After three years of the governor failing to fulfill his constitutional obligation to introduce a balanced budget, the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus assembled for a press conference to say enough is enough. The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus is a collection of black legislators from both the House of Representatives and Senate.
"I am not sure what could be said about the governor's three years of inactivity," said Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood), chairwoman for the Joint Legislative Black Caucus. "Before he was sworn in he stated he wanted to shake things up in Springfield; in the process, he has shaken a hole in our state."
Senators comment on this year's Black History Month theme, “The Crisis in Black Education.”
Over the years the crisis in black education has grown significantly. In urban neighborhoods, public schooling systems lack resources and have overcrowded classrooms, which result to students of color reaping the disproportionate shortfalls of the racial achievement gap.
In the past, whether by laws, policies, or practices, racially separated schools remained the norm in America. Because of that, black students today are underperforming and are not advancing like their white counterparts.
This year’s national theme, The Crisis in Black Education, focuses on the evolution of black education and its meaning as it empowers students to grow, achieve and prosper.
University students and faculty from all over Illinois rallied in Springfield Wednesday to call for an end to the budget impasse that has held up funding for higher education and imperiled programs and services at the state’s public colleges.
Joined by a bipartisan group of lawmakers from the Illinois House and Senate, the Federation of Independent Illinois Colleges and Universities called on the General Assembly and Gov. Bruce Rauner to swiftly approve funding for state universities. A previous stopgap measure expired at the end of 2016, and colleges have since gone without state funding.
State Senator and Chairman of the Senate Higher Education Committee, Pat McGuire, D-Joliet, addressed the rally to speak on the grand bargain that would include $1.1 billion in funding for higher education and take steps to end the budget impasse that he said has hurt the lives of students and the schools they attend.
“I know for many of you this is not your first trip to our state capital to advocate for funding for higher education,” McGuire said. “Your persistence is having an effect.”
The Senate continues to negotiate details of a budget plan this week as the General Assembly awaits the governor’s upcoming budget proposal. McGuire urged the students, faculty, and activists at the rally to send a clear message to the General Assembly and the governor to pass the bipartisan compromise.
SPRINGFIELD – A spoon full of sugar may help the medicine go down, but too much sugar in your diet can mean a lifetime of expensive health problems. That’s why Senator Mattie Hunter is partnering with the American Heart Association and the Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity to promote “Sugarless Wednesday”, an initiative aimed to raise awareness of the harmful effects of added sugar in our daily diets.
“Sugarless Wednesday” began Jan. 4 with a goal of people eliminating soda and cutting back on sweets and sugary snacks each Wednesday of the month.
This Monday, Americans will pause to remember the tireless work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who dedicated his life to advancing civil rights and justice for African-Americans and other marginalized groups throughout the United States.
In honor of Dr. King, many Americans will take the day to volunteer in their communities. Serve Illinois, a state commission tasked with increasing volunteerism, offers information on a multitude of volunteer opportunities across the state.
This Monday, we remember the timeless words of Dr. King: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”
SPRINGFIELD — In response to a new study funded by the Department of Justice that found dire conditions among the inmate population at Logan Correctional Center, Majority Caucus Whip and Latino Caucus Co-Chair Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) released the following statement:
“I was strongly opposed to the closing of the Dwight correctional facility in 2013 and the transfer of female inmates, many of whom are from the Chicago area, to a state prison in Lincoln. As the new report states, this decision has put inmates and Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) staff in untenable conditions.
Senator Donne Trotter (D-Chicago) championed a budget bill to ensure Pre-K and K-12 schools could open on time this year.
House Bill 2990 would provide a $75 million increase in funding for early childhood education and provide additional money for P-12 education.
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