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Manar: Equity vital to any discussion about school funding in Illinois

manar presser 012016SPRINGFIELD – Illinois must do a better job of prioritizing education funding for students who live in poverty and have special needs, Senator Andy Manar said Wednesday during a meeting of the governor’s commission on school funding reform.

Even with the additional investment the state made in K-12 schools this year, Illinois is unlikely to move the needle on better educational outcomes because the state does not drive enough dollars to the districts where they’re most needed, Manar added.

Lightford: Incident at U.S. Rep. Davis’ office highlights the mental health crisis

lightford cps 012016CHICAGO- A woman walked into U.S. Rep. Danny Davis’ office yesterday, drank out of a bottle of hand sanitizer, poured the hand sanitizer on herself and used a lighter to set herself on fire. The unfortunate incident highlights the mental health crisis in our state and across the country.

“We need to fully fund our state’s mental health services,” said Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood). “The story about this woman inflicting pain on herself should move us to acknowledge and support solutions for the mental health issues so many people are struggling with.”

Unclaimed life insurance policies within families’ reach

mulroe frerichs 071916SPRINGFIELD – Unclaimed life insurance benefits may soon be awarded to the families and relatives of the deceased parties under a new measure co-sponsored by State Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago).

Life insurance companies have come under fire with accusations that they have not been diligent enough in awarding benefits to the families and relatives of deceased policyholders.

“These awards and annuities don’t bring back individuals’ loved ones,” Mulroe said, “but they can most certainly aid in covering unexpected end-of-life costs. These families at least deserve that.”

Cunningham measure to protect tax payers and tuition payers becomes law

cunningham hiedcompSPRINGFIELD—Higher education administrators will no longer be able to claim country club memberships as a part of their pensionable income thanks to a proposal pushed by Senator Bill Cunningham becoming law today.

Senate Bill 2156 was one several new laws authored by Cunningham this year aimed at limiting perks for public college and university presidents in Illinois. The legislation was sparked by a scandal at the College of DuPage, where the president received a $750,000 severance package just to leave the college.