lightford floor 052320SPRINGFIELD – Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) led a measure through the Senate Saturday to expand disability benefits for some frontline state employees, protect retail workers from assault, and allow horse racetrack casino, or racino, employees to organize.

“The current pandemic has underlined the need for securing basic rights for working class people with disproportionate infection rates among populations with a high number of essential workers,” Lightford said.

Certain state employees, including firefighters, law enforcement and paramedics, would be eligible for an additional 60 days of paid disability leave if their injury recovery has been hindered by difficulties accessing treatment due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

To recognize the enhanced roles being asked of retail workers, battery of a retail worker would be enhanced to aggravated battery if the worker was performing duties that may include relaying directions for health care or safety, or during a declared disaster or state of emergency due to a public health emergency and for six months after either declaration.

“The recent attacks on retail workers who are trying to enforce new healthcare guidelines are completely repugnant,” Lightford said. “It is unfortunate that we have to put this provision in place to protect individuals who are just trying to keep a roof over their heads.”

Racino employees would have the opportunity to engage in collective bargaining as a requirement for any horse racetrack with more than 10 employees that wants to expand to include a casino.

“Racetrack employees have fought for their rights as workers for years,” Lightford said. “This change gives them an opportunity to have a say in their working conditions, benefits and other issues.”

Senate Bill 471 will now head to the governor’s desk for final approval.

Category: News

groceries3 052120SPRINGFIELD – SNAP recipients will be able to purchase food from participating grocery stores online, Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lighford (D-Maywood) announced Thursday.

“It’s important to keep families safe and healthy during these times of uncertainty,” Lightford said. “I’m delighted to see SNAP recipients will be given the ability to shop with ease and reap the benefits of this convenient new feature." 

Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Human Services created the statewide plan for 1.8 million SNAP recipients, which was approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This plan will give SNAP recipients the option to enter their Personal Identification Number to order groceries online. 

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Category: News

Lightford052020SPRINGFIELD – Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) joined the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority in announcing two funding opportunities to support Restore, Reinvest, and Renew programming.

A total of $31.5 million in grants is currently available, including $28.3 million to support service delivery and $3.1 million for assessment and planning.

“The work being done through the R3 Program is the most significant part of legalizing cannabis in Illinois,” said Lightford, member of the Restore, Reinvest, and Renew Board. “Putting funding into poor and disadvantaged communities will finally start to reverse the dire effects of the war on drugs.”

Areas eligible for funding were identified using community-level data on gun injury, child poverty, unemployment, and state prison commitments and returns, combined with disproportionately impacted areas previously identified by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (View map of eligible areas).

Organizations that serve residents of, or are based in, designated eligible R3 zones will be able to apply. Eligible organizations include nonprofit organizations, local units of government, tax-exempt faith-based organizations, businesses, and other community organizations. Application materials with instructions on how to apply are available here: https://r3.illinois.gov/. The deadline for all applications is Monday, July 20, 2020.

To ease the application process and increase access to available grant funding, ICJIA offers technical assistance to organizations via online workshops.

 

Category: News

03042020CM0531SPRINGFIELD – High school graduates seeking post-secondary education are encouraged by Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) to apply for the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation (ILBCF) Scholarship. 

“Many families are unable to pay out of pocket for college tuition,” Lightford said. “Education is expensive, and I encourage students to take advantage of applying for this scholarship opportunity.” 

The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation Scholarship has been a catalyst for many low-income students who would not be able to afford certain expenses upon arriving at the higher learning facility.

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Category: News

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