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  • Senator JonesSPRINGFIELD – A parent or guardian would be required to be on charter school boards of directors under an initiative from State Senator Emil Jones III (D-Chicago).

    “Parents have the strongest interest in a school doing well because they have a child attending there,” Jones said. “They wouldn’t be using the position as a springboard for higher office.”

    Currently, charter schools are administered and governed by their boards of directors or other governing bodies in the manner provided in their charters.

    Also under the legislation, every voting member of a charter school’s board or governing body must complete a minimum of four hours of professional development leadership training.

    “Parents will be getting training to make certain they are familiar with the roles and responsibilities of being on the school board,” Jones said. “Overall, parents will ensure the students’ interests are the top priority.”

    House Bill 3659 passed the Senate Education Committee and is scheduled to go to the Senate floor for further debate.

  • Sens. Elgie R. Sims Jr., Emil Jones III, Iris Y. Martinez and Kimberly A. Lightford

    SPRINGFIELD – Senate lawmakers and advocates gathered Thursday to stress the importance of getting a full and accurate count in Illinois during the 2020 Census.

    Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez spoke to the potential consequences of an undercount.

    “The census is used to determine federal funding and representation for our state,” Martinez (D-Chicago) said. “That means, if we are undercounted, we stand to lose billions in federal funding, along with two congressional seats and two Electoral College votes.”

    Martinez is the sponsor of legislation, contained in Senate Bill 1408, that would appropriate $25 million to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to provide grants to community providers and local governments for the purposes of encouraging full participation in the 2020 federal census.

  • Sen. Emil Jones IIIALSIP – Laramie Park in Alsip is a beneficiary of a $400,000 state grant, State Senator Emil Jones III revealed today.

    The Open Space Land Acquisition and Development Program grant program is administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

    “Families of the Alsip community will be ecstatic that their park is receiving a renovation,” Jones said. “Every park in my district is important to me and I’m pleased to see that Laramie Park is one of the parks that will benefit from this grant.”

  • jones 012918Security guard Jemel Roberson killed on the job by Midlothian police officer

    SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Emil Jones III (D-Chicago) released the following statement concerning the investigation of the death of Jemel Roberson, a security guard working at Manny’s Blue Room Lounge in the village of Robbins, who was shot by a Midlothian police officer early Sunday morning:

    “Police are shooting people of color far too often. It’s time to be more aggressive in our response to these incidents.

  • Illinois Black Caucus

  • CapitolSWJuly brings the beginning of a new fiscal year for the state, and several measures passed by the legislature and signed into law take effect on July 1.

    Most notably, two new laws address Illinois education: one reaffirms the importance of learning cursive writing in Illinois schools and another addresses the statewide teacher shortage.

  • jones 012918CHICAGO – State Senator Emil Jones, III (D-Chicago) is issuing a response to misleading claims made by the governor during his Juneteenth remarks today.

    Gov. Bruce Rauner touted helping the black community, especially black businesses. Rauner has actually largely ignored black-owned businesses during his term.

    “I was disgusted by the governor’s claims that he’s been a pillar within the black community, when in reality, he’s done various things that have in fact hurt our people,” said Jones.

    Some areas that have suffered under Gov. Rauner include:

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  • jones 012918CHICAGO – Today, State Senator Emil Jones III (D - CHICAGO) joined elected officials at Roseland Community Hospital to discuss the financial future of Roseland and safety-net hospitals around the state.

    “Safety-net hospitals provide quality health care to the poorest communities, which is something that all people in Illinois deserve, regardless of their race or income,” said Jones. “These hospitals also employ an estimated 25,000 people in Illinois and 23,000 people across the Chicagoland area.”

    To remain at a sustainable funding level for the year, Roseland has laid off nearly seven percent of its staff and reduced the pay of all of its doctors and nurses. As of now, all “fixed payments” to hospitals will sunset on June 30, 2018.  The hospital assessment program, a combination of state and federal funds that provides financial relief across the state, is up for negotiation, creating uncertainty among safety-net hospitals.

    “Ensuring safety-net hospital funding for the next fiscal year has to be a top priority in Springfield,” Jones said. “Roseland, along with many other hospitals, is suffering tremendously—they cannot stand to lose any federal dollars.”

    In the past, it has taken each hospital assessment 12-15 months for federal approval. It is estimated that taxed payments account for almost 50 percent of all payments to safety-net hospitals.

