Lightford

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  • Assistant Majority Leader and Legislative Black Caucus Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) speaks regarding the governor's budget address at a recent press conference.


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  • Senator Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) argues in defense of MAP grants on the Senate chamber floor on January 28, 2016.


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  • ILBC lightford 012716The message was clear and the call for action united as members of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus gathered outside the Senate chamber to voice their response to Governor Rauner’s State of the State address.

    The press conference began with ILBC Chair Kimberly Lightford giving opening remarks setting the stage for a number of initiatives important to the African-American community to be discussed, including education equity, restoring essential social services and police brutality and incarceration reform.

  • Senator Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) shares her thoughts after listening to the governor's State of the State address on January 27, 2016.


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  • lightford cps 012016CHICAGO—Senate Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood) issued the following statement in strong support of Senate President John Cullerton’s speech detailing the necessity for need-based school funding reform Monday at the City Club of Chicago.

    “Just as President Cullerton expressed so eloquently today, we must continue to shed light on one of the grossest injustices setting back Illinois today – the iniquities of our school funding system. Working together is the only way we turn our education system’s regression into progression. It’s the only way we turn systemic disadvantage into education equity. If we don’t act now in the interest of our children’s futures, it will be too late for another generation, and this, we cannot afford.” Sen. Lightford said.

  • lightford cps 012016SPRINGFIELD – In response to the forthcoming legislation seeking to allow for the bankruptcy and government takeover of the city of Chicago and Chicago Public Schools being pushed by the governor and Republican leaders, Senate Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford released the following statement.

    “The Republican administration has gone too far, and the governor has shirked his real duties to the people. If he wants so desperately to restructure Chicago Public Schools, he should start by restructuring the systemic prejudice that continues to permeate our children’s schools.

    “Chicago is not a third world country to be seized by a government. This is not our path to success. All of our leaders need to treat Chicago students and teachers with respect, value them as equally as any other student or teacher and be willing to proactively restructure our education system for the next generation.”

  • Senate Democrats make social justice reform and criminal justice reform top priorityThousands of police body cameras will hit the streets in the new year under major reforms sponsored by Senate Democrats in an effort to increase public accountability and confidence in the wake of scandals and unrest.

    The new law, Senate Bill 1304, takes effect Jan. 1 and sets the official parameters for the use of police body cameras, increases training and reporting requirements for officers and clarifies the public’s right to access the videos. It is one of several key criminal and social justice reforms enacted by Senate Democrats in 2015, covering everything from protecting students’ educational rights to common-sense consumer laws aiding women trying to escape domestic violence.

    “We’ve made great strides this year in defending the public’s right to be properly protected, with justice for all,” said State Senator Kwame Raoul, a Hyde Park Democrat who emerged as one of the state’s leading reform advocates.

  • lightford 120715SPRINGFIELD – On Jan.1, 2016, students with developmental disabilities will find it easier to get the help they and their families need. Sponsored by Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D – Maywood), a new law that goes into effect the first of the year requires the state to train public school case workers to register disabled students with PUNS (Prioritization or Urgency of Need for Services) database.

    The database records information about individuals with developmental disabilities who are potentially in need of services. Experts have argued that due to a lack of awareness, PUNS is under-utilized, and therefore, people with developmental disabilities across the state are not getting the services they need.

    “Our education system should be optimized to serve and develop all students to reach their fullest potential,” said Sen. Lightford. “This law is protecting our children and families from being overlooked or neglected through the power of institutional and academic synergy.”

    The law will ensure students in Illinois public schools and parents have the information they need to register with PUNS if they so choose.

    DHS and ISBE would develop a program for and conduct the training of public school employees so they are as prepared as possible to provide these students and their families with the information and advice they need. The law also requires ISBE to inform parents and guardians about updates with the PUNS waiting list through the school districts.

    POINTS OF EMPHASIS

    1. An effort to increase awareness of this valuable resource
    2. New training program for case workers to ensure students and parents in all public schools are well aware of the opportunities afforded to disabled students by signing up
    3. Yearly opportunities for individuals to sign up for the PUNS list to be provided in cases where training is not available
    4. Applies to all public school districts
    5. DHS choosing individuals based on need level and available funding
    6. Passed House unanimously, Senate concurred unanimously


    In addition, the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus has a list on its website of 16 pieces of the legislation that will become effective Jan 1.

  • sb2039 passes

  • lightford 120715SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) issued the following statement after she voted to free up $3.1 billion in spending to sustain local communities, including motor fuel tax revenue, which has been held up by the budget impasse in Springfield. The measure passed the Senate and now goes to the governor for final approval.

    “Today, my colleagues and I proved our resolve to make sure families and local governments have the money to continue functioning without a true budget in place,” said the assistant majority leader. “Now, we must shift our focus to what remains to be budgeted, prioritizing higher education and crucial community services, such as mental health and homeless programs. We have more work to do.”

    The legislation releases motor fuel tax revenue for communities throughout Cook County – communities such as Bellwood, Maywood, North Riverside, Westchester, Oak Park and River Forest – that can be used to prepare for winter storms and repair potholes.

    The exact dollar amount of how much communities are owed this year has not yet been released, but communities throughout Cook County received nearly $100 million in gas tax money last year.

    Other areas of concern that have yet to be dealt with in the piecemeal budget process include MAP grant funding and other scholarships, services for rape victims, addiction treatment, immigrant language translation services, Teen Reach, epilepsy services and respite care.

    Still, the legislation (SB 2039) does include the following components:

    •    $582.5 million to IDOT for local governments share of motor fuel gas tax revenues
    •    $77 million for 911-related costs
    •    $1 billion to the Lottery for prizes
    •    $43 million to the Community College Board for career and technical education activities
    •    $31 million to IDOT to purchase road salt
    •    $2.5 million for breast cancer services and research
    •    $165 million for home heating bill assistance

  • You pay at the pump, why is Springfield keeping your money?

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  • lightford 080515SPRINGFIELD – Most of us would agree that if we could do high school all over again, knowing what we now know about how the world works, some of our academic questions and concerns might focus on more practical subjects – maybe simply inquiring about how to get through day-to-day adult life unscathed.

    How do I stay out of debt? What is the best way to pay back mounting student loans? How do I prevent the guy in the apartment next door from stealing my identity?

    A new law, pushed through the General Assembly by Senate Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford (D – Maywood), will require those questions to be answered in Illinois public high schools.