Lightford082418SPRINGFIELD – A proposal from Illinois Senate Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) that would implement a pilot program to make parenting courses part of the health education curriculum for high school students was signed into law on Thursday.

“We currently do not offer courses that teach young people about raising children and having healthy relationships as adults,” Lightford said. “These lessons are important in making sure our young people are making responsible decisions.”

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.

The program would begin with the 2019-2020 school year, and is encouraged to include:
• Family structure, function and management
• Prevention of child abuse
• Physical, mental, emotional, social, economic and psychological aspects of interpersonal and family relationships
• Parenting education competency development

The law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2019.

Category: News

Lightford082218SPRINGFIELD – A plan led by Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) would reduce penalties from a Class A misdemeanor to a traffic citation for individuals driving with a suspended license due to unpaid parking fines, automated camera enforcement or unpaid child support.

“Putting people in jail for being too poor to pay parking fines or child support is counterproductive,” Lightford said. “We should be focused on helping people get on their feet instead of making life even harder for them.”

Currently, a person who drives a motor vehicle while their license or permit is suspended or revoked for such offenses may be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor, which can result in a sentence of up to one year in jail. This penalty is the same for those whose license was suspended for a DUI.

“There is a big difference between not having enough money to pay bills and irresponsibly putting lives in danger. They should be penalized accordingly,” Lightford said.

House Bill 3920 allows an individual to receive three citations for driving with a suspended license for parking fines, automated camera enforcement or unpaid child support before it becomes a Class A misdemeanor.

The law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2019.

Category: News

Lightford 082118SPRINGFIELD – As the national call for more school resource officers grows, Illinois Senate Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) has passed a new law to ensure Illinois provides proper training for the all-in-one law enforcement, counselor and community liaison position.

Senate Bill 2925, which was signed into law this week, requires the Law Enforcement Training Standards Board to develop or approve a certified training program for school resource officers by Jan. 1, 2020.

“We are taking into account how difficult the resource officer profession can be, and focusing on the potential it has for being a strong asset in our children’s education,” Lightford said. “This training requirement ensures that resource officers are prepared to take on the unique challenges of working in a school environment.”

The training will be developed with consultation from organizations with expertise in the areas of youth and adolescent development, educational administration, child abuse and exploitation prevention, youth mental health treatment, and juvenile advocacy.

The legislation also allows law enforcement agencies to request a waiver of the training for any officers who may already be qualified as an SRO.

The law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2019.

Category: News

Lightford082018SPRINGFIELD – A proposal sponsored by Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) that aims to protect access to child care for working families under the Child Care Assistance Program is now law.

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.

“Childcare is an essential part of a family’s ability to sustain,” Lightford said. “We have to ensure that no governor can ever harm our families by making arbitrary cuts to this program again, and that is why it is so important that we set the eligibility threshold for CCAP in state law.”

CCAP provides low-income, working families with access to affordable, quality care that allows them to continue working. In order to qualify, applicants must be recipients of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, a family with a special needs child, a parent furthering their education or a working family whose monthly income does not exceed the income guideline for their family size.

The law is now in effect.

Category: News

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