Lightford

  • lightford 011519 2On Tuesday, Gov. Pritzker signed Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford’s bill, Senate Bill 203, the first legislation to receive his signature as governor. The new law protects worker wages and promotes diversity in employment by state contractors. Additionally, it requires the disclosure of data on employee demographics and pay among businesses which contract with the State of Illinois.

    “I applaud the governor’s action today in signing this legislation and taking a real step forward in the fight for pay equity in Illinois,” Lightford said. “A culture of secrecy around wages has been to the detriment of women and people of color, who remain underpaid for the same work in comparison with their peers. It’s time to demand straight answers on what we’re worth.”

  • Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford

    SPRINGFIELD – More than half a century since the Civil Rights Act became law, workers in the United States continue to earn different wages based on their race.

    Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) is fighting for legislation that would prohibit wage discrimination against African-Americans under the Equal Pay Act.

    “Governor Rauner ignored the wage gap for African-Americans and decided he wanted to ‘All Lives Matter’ this proposal,” Lightford said. “Today, we made sure that wage equity continues to be a priority in Illinois.”

    According to a 2017 Federal Reserve study, black men and women earn persistently lower wages compared to their white counterparts and this wage gap cannot be adequately explained by differences in education, age, job type or location.

    That gap appears to be expanding rather than contracting. In 1979, the average lack man in the United States earned about 80 percent compared to the average white man, by 2016 that gap had grown to 70 percent.  The same is true for black women, who in 1979 earned about 95 percent compared to white women, but by 2016 earned only 82 percent of wages paid to white women on average.

    House Bill 4743 prohibits employers from paying wages to an African-American employee at a rate less than the rate paid to an employee who is not African-American for the same or substantially similar work.

    Governor Rauner’s veto was overridden in the Senate with a vote of 49-01.

  • lightford 082418CHICAGO- Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) was named to the education transition committee for governor-elect JB Pritzker during a news conference held at Genevieve Melody STEM Elementary in Chicago.

    The 35-member Educational Success Committee is the seventh of several working groups of the transition made up of experts who will advise the new administration.

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  • 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.

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  • SenSandovalCHICAGO – State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago) has been appointed as the Chair of a first-in-the-nation bipartisan Special Committee on Supplier Diversity in the Illinois Senate.

    Sandoval was appointed on May 31 by Senate President John J. Cullerton. Sandoval will be tasked with ensuring public and private sector institutions offer opportunities for business and job growth for minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses.

    “The best solution to reduce crime, improve schools, balance our budgets and improve our communities starts with good jobs,” Sandoval said. “Expanding opportunities for small businesses to create those jobs is my personal mission and passion.”

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  • lightford 051018SPRINGFIELD – More than half a century since the Civil Rights Act became law, workers in the United States continue to earn different wages based on their race.

    Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) is fighting for legislation that would prohibit wage discrimination against African-Americans under the Equal Pay Act.

    “It is long overdue that African-Americans are paid a fair and equal wage for their work,” Lightford said. “My hope is that this legislation will provide the tools to close the wage gap between African-Americans and their white counterparts.”

  • Asst. Majority Leader Kimberly A. LightfordSPRINGFIELD – While obtaining a college degree is increasingly vital to career advancement, low-income, racial minority and first-generation college students often struggle to transition into a college or university’s culture.

    A plan led by Illinois Senate Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) that was approved in the Senate Higher Education committee Tuesday seeks to ease the transition into college by allowing Illinois’ public universities to establish bridge programs. These programs would provide access, academic support and financial aid to underrepresented students.

    “There are still so many young people who are going to college for the first time and moving away from everything they are familiar with, and that can be a nerve-racking situation,” Lightford said. “We have a very diverse population in our state, and our universities should be focused on inclusion so that all young people benefit from the world-class education they offer.”

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  • Illinois Senate Womens' Caucus

    Caucus endorses ratification of Equal Rights Amendment

    SPRINGFIELD – The Equal Rights Amendment is the first measure to earn the backing of the Senate Women’s Caucus, members of the bipartisan group announced today.

    “The intention of the Illinois Senate Women’s Caucus is to advance legislation that supports, empowers and protects women of all aspects of life, and that’s exactly what we are doing today,” said State Senator Karen McConnaughay, a St. Charles Republican and co-chairwoman of the caucus.

    SJRCA 4, the Equal Rights Amendment proposes to ratify the ERA to the U.S. Constitution and solidify equality for women. Women do not currently have guaranteed equal rights under the federal Constitution.

  • gun dealerIn spite of repeated pleas from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers to support commonsense measures to curb gun violence and help sweep unregistered firearms off the streets, the governor vetoed Senate Bill 1657, the Gun Dealer Licensing Act.

    According to a 2014 report from the University of Chicago Crime Lab, almost 20 percent of all guns recovered from crimes scenes in Chicago between 2009 and 2013 came from three of the state’s 2,400 dealers. Although Democratic and Republican lawmakers supported the gun dealer licensing legislation, along with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson and many gun safety advocates and victims' families, the governor vetoed the bill today.

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