  • ilbc amazonYesterday it was reported that an official letter was submitted to Amazon executives with an attached state and city bid signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and the legislature’s top four leaders. Members of the Illinois Legislative Senate Black Caucus are cautiously optimistic about the potential of Amazon moving its second headquarters to Chicago. 

    Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood), who also chairs the joint Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, delivered a clear message: “Job creation is a top priority for the caucus, specifically in our impoverished neighborhoods where unemployment rates soar due to lack of sustainable jobs.

  • President Barack ObamaSPRINGFIELD –  Barack Obama may be celebrating his birthday outside the White House this year, but State Senator Emil Jones III (D-Chicago) wants to make sure the former president is not forgotten.

    Jones passed legislation during the legislative session that designates Aug. 4 of each year as Barack Obama Day in Illinois.

    “President Obama is a man who has inspired millions with his decades of dedicated public service,” Jones said. “He deserves to be honored for his continuous hard work for the people of our nation, our state and our communities.”

    Obama worked as a community organizer on the south side of Chicago after graduating from Columbia University and was elected to the Illinois State Senate to represent the 13th District in 1996. As a state senator, he helped pass ethics reform, negotiated welfare reform and promoted increased subsidies for childcare.

    The former president went on to be elected to represent Illinois in the United States Senate in 2004 before becoming the first African-American to be elected President of the United States in 2008.

    Senate Bill 55 passed unanimously in both houses and Gov. Rauner signed it into law.

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  • CSUGrad04282016

    More than 800 Chicago State University students received their diplomas Thursday in an early ceremony moved up weeks for fear the school would run out of money and shut down due to an ongoing state budget impasse.

    A last-minute, $600-million higher education deal will, for now, keep the doors open at Chicago State, Eastern Illinois University and other state schools. But the stop gap plan isn’t enough to offset the long-term damage that’s been done as the schools have gone nearly a year without any state support. Layoffs and program cuts are still expected at Chicago State and other schools.

    Senator Emil Jones III was at Thursday’s graduation ceremonies – the 358th commencement for the nearly 150-year-old university. As happy as he is for the CSU graduates, he’s equally concerned for the underclassmen who increasingly are victimized by the budget showdown that began when Gov. Bruce Rauner rejected the entire higher education budget last year.

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  • Senator Emil Jones (D-Chicago) speaks about two budget measures that passed the Senate today at a Legislative Black Caucus press conference.


  • jones csu 012516State Senator Emil Jones III (D-Chicago) recently introduced legislation that helps college students who are facing financial hardships. The measure, Senate Bill 2941, prohibits universities and community colleges from denying a student from registering for classes and prohibits them from refusing to issue a transcript to a student because of and outstanding debt owed to the university.

    Senator Jones offered the following comments:

    “Currently, our governor’s inaction on the budget has forced over 150,000 students out of Monetary Awards Programs (MAP) grants, which provides qualified students with tuition assistance,” said Senator Jones. “Since this MAP grant funding hasn’t been enacted, many students weren’t able to register for classes or get copies of their transcripts for other scholarships, pushing intended graduation dates back even further  for many students.

    “We also have a population of job seekers who need their transcripts to show potential employers that they’re qualified for good-paying jobs. Without access to their transcripts, recent graduates are often skipped over and relegated to a situation where they can’t pay and outstanding debt to the school they graduated from.”

  • jones csu 012516Springfield – Recently, State Representative Ken Dunkin held a press conference boasting his plan to save Chicago State University (CSU) and several other state universities from financial collapse. What Representative Dunkin failed to mention is how seniors, people facing foreclosures, human services and LIHEAP would all fall victim to fund sweeps tied to funding his legislation. Senator Emil Jones III, Chairman of the Senate Black Caucus introduced Senate Bill 2272, which funds CSU without evoking harm to some of our most vulnerable citizens like Rep. Dunkin’s bill would cause.

    Below is Senator Jones’ statement:

    “The legislation that my colleague and good friend Ken Dunkin is proposing comes with a few strings attached. Ken’s bill is funded by a separate demand from the governor and Republicans in the form of Senate Bill 3044, which steals funds from LIHEAP, the Human Services fund, foreclosure prevention programs, money for our crumbling schools and a fund that provides long-term care for seniors.

    So sometimes, the things our “allies” suggest aren’t really what they seem to be. Legislation I am sponsoring spends tax money we have collected and hasn’t been spent to fund CSU. On a side note, I would like to applaud CSU’s students and faculty for their poise and willingness to make adjustments while the governor, his allies and republicans play politics with your futures. Back to Ken, let’s get on the same page and pass my bill that solves problems and doesn’t create them.”