Thursday, January 26, 2017 04:47 PM
In what proved to be the highlight of an otherwise redundant State of the State Address day, in a show of unity, members of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus faced the governor’s office for a scathing press conference. The Illinois Black Caucus is a collection of black legislators from both the House of Representatives and Senate.
Members voiced disappointment and pointed out the lack of solutions that plagued the governor’s speech. There was no clearer message than that of Assistant Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood), who also chairs the joint Illinois Legislative Black Caucus: “I really feel like the governor avoided our real problems and didn’t offer up any solutions.”
The caucus has continued to focus on social justice, equitable access to education for students and social service funding for our most vulnerable population. The caucus fights for these causes while advocating for responsible fiscal management on behalf of state government without saddling these vulnerable populations with an undue financial burden.
Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights), chairwoman of the Senate Revenue Committee and Senate Black Caucus, spoke about the importance of revenue and how it contributes to a balance budget. “It is a fact that none of the goals that any of us have can happened with an $11 million in backlog of bills or a $4.5 million deficit.”
Other Senate members of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus who spoke at the press conference were Senator Kwame Raoul and Senator Patricia Van Pelt. Also in attendance were Senator Napoleon Harris, Senator Mattie Hunter, Senator Emil Jones III and Senator Donne Trotter.