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Part of Collins’ and Flowers’ plan to fight maternal, infant mortality becomes law

collins maternal 051719SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Jacqueline Collins and State Rep. Mary Flowers issued the following statements today as Gov. JB Pritzker signed into law part of the legislative package aimed at reducing rising infant and maternal mortality rates:

“We brought this plan forward to fight against an environment where women’s concerns over their bodies and their children’s well-being are diminished or ignored, often in ways that can be deadly for women of color in particular,” Collins said. “When we see studies that show a college-educated black woman in a high-paying career is more likely to die as a consequence of childbirth than a white woman without a high school diploma, we have to act.”

Collins’ move for more police raid training passes Senate

police raid 052919SPRINGFIELD – In the wake of several instances of police raids targeting the wrong address, destroying property and terrifying residents and their young children, State Senator Jacqueline Collins lead an effort to enact stricter police training standards which passed the Illinois Senate yesterday.

“This is about what we accept when we give police the authority to use force,” Collins said. “These incidents are not merely careless or erroneous: They are civil rights violations. We cannot tolerate the careless use of force.”

House Bill 51 creates the Peter Mendez Act, which directs police training schools to include instruction on ensuring the physical safety and well-being of a child of an arrested parent or immediate family member while at the same time maintaining the integrity of the arrest and safety of officers, suspects, and other involved individuals. Instruction must also include cover de-escalation tactics and inquiring whether a child will require supervision and care arrangements.

Peter Mendez was nine years old in 2017 when Chicago police, acting on inaccurate warrant information, raided his family’s home in error and pointed weapons at him. Key body camera footage of some parts of the incident was missing, per news reports.

The bill passed the Senate mere hours after a CBS 2 News report detailing an entirely separate incident in which Chicago police raided the wrong house, brandishing rifles and handcuffing an 8-year-old boy.

“News reports have revealed this is a consistent and ongoing civil rights issue in Chicago,” Collins said. “I urge my colleagues in the House to raise their voices for responsible, accountable policing and vote Yes for the final approval of House Bill 51.”

House Bill 51 awaits a concurrence vote in the Illinois House.

Collins applauds House move to put Fair Tax amendment to 2020 vote

collins 052919SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Jacqueline Collins issued the following statement Tuesday after the Illinois House approved a ballot measure that would allow Illinoisans to vote in 2020 on whether to end the state’s regressive flat income tax system.

“The House’s action today means Illinois citizens will have the power to put in place a fairer income tax system which eases the burden on the working poor and middle class while placing more responsibility on the very wealthy. In the 16th Senate District, where most people earn far, far less than $250,000 a year, my constituents will see relief under this plan, while millionaires will pay more.”

Taxpayers can visit the Governor’s website for a detailed breakdown of how an Illinoisans income tax would change under the proposed system based on their current income.

“All surrounding states and the federal government have progressive income tax systems which collect more from their wealthier citizens and less from those less fortunate,” Collins said. “Illinois has changed a great deal since the flat income tax was codified in our state constitution in 1970. Income inequality has only risen. Real wages for the lower and middle class have at best stagnated and at worst been driven down. Now is the time to take this step, and I want to thank Governor Pritzker for his leadership on this issue.

“It can be easy to think of taxes as so much ink on paper. The truth is that our budgets, our structures of taxation, are the foundations of our government’s moral stance. Today was a major step that moved Illinois toward a fairer tax where the poor will not bear the cost of building our bridges, funding our schools and safeguarding our communities.”

With the Constitutional amendment having passed both chambers of the General Assembly, it will be put to a vote in the 2020 general election.

NIU, SIU, WIU, EIU to accept all HS grads in top 10 percent of their class under plan by Collins

colllins 052419SPRINGFIELD – Four of the state’s public universities would automatically accept high school students in the top 10 percent of their class under legislation by State Senator Jacqueline Collins, which passed the Senate today.

House Bill 26 starts a four-year pilot program in which Eastern, Northern, Southern and Western Illinois Universities admit any undergraduate admission application from a first-time freshman who has graduated high school in the top 10 percent of their graduating class. Students would also need to fulfil each university’s standard ACT or SAT requirements in order to qualify.

“More and more, the job market has shifted to a de facto requirement of at least a four-year college degree. For all job applicants who seek gainful employment with stable hours and benefits, it’s no longer about one’s K-12 education, but about one’s K-16 education,” Collins said. “It’s our hope that by extending this guarantee of admission to state universities which offer a variety of strong career-oriented colleges, we’re encouraging high school students to achieve and ensuring our highest-performing students have an inherent assurance of a college education.”

House Bill 26 must be approved by a concurrence vote in the Illinois House to pass the General Assembly.

Sen. Jacqueline Y. Collins

16th Senate District

Years served:
2003 - Present

Committee assignments: Committee of the Whole; Financial Institutions (Chairperson); Insurance; Transportation.

Biography: Full-time state legislator. Born December 10th in McComb, Mississippi. Studied journalism at Northwestern University; MA from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government; MA in Human Services Administration from Spertus College; MA in Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School, June 2003. Former Emmy Award-nominated news editor at CBS-TV in Chicago, and 2001 Legislative Fellow with United States Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Associated Representatives:
Mary E. Flowers
André Thapedi