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Legislative Black Caucus

  • Illinois Legislative Black Caucus SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus (ILBC) responded to Gov. JB Pritzker’s first budget address on Wednesday.

    Leaders of the Black Caucus discussed some of the main issues facing black communities, ranging from criminal justice reform to higher education.

    State Senator Kimberly A. Lightford, Chairman of the ILBC:

    “The governor’s budget plan is a great start to tackle some of the key challenges we are facing including ensuring a living wage for working families and that students around the state receive a quality education.

    “His speech was very realistic about the hole that we are in and how we can climb out of it over time, while continuing to support crucial services like mental health support and violence prevention programs.

    “We look forward to working with our colleagues and the governor’s administration to guarantee that the issues facing the black community are prioritized in the next state budget.”

  • blackcaucus 051718CHICAGO — Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Chairman Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) released the following statement regarding the acquittal of three Chicago police officers, David March, Thomas Gaffney and Joseph Walsh, charged with covering up for a fellow officer, Jason Van Dyke, who shot and killed Laquan McDonald:

    “Today’s decision is not only a slap in the face to Mr. McDonald’s family, but it negatively impacts the black community as a whole because it perpetuates a system that allows a code of silence to continue among police.

  • black caucus budgetSPRINGFIELD-The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus released the following statement regarding the death of Jemel Roberson, a security guard at Manny’s Blue Room in the village of Robbins, who was shot by a Midlothian police officer early on Sunday:

    “Jemel Roberson’s death raises understandable concerns among the members of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus.

    “Far too often a member of the black community has been killed at the hands of police.

  • lightford 082018CHICAGO- Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Chair Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) released the following statement as the jury in the Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke Trial deliberates in the trial of the 2014 shooting of Laquan McDonald.

    “As we await a decision from the jury, I would like to make it clear how important this trial is to our communities throughout the state of Illinois. The last time a Chicago officer was convicted of murder was nearly 50 years ago, and there are many who feel justice has not been served time and time again in Chicago and across the country.

  • LBC presser 062018

  • The Majority Report - May 18, 2018 - Mayors to governor: Hands off our share of income tax


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  • 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.

  • Assistant Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford

    Failing $94 Million Online Healthcare Contract Excludes Minority Business Opportunity

    SPRINGFIELD — Chair of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus and Assistant Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) today expressed deep concern over an Associated Press report that suggests that Governor Bruce Rauner’s administration took action to purposely exclude state guidelines aimed at encouraging minority-owned business opportunities in an effort to steer a nearly $100 million taxpayer-funded contract to a private company that is charged with creating online efficiency in state employee health insurance processing.

    The news story, published on Sunday, highlights that the system was hastily designed and has caused serious difficulties in managing health care records of potentially hundreds of thousands of public employees and retirees. In addition, the investigation exposes the Rauner administration’s efforts to award the massive contract to Georgia-based company Morneau Shepell in what appears to be a favored contractor:

    “Documents show CMS staff members were told to proceed without following guidelines for ensuring minority-owned business participation,” the AP story says.

    “Bruce Rauner might have purchased the Illinois Republican Party, but he doesn’t own the State of Illinois,” Lightford says. “It’s outrageous to discover that he thinks it’s perfectly legitimate to misuse the trust of taxpayers to skirt rules aimed at giving all qualified businesses an equal playing field.”

    Lightford says she is discussing the possibility of utilizing part of Governor Rauner’s 10-day Special Session mandate to conduct a hearing on the failures of the Morneau Shepell contract as well as the procedures and decisions for discarding procurement rules.  

    “I don’t care if Bruce Rauner doesn’t like the long-established requirements to include and consider minority and woman owned businesses, I care that he decided to simply discard them,” said Lightford. “There’s a need for accountability here and I suspect questions will need good answers. We should do that in a public hearing, not behind the Governor’s preferred closed doors.”

    Throughout the past six months a number of news investigations have highlighted serious flaws in the judgement of Rauner officials when it comes to hiring and contracting. Already, the Illinois Senate Appropriations Committees have held in-depth hearings on what appear to be multi-million dollar insider leasing schemes to store supplies like paper in private warehouses.

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


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


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


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