Lightford022019SPRINGFIELD – Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) responded to Gov. JB Pritzker’s first Budget Address on Wednesday with the following statement:

“The governor presented a plan that delivers on his commitment to education, restorative justice and social services. I am especially excited about the increase in education funding that prioritizes investment in some of our neediest districts across the state including additional funding for early childhood education and grants for low income college students.

“While we do have some work ahead of us, this is a good place to start. I look forward to exploring the governor’s proposal further and finding ways to making a lot of these promises a reality.”

Category: News

 Lightford021919SPRINGFIELD – Minimum-wage earners statewide will see their first pay increase since 2010 under a new law raising the minimum wage to $15 by January 2025 negotiated by Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood).

“Today is a victory for working families across the state, and a symbol of commitment to struggling populations across the state,” Lightford said. “I commend Governor Pritzker for making a higher minimum wage a priority and look forward to working with him moving forward.”

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Category: News

House approves minimum wage increase

Lightford Facebook ImageSPRINGFIELD – Minimum-wage earners statewide could soon see a pay increase under a proposal approved by the House on Thursday that raises the minimum wage to $15 by January 2025. Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) negotiated the measure that would give hardworking families a much-needed raise.

“We’re one step closer to bringing stability to a population that was neglected during the previous administration,” Lightford said. “As basic needs become increasingly more expensive, we have a responsibility to ensure working people are being compensated for being the force that keeps business moving.”

Senate Bill 1 would increase the minimum wage to:

  • $9.25 per hour on January 1, 2020
  • $10 per hour on July 1, 2020
  • $11 per hour on January 1, 2021
  • $12 per hour on January 1, 2022
  • $13 per hour on January 1, 2023
  • $14 per hour on January 1, 2024
  • $15 per hour on and after January 1, 2025

Illinois’ current minimum wage is $8.25 per hour. A single parent working a full-time minimum-wage job qualifies for food stamps, Medicaid and often housing assistance. A $15 per hour minimum wage would lessen single parents’ and families’ reliance on assistance.

The measure also increases the minimum wage for individuals under the age of 18 but at a slower pace, going from $8 on Jan. 1, 2020 to $13 on Jan. 1, 2022.
Under Illinois law, workers who receive tips, like servers and delivery drivers, receive 60 percent of minimum wage and receive the rest in tips or are supplemented by their employer. That dynamic will mean the tipped wage would increase to $9 per hour by 2025.
The measure now heads to the governor for final approval.

Category: News

Lightford021119 4Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) hosted a Town Hall Discussion on Cannabis Legalization on Monday at the Garfield Park Conservatory. Participants heard from a panel of advocates and experts on the process of legalizing cannabis for recreational use in Illinois.

Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago), sponsor of the current proposal, gave a presentation on the potential financial impact on the state and how some of the revenue could be used to support communities most affected by the war on drugs.

Kareem Kenytta from the Marijuana Policy Project joined Steans to speak more deeply on the effect current policy has on social justice in the black community and possible opportunities in the cannabis industry for individuals from historically over-policed communities.

Daniel Pettigrew with business group Viola shared his experience with the small business aspect of legalizing cannabis, and Donte Townsend with advocacy group Chicago NORML spoke about access for black businesses and possible issues people could face if they choose to use recreational marijuana once legalized.

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Category: News

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