Lightford111020SPRINGFIELD - As Illinois sees an uptick in COVID-19 cases, the Illinois General Assembly has decided not to return to session next week, as previously scheduled, but will instead convene in January for a lame duck session. Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) ensures that the change in the session schedule will not deter the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus’ efforts to rid Illinois of systemic racism.

“We are still in the midst of a pandemic, and COVID-19 cases are surging across the state, making the risk is too high to convene at this time,” said Lightford, chair of the ILBC. “While we will not be able to pass legislation as soon as we hoped, the urgency to bring an end to systemic racism remains.”

The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus launched four pillars of policy on Sept. 1 through which the caucus is identifying measures that will put Illinois on a course for racial and economic equity. Those pillars are:

I. Criminal justice reform, violence reduction and police accountability
II. Education and workforce development
III. Economic access, equity and opportunity
IV. Health care and human services

Since September, the Senate has hosted subject matter hearings on the four pillars in an effort to provide legislators and the public a deeper look into the Black experience in Illinois. The hearings, which wrap up this week, served as an opportunity to gather facts and recommendations to help address systemic issues that have directly or indirectly made the lives of Black and other marginalized communities in Illinois more difficult for centuries.

“The Black Caucus will continue with our mission to put an end to systemic racism in Illinois,” Lightford said. “The moment to put forth this critical agenda is now, and I know President Harmon and Speaker Madigan share our concerns and our commitment to making a difference.”

The General Assembly is expected to convene prior to the spring session.

 

Category: News

girl 2755611 640CHICAGO – Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) joined the Senate Education and Higher Education Committees for a hearing focused on efforts to prepare Illinois youth to enter the workforce, including career and technical education (CTE) program, the Illinois Pathways program and the Illinois Postsecondary Workforce Readiness Act.

“With few or no work experience programs available in their communities, students can’t build the job readiness skills they’ll need to excel in the workforce after graduation,” Lightford said. “CTE programs are an essential part of preparing students for high-demand, skilled careers.”

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Category: News

university 105709 640CHICAGO – Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) joined the Senate Education and Higher Education Committees for a hearing focused on student support services reforms, teacher reforms and developmental education reforms for Illinois college students.

Wednesday’s hearing was the seventh hearing dedicated to education and workforce development, the second pillar of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus’ agenda to rid Illinois of systemic racism.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had an enormous effect on college students and their mental health,” Lightford said. “It’s a necessity for students to have access to support services that keep them engaged and connected with other students, make them feel welcome and ease emotional stress. Colleges must ensure as many students as possible are receiving this assistance.”

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Category: News

Lightford102120CHICAGO – Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) joined the Senate Education and Higher Education Committees for a hearing focused on equitable funding and affordable models for free tuition for Illinois college students.

Wednesday’s hearing was the sixth hearing dedicated to education and workforce development, the second pillar of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus’ agenda to rid Illinois of systemic racism.

“We continue to see a trend where underfunding and budget cuts disproportionately leave Black students behind in attaining a college education,” Lightford said. “Our focus should be on ensuring that our state support is having a direct impact on closing the inequities that exist in college affordability.”

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Category: News

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