Lightford010820SPRINGFIELD -- Outraged by allegations brought forth by a recent WBEZ story about the possible cover up of a rape detailed in a state government email exchange, Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) urged that appropriate authorities, including the Champaign County State’s Attorney, the Illinois State Police, and the Illinois Executive Inspector General, take immediate steps to investigate this report.

The WBEZ story referenced a 2012 email to officials in then-Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration sent by lobbyist Michael McClain that among other things makes mention of a state employee who kept quiet about “the rape in Champaign”, asking that the administration keep that individual employed by the state.

Majority Leader Lightford issued the following statement regarding this incident:

“As a woman, a mother and a survivor of sexual assault I am sickened by the idea that anyone would infer that covering up rape should ever be interpreted as a form of loyalty. This is the type of behavior that keeps women and sexual assault survivors living in fear, and it can never be tolerated. Based on the revelations in this email, I know there is someone out there reliving their nightmare and awaiting justice for their assault. I want them to know they do not to be afraid any longer and I offer them my full support, assistance and compassion.”

Lightford also called on anyone with knowledge of this incident to contact the appropriate authorities, including:

If you have information please contact:

Champaign County State’s Attorney, 217-384-3733
Illinois State Police, 217-786-7107
Illinois Executive Inspector General, 217-558-5600 or 312-814-5600

Category: News

Lightford010320SPRINGFIELD – Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) reminds small businesses to take advantage of the minimum wage credit starting this year. The new tax credit is intended to help small businesses over the next six years as a part of the state’s minimum wage increase plan.

“Keeping small businesses competitive is a priority when increasing the minimum wage,” Lightford said. “I encourage businesses to take full advantage of this tax credit to ease their transition.”

Businesses and nonprofits with 50 full-time employees or less are eligible to offset a portion of the minimum wage increase cost from their withholding income taxes. Eligible businesses can claim this credit by filing Form IL-941, Illinois withholding income tax return, and a new schedule.

The maximum credit amount allowed is 25% of the difference between the new minimum wage and what each employee was paid previously. The percentage allowed each proceeding year will decrease before sunsetting in 2026 for most small businesses.

Illinois’ minimum wage was last raised in 2010 to $8.25. Raising the wage to $15 an hour is estimated to impact 1.4 million Illinoisans, according to the Illinois Economic Policy Institute at the University of Illinois.

Visit the Illinois Department of Revenue’s website for information on how to calculate this credit, as well as additional resources, including IDOR’s withholding income tax Information Bulletin FY2020-13 and frequently asked questions.

Category: News

Lightford122019SPRINGFIELD – Minimum wage earners statewide will see a $1 per hour increase on Jan. 1 under a law spearheaded by Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) that was signed in February to gradually increase Illinois’ minimum wage to $15 by January 2025.

“Many working families have waited for this increase for almost a decade,” Lightford said. “I stand firmly on the belief that workers deserve a decent wage and I am committed to standing with them as we continue the fight for a living wage.”

The next increases in the law will be implemented as follows:
• $10 per hour on July 1, 2020
• $11 per hour on Jan. 1, 2021
• $12 per hour on Jan. 1, 2022
• $13 per hour on Jan. 1, 2023
• $14 per hour on Jan. 1, 2024
• $15 per hour on and after Jan. 1, 2025

Read more ...

Category: News

Lightford112419 2CHICAGO- Senate Majority Leader and Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Chair Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) joined her fellow ILBC members, Lt. Gov. Julianna Stratton and other community leaders across Chicago and the suburbs on Saturday for a bus tour to make communities aware of the importance of the upcoming 2020 Census.

“Historically, people of color have been undercounted during the census process, a shortcoming that has left our communities without proper funding for vital resources and put a strain on state budgeting,” said Lightford. “My colleagues and I are working on reaching those hard-to-count populations in order to ensure that Illinois does not lose out on billions in federal funding or representation in Congress.”

Overall, Illinois has committed $29 million in this year's budget to prepare and execute the census in Illinois. This is the largest per-person investment made in any state in the nation. The resources are going directly to outreach and education, with grants to community organizations across the state engaged in this work, particularly in hard-to-count communities. The executive order signed by Gov. Pritzker also established a Census Office within the Department of Human Services to lead this effort and a Census Advisory Panel to guide its work.

Read more ...

Category: News

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