Stuck Salt Truck on Lake Shore drive Chicago storm resizeMonday, I voted to free up $3.1 billion in spending to sustain local communities, including crucial motor fuel tax revenue, which has been held up by the budget impasse in Springfield. My colleagues and I proved our resolve to make sure families and local governments have the money to continue functioning without a true budget in place.

Now, we must shift our focus to what remains to be budgeted, prioritizing higher education and critical community services, such as mental health and homeless programs. We have more work to do.

The legislation releases motor fuel tax revenue for communities throughout Cook County – communities such as Bellwood, Maywood, North Riverside, Westchester, Oak Park and River Forest – that can be used to prepare for winter storms and repair potholes. The exact dollar amount of how much communities are owed this year has not yet been released, but communities throughout Cook County received nearly $100 million in gas tax money last year.

Though, other areas of concern that have yet to be dealt with in the piecemeal budget process include MAP grant funding and other scholarships, services for rape victims, addiction treatment, immigrant language translation services, Teen Reach, epilepsy services and respite care.

Although we are taking important steps for local communities, thousands of families are still going without the services and resources they need.

Still, the legislation (SB 2039), which now goes to the governor’s desk for final approval, does include the following components.

• $582.5 million to IDOT for local governments share of motor fuel gas tax revenues

• $77 million for 911-related costs

• $1 billion to the Lottery for prizes

• $43 million to the Community College Board for career and technical education activities

• $31 million to IDOT to purchase road salt

• $2.5 million for breast cancer services and research

• $165 million for home heating bill assistance

Read the legislation in its entirety. Get more information at

Category: News

Senator Lightford had the great pleasure of  attending the graduation ceremony of this semester's Kimberly A. Lightford Saturday University students. In partnership with The Black Star Project, Senator Lightford sponsors this community-based program, which is a free comprehensive learning system that provides opportunities for students, parents and community agencies to take control of and improve academic outcomes. Saturday University focuses on implementing active learning techniques and features math, reading and writing courses taught by committed and engaged instructors. The students received outstanding achievement certificates and awards for accomplishments achieved throughout the semester.

See photos from the students' graduation ceremony below.

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Category: News

committee lightfordIn response to the meeting Governor Bruce Rauner held with legislative leaders Tuesday, State Senator Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) released the following statement.

The people want results and so do I. They’ve had enough of the blame game.

They want services to be restored for children and the mentally ill. They want to feel safe in their homes and on sidewalks. They want college students to continue to go to school, and they want roads to be clean and safe for the winter upon us. We want a balanced, responsible budget now.

A meeting is a necessary first step of many on the path to finally producing fruitful solutions to the budget impasse and ending the pain that has come with it. And Governor Rauner, the man behind this stubborn stalemate, has to step up to lead us to these concrete results.

I don’t know the exact date a solution will be present itself, but I do know that it has to come through tough compromise, an empathetic spirit and a keen ability to find innovative solutions to persistent problems.

Category: News

The 4th Senate District Committee attended Bethel New Life Church's annual Thanksgiving service event on the Westside of Chicago to support area residents with food donations & supplies, providing meals for senior citizens for the holiday season.

Bethel thanksgiving 4Bethel thanksgiving 1

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Category: News

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