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  • Black History Month 2017 - The Crisis in Black Education (VIDEO)

    Black History Month 2017 - The Crisis in Black EducationSenators comment on this year's Black History Month theme, “The Crisis in Black Education.”

    Over the years the crisis in black education has grown significantly. In urban neighborhoods, public schooling systems lack resources and have overcrowded classrooms, which result to students of color reaping the disproportionate shortfalls of the racial achievement gap.

    In the past, whether by laws, policies, or practices, racially separated schools remained the norm in America. Because of that, black students today are underperforming and are not advancing like their white counterparts.

    This year’s national theme, The Crisis in Black Education, focuses on the evolution of black education and its meaning as it empowers students to grow, achieve and prosper.

  • Clayborne expresses frustration with Grand Bargain vote

    Sen. James F. ClayborneToday, the Illinois Senate failed to advance the remaining proposals in the Grand Bargain package they have been negotiating since January. State Senator James F. Clayborne (D-Belleville) issued the following statement:

    “Again we had a chance to put people’s livelihoods above politics, but  my colleagues on the other side of the aisle made it clear they are unwilling to compromise. Senate Democrats have worked tirelessly for months on a package of bills to get the state back on track. We have changed the package 35 times in an effort to reach compromise with the governor and Republicans. We cannot waste any more time. We must pass a budget.”

     

  • Clayborne helps service members get college credit for military courses

    clayborne 050217SPRINGFIELD — Service members looking to obtain college credit for military courses may soon have an easier process when transferring credits to a public university or community college in Illinois.

    The proposal, sponsored by State Senator James F. Clayborne (D-Belleville), passed the Senate Higher Education Committee Tuesday. 

    “Providing our service members accessibility to higher education should be a priority of our state and our nation,” said Clayborne. “It is important we continue this trend by offering students a clear understanding of how their military courses transfer into our state’s universities and community colleges.”

    The measure would create the Educational Credit for Military Experience Act, which  would require the state’s public universities and community colleges to develop a policy for awarding college credit for military courses taken through the Armed Forces.

    House Bill 3701 will now be considered by the full Senate.

  • Clayborne leads effort to boost business contracts for women, veterans, minorities

    Sen. James F. ClayborneSPRINGFIELD – State Senator James F. Clayborne (D-Belleville) passed a measure through the Illinois Senate Wednesday which aims to increase the number of minority-owned, female-owned and veteran-owned enterprises Illinois companies contract with.

    The measure, Senate Bill 262, would require Illinois companies to submit a report outlining their procurement goals and highlighting minority ownership of businesses they contract with.

    “This measure is about ensuring corporations do not continue to overlook minority-owned businesses,” Clayborne said. “I want to ensure that companies are investing back into the communities they provide service. If a company is supplying services in a community like East Saint Louis, they should do everything they can to contract with businesses in that community.

    “It is also important that these companies show every best effort to diversify who they contract with. I want to make sure minority-, female- and veteran-owned businesses have a fair chance in this business climate.”

    If companies fail to report their efforts showing their diversity goals to the Illinois Commerce Commission and the Business Enterprise Council, they would be barred from bidding on state contracts for one year.

    The legislation passed the Senate Wednesday and now goes to the House for consideration.

  • Clayborne works to move Senate budget package forward

    clayborne 022817SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate moved a number of measures forward Tuesday in an effort to get the state back on track and solve the budget stalemate.

    State Senator James F. Clayborne (D-Belleville) supported measures that would fund social service agencies, bring economic investment back to the Metro East and help reduce the state’s deficit.

    “It is time to get this state back on track,” Clayborne said. “We are making some tough yet necessary decisions in the Senate. Nonetheless, these are decisions to keep places like the Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House open and ensure the citizens in our community have a renewed sense of livelihood.”

    The Senate continues to work on these measures in an effort to bring reforms to the state and put an end to the two-year budget stalemate once and for all.

    “Enough is enough. We need to ensure our seniors are taken care of, that after-school programs remain funded and that our most vulnerable residents no longer face uncertainty,” he said. “I hope this plan will make it to the governor’s desk and that he will support it. We need to get this done for the people of our state.”

  • Clayborne, Hunter push to expand Organ/Tissue Donor registry

    clayborne 020317SPRINGFIELD – Senators James F. Clayborne (D-Belleville) and Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) joined Secretary of State Jesse White today in announcing new legislation that would allow 16- and 17-year-olds to register for the state’s First Person Consent Organ/Tissue Donor Registry when they receive their driver’s license or identification card.

    “I am happy to be advocating for this legislation,” said Clayborne who is a kidney recipient.

  • Clayborne: Comptroller should make November pension payment

    clayborne pens pmtSPRINGFIELD, IL – Comptroller Leslie Munger announced Wednesday that she plans to skip the state’s pension payment for November. State Senator James Clayborne (D-Belleville) reacted to the Comptroller’s decision.

    “We’re heading down a road we’re all too familiar with,” Clayborne said. “We know what happens when we don’t make our pension payments because that’s how we got here in the first place. The comptroller and governor should be using their business experience to bring forth innovation not reviving past mistakes we’re working to eradicate.”

  • Few specifics, missed opportunities in governor's budget speech (VIDEO)

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  • Governor who can’t cut, criticizes Democrats for not letting him cut more

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  • Illinois Legislative Black Caucus: Enough Is Enough (VIDEO)

    ilbc presserAfter three years of the governor failing to fulfill his constitutional obligation to introduce a balanced budget, the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus assembled for a press conference to say enough is enough. The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus is a collection of black legislators from both the House of Representatives and Senate.

    "I am not sure what could be said about the governor's three years of inactivity," said Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood), chairwoman for the Joint Legislative Black Caucus. "Before he was sworn in he stated he wanted to shake things up in Springfield; in the process, he has shaken a hole in our state."

  • Senate welcomes Consul General of Turkey to General Assembly (AUDIO)

    030116CM0916The Illinois Senate welcomed Umut Acar, 18th Consul General of the Republic of Turkey to the General Assembly on Tuesday.

    Mr. Acar was introduced to the Senate by Senate Majority Leader James F. Clayborne. Mr. Acar has served as Consul General of Turkey since October 2015. Prior to this post, he served on Turkey's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a post he held since 2007.

  • Senators, students gather for tech talk

    clayborne techSince 1990, students and teachers from across the state come to the Capitol each spring to provide demonstrations on classroom technology projects for lawmakers. The Illinois Computing Educators annual TECH Day brings school teams to show projects that often focus on improving teaching and learning.

    For Illinois students to succeed, technology must play a role in their education. This ensures their engagement in what their school's resources help them learn and accomplish.

  • Soon to expire housing tax credit subject of Senate hearing

    HutchinsonCommitteeA state income tax credit that supports the development of affordable housing units will expire at the end of December if it is not renewed by the General Assembly.

    Earlier this week, State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) led a hearing of the Senate Revenue Committee in discussing the importance of the credit and a proposal by State Senator James Clayborne (D – Belleville) that would extend the tax credit for five years.

    “Affordable housing projects are not developed by just one entity,” Hutchinson said. “It takes a combination of businesses, non-profits and government agencies to all come together to make important projects like these a reality.”