The Majority Report 12/20/15 - School funding, Jobs and Free Speech


Stop kicking the can on school reform: Cullerton

Stop kicking the can on school reform: CullertonWith the state mired in an unprecedented budget stalemate, Illinois Senate President John Cullerton urged his colleagues and the governor to use the situation as an opportunity to address meaningful school finance reform that will provide educational opportunities for all students regardless of their ZIP codes.

"The longer we delay dealing with disparities in school funding, the more students will enter and leave Illinois' public school system without reaching their full potential because the proper educational resources simply aren't there," Cullerton said in his call to action, which recently appeared as a guest column in Crain's Chicago Business.

You can read the entire piece here.




Haine fighting to keep Granite City jobs

Haine fighting to keep Granite City jobsWhen US Steel announced last March it was going to temporarily idle its Granite City plant, Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) reacted quickly by filing a Senate resolution urging the president and Congress to review the national tariff policy on steel goods. Recently, the plant announced the temporary layoff of 2,000 workers.

"This is catastrophic," Haine said. "I cannot emphasize enough how important the steel industry is to the Metro East, Illinois and the United States. The Granite City plant has been in the area for generations. If this plant closes I cannot imagine negative impact it would have."

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Harris defends student athletes' rights

Harris defends student athletes' rightsState Senator Napoleon Harris (D-Harvey) announced last week he plans to pursue legislation to protect student athletes' freedom of speech and make sure they aren't punished academically or economically for taking a stand.

Last week, a Republican state representative in Missouri filed legislation that would strip student athletes of their scholarships if they refused to play for any reason other than health. Coaches could also be fined for supporting student protests.

"What was being discussed in Missouri is blatantly unconstitutional and treats students like they are property," said Harris, who starred at Northwestern University and had a successful pro-football career prior to joining the Illinois Senate. "I want to send a message that protects students' rights before anyone gets any dumb ideas here."

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