Harris: Public universities should offer Black history course

harris 050818SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Napoleon Harris III (D-Harvey) is lead sponsor of legislation that would require every community college and public university to offer a course studying the events of Black History.

“We hear a lot of misinformation these days about the history of African Americans on television, social media and the internet in general,” Harris said.

Committee hears Harris’ sports wagering legislation

Sen. Napoleon Harris IIICHICAGO – Illinois casinos could soon offer in-person or online betting on professional, amateur or collegiate sports under a measure spearheaded by State Senator Napoleon Harris (D-Harvey).

Senate Bill 3432 can only go into effect if the federal sports wagering ban is lifted, and it would require a $10,000 licensing fee and a $5,000 license renewal fee for interactive sports wagering platforms. It also outlines consumer protections and integrity requirements for sports wagering operators, including record-keeping and annual reporting to the Gaming Board.

“Our state continues to struggle financially, and we have an opportunity to gain much-needed revenue for education, human services and infrastructure should the federal sports wagering ban be struck down,” Harris, a former NFL linebacker, said. “We know that sports fans enjoy betting, and the state should offer a secure and legal way to do so.”

Harris: South Suburban communities would benefit greatly under new education funding formula

harris 030917SPRINGFIELD – High-poverty suburban school districts, shortchanged for decades under Illinois’ worst-in-the-nation education funding formula, could see a significant influx of funding to level the playing field with wealthier suburban districts under a landmark school funding reform measure that recently passed in both houses of the legislature.

“I eagerly joined my colleagues in support of a plan that fixes the inequitable way we fund public schools in. It also makes sure no schools see any loss of funding and offers property task relief to struggling homeowners. There is no reason Governor Rauner should not sign this legislation as soon as it gets to his desk,” Illinois said State Senator Napoleon Harris (D-Harvey).

Senate Bill 1 has strong support from thousands of school administrators, superintendents, principals, educators, taxpayers and advocates for fair school funding. Illinois’ school funding formula has not been updated in more than 20 years and is considered one of the worst in the nation because it relies so heavily on local property wealth.

Funding Illinois’ Future – a coalition that advocates for school funding reform – released estimates based on an analysis of Illinois State Board of Education figures. The analysis shows potential funding increases for local school districts under Senate Bill 1, an evidence-based model that accounts for factors such as students with disabilities, English language learners and low-income students.

It also provides extra support for the neediest districts in the quest for adequate funding, and it offers property tax relief.

No school district would receive less funding under Senate Bill 1 than they have received under Illinois’ current school funding formula.

The estimated overall gain some area school districts would experience under the Funding Illinois’ Future analysis of SB1 based on FY17 funding levels:

  • Bremen Community High School District 228 - $2.9 million
  • Brookwood School District 167 - $449,799
  • Crete Monee Community Unit School District 201U – $447,217
  • Dolton School District 148 – $512,762
  • Harvey School District 152 - $626,447
  • Hazel Crest School District 152-5 - $381,697
  • Homewood School District 153 – $152,265
  • Midlothian School District 153 - $937,556
  • Posen-Robbins Elementary School District 143-5 - $865,816
  • South Holland School District 151 - $365,484
  • Steger School District 194 – $638,686
  • Thornton Township High School District 205 - $1.7 million
  • West Harvey-Dixmoor Public School District 147 - $558,879

In addition, under Senate Bill 1, high-tax school districts are eligible for property tax relief up to 1 percent of their EAV. Estimated property tax relief for two area school districts:

  • Bremen Community High School District 228 - $3.9 million
  • Brookwood School District 167 - $1 million
  • Crete Monee Community Unit School District 201U - $3 million
  • Dolton School District 14 - $1.1 million
  • Ford Heights School District 169 – $228,369
  • Hazel Crest School District 152-5 – $681,918
  • Homewood School District 153 - $2 million
  • South Holland School District 150 - $224,619
  • South Holland School District 151 - $1.4 million
  • Steger School District 194 - $224,619
  • Thornton Township High School District 205 - $3.8 million
  • West Harvey-Dixmoor Public School District 147 - $488,309

To review the Funding Illinois’ Future analysis, visit

Harris helps keep South Suburbs current in bond payments

harris 050317HARVEY– Senator Napoleon Harris (D-Harvey) has helped protect taxpayers in Harvey and Dolton by working with local elected officials and bond holders (including Assured Guaranty) to avoid costly litigation and make payments on millions of dollars defaulted bonded debt.

Both Harvey and Dolton missed their last debt service payments on municipal bonds that funded construction and operational services in the two municipalities. Harvey faced a May 1 deadline to make its most recent debt payment, and Harris is working to ensure that commitment is fulfilled.

The tax bases of both Harvey and Dolton have been adversely affected by the declining economy and foreclosures. Both problems made it more difficult for the communities to make their bond payments, Harris said.

Senator Harris worked with officials from both towns to meet their capital market financial obligations. 

“I appreciate the work of Harvey and Dolton leaders for focusing on the urgent financial issues affecting their communities,” Harris said. “I plan to work on legislation to help permanently protect South Suburbs taxpayers by prioritizing the payment of debt service on bonds.”

Harris said he expects to introduce legislation later this year.

Sen. Napoleon B. Harris III

harris 150

Majority Caucus Whip
15th Legislative District

Committee assignments: Commerce and Economic Development; Executive; Human Services; Insurance (Chairperson); Telecommunications & InfoTechnology (Vice-Chairperson); Supplier Diversity, Special Com. On; Pension Investments Special Com. On..

Biography: Entrepreneur and legislator; from Dixmoor; B.A. in Communications, Northwestern University; Postgraduate certificate, Northwestern Kellogg School of Business Management; former NFL linebacker; married (wife, Nicole); three children (sons, Napoleon Harris IV, Noah & daughter, Nahla).

Associated Representatives:
William Davis
Thaddeus Jones