Lightford031319 2SPRINGFIELD – Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) is drawing attention to the need for designating funding for early childhood building and renovation projects in the state’s next construction program.

“Our previous construction plan missed the mark on supporting early childhood programming,” Lightford said. “We need to ensure that we dedicate the funding to make sure our families have access to these critical services.”

The state’s last construction plan was implemented in 2009, and included a $45 million appropriation from the Build Illinois Bond Fund for the state's first Early Childhood Construction Grant program. However, the Capital Development Board received 227 applications totaling more than $539 million in requests for these construction and renovation resources, illustrating the unmet needs of early childhood facilities.

Senate Resolution 85 urges the next state construction program to dedicate a minimum of $250 million from state bond sources for the purpose of supporting critical early childhood projects.

“While this is only half of what was needed ten years ago, this is an important first step that puts the need for these projects on the forefront,” Lightford said.

The measure was approved in the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday and is scheduled to move to the full Senate for consideration.

Category: News

Lightford031319SPRINGFIELD – Komarek Elementary School District 94 could soon have much-needed funds to update infrastructure under legislation led by Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood).

The $22 million plan includes a new gymnasium, parking lot and green space where 13th Avenue separates the east and west buildings of Komarek School. The sky bridge that currently connects the two buildings would be renovated to include a new library. The west building of the school, which was built in 1955, would be renovated to meet current standards.

“This measure gives Komarek School administration an opportunity to update and revitalize their facilities,” Lightford said. “Our children deserve a learning environment that fosters growth and creativity, and I commend Komarek School for wanting to provide that for their students.”

Senate Bill 2112 allows Komarek Elementary School District 94 to issue bonds up to $22 million should voters approve a referendum during the April 2019 elections. The proceeds of the bonds are used to accomplish only those projects approved by the voters.

Prior to the issuance of the bonds, the school board determines that improving the site of the district's existing school building is required as a result of the age and condition of the existing building.

The measure was approved by the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday.

Category: News

 

OP ENS Intervention Flyer v6The Shirley Ryan Ability Lab, the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), and Access Living are seeking volunteers for a research study. Our Peers-Empowerment and Navigational Support for People with Disabilities “OP-ENS” could benefit individuals who have disabilities and are having difficulty managing their own health care. To view the brochure click here.

Category: News

Lightford030619 2SPRINGFIELD – More financial assistance could soon be available for college students through a proposal sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood).

“Students should be able to obtain a degree without drowning in student loan debt after college,” Lightford said. “This legislation combats the college debt crisis by providing financial support to Illinois students.”

Senate Bill 1524 authorizes the State Treasurer to allocate up to 5 percent of the State Investment Portfolio to the Illinois Student Investment Account to assist qualified residents in paying for college through various investment programs. The Senate Financial Institutions Committee approved the measure on Wednesday.

Investment programs may include income-sharing agreements, linked deposits and origination, and refinancing of student loans.

The measure also establishes a Borrower Assistance Fund to provide monetary assistance to students facing financial hardship.

The legislation will now head to the full Senate for consideration.

Category: News

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