkers in the criminal justice and child protection systems.

The measure moves to the governor for final approval.

Category: News

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