JJC 316 1SPRINGFIELD: From cancer screenings and AIDS/HIV education to DCFS scholarship programs and foster care funding –all were voted to be saved in the Senate today as the chamber decided to override Governor Rauner’s veto of budgets for the Dept. of Health and the Dept. of Children and Family Services. State Senator Kimberly A. Lightford, Assistant Majority Leader, released the following statement after her vote.

“Together, these departments promote and safeguard the health and well-being of everyone in Illinois. We cannot allow the governor to hold hostage the health and safety of abused and neglected children and other vulnerable populations in need of aid or treatment.

Until the budget impasse is solved, DCFS service providers have received a 10 percent budget cut and staff are being let go and doors are closing for those providing cancer detection screenings. This is an unacceptable reality, and this is why I voted to protect these services.

I call on the governor to lead and take these cuts seriously and pass an empathetic budget that takes everyone into account because so many of us are experiencing the dire ramifications of this budget crisis. The people of this state are more than numbers on a page or a spreadsheet. We have beating hearts that need protecting. I intend to always uphold this truth. I hope the governor follows suit.”

Category: News

Senator Lightford would like to invite you to "Uplift Our Future" at the Brookfield Zoo Sunday, July 26, 2015 as you and your children prepare for the up-coming school year.

Come enjoy a free lunch and some zoo-time fun at this event that will supply students with free school supplies! And on top of that, the first 500 people gain entry to the zoo for free! See the flyer below for more details. See you at the zoo!

Back to School Event 2015

 

Category: News

JJC 316 2SPRINGFIELD: A new plan proposed by Senate Democrats and strongly supported by Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D – Maywood) would strike a compromise between Democrats and Republicans by instituting critical education reform while also fulfilling one of Governor Rauner’s key turnaround agenda demands: a property tax freeze. The legislation enacts this needed property tax freeze for homeowners, while also reforming education funding and protecting Chicago schools’ teachers.

“Keeping teachers in the classroom must be one of our top priorities because they hold the key to our children’s futures in their hands,” said Senator Lightford.

“This legislation relieves budget pressure on Chicago Public Schools and the city of Chicago, helping ensure our schools open on time, stay open and that our educators aren’t laid off,” said the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Chair. “I am so proud that we are lifting up Chicago schools through this measure, finally treating Chicago public schools’ funding the same way we treat all other school districts in the state. When signed into law, this plan would be a tremendous achievement for Chicago educators.”

Under the proposal, the state would pick up the cost of Chicago teacher pensions. Chicago taxpayers currently double-pay, paying for CPS pensions and all other school districts’ teacher pensions.

The senator believes that through this legislation, the state can finally responsibly address the interdependent issues of ever-rising property taxes for homeowners, unfunded Chicago teacher pensions and unbalanced school funding.

“Just as these serious issues are interconnected, so should be the sacrifice we endure to ensure that our government works for all,” Lightford said. “Shared sacrifice is the only justifiable path to fiscal balance.”

While enacting a property tax freeze on all taxing districts for the next two years (excluding Chicago for the first year because of its unique property tax cycle), the plan also provides much-needed dollars for school districts most adversely affected by under-funding of General State Aid and calls for the creation of a General State Aid Commission to submit a revised, more equitable, school funding formula by the end of next year.

“We, as a state, must be innovative in how we sustain and improve our education system. The burden cannot continue to fall so hard on local homeowners to provide the necessary funding to keep our education system healthy. This must change, but keeping schools open, teachers teaching and all of our children learning in Chicago is a cause we must embrace,” Lightford said.

Category: News

Senator Lightford is continuing to fight for human services in the 4th senate district and across the state as we try to find a responsible solution to the state's budget problems. She recently spoke on the importance of facilities such as the Way Back Inn and Grateful House Veteran Housing, which recently received a $10,000 grant from the Home Depot Foundation.

These exemplary facilities offer help and hope to veterans and other people in need of dependence recovery in communities, such as Oak Park, Melrose Park, Maywood, Chicago and Forest Park.

 

Category: News

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