Rise and shine with Illinois School Breakfast Week

school-brkfstEvery morning, students gather around their school’s cafeteria to eat breakfast. Among every five children in school, at least one will not eat breakfast. Hunger makes school harder for the 23 percent of Illinois children who are food insecure.

February 23-27 marks Illinois School Breakfast Week, a time to acknowledge the lingering hunger gap in the state.

Read more: Rise and shine with Illinois School Breakfast Week


Child care funding crisis affects parents, day care operators (VIDEO)

Frankie Delaney, right, of Springfield joined her family at the Capitol last week for a rally to restore funding to the state Child Care Assistance Program.Thousands of working families all across Illinois rely on the state's Child Care Assistance Program, which subsidizes child care for working parents, so they can work to support their families or go to school to make a better life for themselves and their children. But funding for CCAP has run out, leaving these families with a unpleasant choice: giving up safe care for their children or quitting their jobs or school.

A rally at the Capitol on Thursday by the Illinois Action for Children was aimed at the governor and the General Assembly to restore this funding so that parents would not have to make such a choice. Hundreds of supporters — many of whom brought their kids — filled the rotunda to rally support for restoring funding for CCAP as well as to ensure continued funding for the next fiscal year.

Read more: Child care funding crisis affects parents, day care operators (VIDEO)


Disappointed Senate Black Caucus reacts to budget address (UPDATED, VIDEO)

budgreax-blackcaucusThis afternoon in response to the governor’s budget address, Senate Black Caucus members expressed concerns about FY’16 budget priorities.

“Not funding education at a 100 percent rate again this year is simply unacceptable. Ninety-nine percent funding would not be enough, so the proposed 95 percent is certainly not adequate.”

“Yes, government leaders in positions of power hold many responsibilities, one of which is ensuring a thriving private sector, attractive to business and industry – but not to be forgotten are the awesome responsibilities of protecting and serving the people.” – State Senator Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood 4th)

Read more: Disappointed Senate Black Caucus reacts to budget address (UPDATED, VIDEO)


Child care funding critical: Steans (VIDEO)

20150205 090500The Illinois Senate's Appropriations 1 Committee listened to testimony today from agencies, parents and the governor's office about the critical funding gap endangering the state's Child Care Assistance Program. Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago 7), committee chair, and members of the committee listened and asked questions of panelists. While the Senate still awaits legislation to address the problem, it is clear the situation is urgent.

Read more: Child care funding critical: Steans (VIDEO)


Medical pros, Bertino-Tarrant agree on dangers of pure caffeine powder

caffpowderJBTIn response to the death of an Ohio high school student who overdosed on caffeine powder, State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D- Shorewood) has filed legislation to make the substance illegal for minors in Illinois.

In a story in The State Journal-Register, medical professionals are in agreement that consuming large amounts of caffeine is dangerous and they advise steering clear of the product. One teaspoon of caffeine powder can have the same dose as 25 cups of coffee. Symptoms of caffeine overdose include vomiting, uncontrollable muscle movements, irregular or fast heartbeat and trouble breathing.


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