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Stadelman urges Gov. Rauner to support school funding reform

stadelman050417SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) released the statement below urging Gov. Rauner to support Senate Bill 1.

“There is a lot of rhetoric being spread about the school funding reform measure that will soon reach the governor’s desk, but my support for it is simple: it will bring $5 million to Rockford schools.

Our education funding system in Illinois is broken. This plan is the result of years of negotiations and work. Don’t’ be fooled by comments that it is a ‘Chicago bailout.’ This evidence-based formula will provide millions in funding to the state’s neediest districts, like Rockford Public Schools, and like the 268 districts that will receive more funding than Chicago Public Schools.

The only reason this legislation is not already on the governor’s desk is because he has threatened to veto it before even getting a chance to read it. Let’s hope these weeks of discussion have allowed cooler heads to prevail. This is a win for Rockford. I would urge the governor to support this much-needed reform.”

Collins urges governor to sign religious garb discrimination ban

woman 851893New law would prohibit punishing employees’ religious garb or hair

CHICAGO – With a non-discrimination measure awaiting the governor’s signature to become law, State Senator Jacqueline Collins and State Rep. Theresa Mah joined Muslim and Arab-American advocates in Bridgeview today to call on the governor to act and make it a civil rights violation for an employer to impose any condition that requires a person to forgo any sincerely held religious practice or attire.

Senate Bill 1697 passed the General Assembly in June. Representatives of the Mosque Foundation, The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago and Arab-American Family Services joined Mah and Collins to speak on the importance of the legislation in today’s political climate.

Cunningham: MAP grants critical for local economy (VIDEO)

cunningham52617SPRINGFIELD—Senator Bill Cunningham discusses the importance of MAP grants to Illinois colleges and students in a video released today.

“If we’re going to make our state a better place to live and make sure people are upwardly mobile from an economic standpoint, map grants are a very important part of that,” Cunningham said.

Cunningham’s comments are in response to a letter to alumni from Saint Xavier University, a private college in Chicago, explaining that it is owed $6.4 million by the state of Illinois for promised Monetary Award Program grants to students. This is money that is not going into the local economy, Cunningham said.

To view the video: click here

In May, the Illinois Senate passed a balanced budget that would properly fund MAP grants for local colleges and universities, including Saint Xavier.

Senator Cunningham represents portions of Worth, Orland and Palos Townships in the southwest suburbs and the neighborhoods of Mt. Greenwood, Beverly, Morgan Park and Auburn-Gresham in Chicago. 

GOP budget cuts retired teachers’ health insurance

Sen. Scott BennettSPRINGFIELD – Health insurance programs for retired teachers will be cut in the so-called “Capitol Compromise” according to the Illinois Retired Teachers Association. The budget makes a 30 percent cut to the Teachers Retirement Insurance Program, also known as TRIP.

State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign), who opposes the cuts to the program, issued the following statement:

“Cutting insurance benefits for retired teachers is not the right way to balance the budget. Not only is it extremely unfair, it is potentially unconstitutional and will just lead to more litigation instead of a long-term solution for fixing our finances.”