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Category: News

lightford smileSPRINGFIELD – Students and workers relying on public transportation and employment training are one step closer to having their needs met thanks to legislation that passed out of the Senate today.

The measure would give spending authority to the governor to allow him to honor his contract commitment to Amtrak, while also including funds for higher education, some critical social service programs and other programs and services not receiving funding from court orders or consent decrees.

“Thousands of people across the 4th Senate District rely on Amtrak for work, to see family and get groceries,” Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D – Maywood). “Through this legislation, we are keeping transportation, adult and higher education, job training, prostate screenings, local tourism and libraries up and running for the people of this state – all of which are deserving of more than what they are currently receiving.”

The legislation is the Senate’s latest effort to pass funds for budget items not yet dealt with during the budget impasse. Senate Bill 2059 is similar to House budget legislation passed earlier this month (HB 2990), but with spending authority for Amtrak and other critical services added.

The legislation now goes to the House of Representative for further action.

Category: News

Earlier this month, Senator Lightford's office and the Glen Ellyn Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. hosted a symposium under the umbrella of “Black Lives Matter” to repair the relationship between police and the communities they are sworn to serve.

The event was held on March 6 at Maywood Park and there were more than 60 people in attendance. Informational pamphlets on Illinois laws and other giveaway items were distributed to attendees.

Panelists spoke for 20 minutes each on strategies to repair and strengthen the relationship between law enforcement and the community.

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Category: News

lightford fiery floorSPRINGFIELD – Students across the state have been waiting eagerly for positive action on MAP grant funding. To that end, today, the Illinois Senate passed through a legislative override of the governor’s veto of essential MAP grant dollars for college students.

“We all say we take pride in education and that academics are a priority – myself included,” said Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D – Maywood). “I just voted to put our state’s dollars where my values have always been, and I will continue to fight for the issues that we all know are most important for our future. Now, let’s pass a fair budget and keep our students funded for years to come.”

The dollars being pushed through for students represents a healthy increase when compared to last year. The $32 million increase in funding could stand to benefit an additional 15,000 students across the state, including many in the Chicago area.

“It’s time to return to learning.” said Lightford. “For many college students, they have had their education stifled by politics and unwilling leadership. We have now overpowered the governor’s lack of leadership and given financially vulnerable Illinois students the help they need. ”

Adult education programs have been hit by the budget impasse particularly hard and have had to cut classes and faculty hours as a consequence. The new law provides over $32 million for adult education and literacy activities.

Schools made MAP claims of about $164 million on behalf of about 102,000 students for the first term of the 2015 - 2016 school year.

Follow the link below to hear the Senator's full comments on the Senate floor.






Category: News

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