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Jones measure designates Aug. 4 as ‘Barack Obama Day’

President Barack ObamaSPRINGFIELD –  Barack Obama may be celebrating his birthday outside the White House this year, but State Senator Emil Jones III (D-Chicago) wants to make sure the former president is not forgotten.

Jones passed legislation during the legislative session that designates Aug. 4 of each year as Barack Obama Day in Illinois.

“President Obama is a man who has inspired millions with his decades of dedicated public service,” Jones said. “He deserves to be honored for his continuous hard work for the people of our nation, our state and our communities.”

Obama worked as a community organizer on the south side of Chicago after graduating from Columbia University and was elected to the Illinois State Senate to represent the 13th District in 1996. As a state senator, he helped pass ethics reform, negotiated welfare reform and promoted increased subsidies for childcare.

The former president went on to be elected to represent Illinois in the United States Senate in 2004 before becoming the first African-American to be elected President of the United States in 2008.

Senate Bill 55 passed unanimously in both houses and Gov. Rauner signed it into law.

Jones legislation eases the pain of college debt

jones csu 012516State Senator Emil Jones III (D-Chicago) recently introduced legislation that helps college students who are facing financial hardships. The measure, Senate Bill 2941, prohibits universities and community colleges from denying a student from registering for classes and prohibits them from refusing to issue a transcript to a student because of and outstanding debt owed to the university.

Senator Jones offered the following comments:

“Currently, our governor’s inaction on the budget has forced over 150,000 students out of Monetary Awards Programs (MAP) grants, which provides qualified students with tuition assistance,” said Senator Jones. “Since this MAP grant funding hasn’t been enacted, many students weren’t able to register for classes or get copies of their transcripts for other scholarships, pushing intended graduation dates back even further  for many students.

“We also have a population of job seekers who need their transcripts to show potential employers that they’re qualified for good-paying jobs. Without access to their transcripts, recent graduates are often skipped over and relegated to a situation where they can’t pay and outstanding debt to the school they graduated from.”

Emil Jones III responds to Dunkin's plan for CSU, other state universities

jones csu 012516Springfield – Recently, State Representative Ken Dunkin held a press conference boasting his plan to save Chicago State University (CSU) and several other state universities from financial collapse. What Representative Dunkin failed to mention is how seniors, people facing foreclosures, human services and LIHEAP would all fall victim to fund sweeps tied to funding his legislation. Senator Emil Jones III, Chairman of the Senate Black Caucus introduced Senate Bill 2272, which funds CSU without evoking harm to some of our most vulnerable citizens like Rep. Dunkin’s bill would cause.

Below is Senator Jones’ statement:

“The legislation that my colleague and good friend Ken Dunkin is proposing comes with a few strings attached. Ken’s bill is funded by a separate demand from the governor and Republicans in the form of Senate Bill 3044, which steals funds from LIHEAP, the Human Services fund, foreclosure prevention programs, money for our crumbling schools and a fund that provides long-term care for seniors.

So sometimes, the things our “allies” suggest aren’t really what they seem to be. Legislation I am sponsoring spends tax money we have collected and hasn’t been spent to fund CSU. On a side note, I would like to applaud CSU’s students and faculty for their poise and willingness to make adjustments while the governor, his allies and republicans play politics with your futures. Back to Ken, let’s get on the same page and pass my bill that solves problems and doesn’t create them.”

Jones legislation aims to keep Chicago State open

jones csu 012516Springfield – Chicago State University recently announced that it will be unable to pay for operational costs after March 1 due to the unprecedented seven month-long budget impasse. Without a budget, university students across the state who are recipients of MAP grants and tuition assistance are increasingly concerned about the prospect of not graduating.

State Senator Emil Jones III (D-Chicago) introduced legislation that provides funding to ensure CSU can keep its doors open for the remainder of the semester.

“Seeing the students at CSU rally around their university shows the community and the state just how much pride they have in their school,” Jones said. “This budget impasse has a lot of students stressed out about their future. The majority of the students affected by Rauner’s tactics are students who don’t come from the best backgrounds, but are trying to achieve more to build their community.”

Jones’ legislation appropriates funding for Chicago State University at the level the governor originally proposed.

“The State of Illinois has been without a budget for far too long. Many public institutions have been operating on reserved funds, and CSU has been dreading what was to come from not being funded. We have now reached our worst-case scenario. We are out of funds,” said Paris Griffin, Student Government Association president.

Once legislators return to Springfield, the measure will be sent to the Senate Assignments Committee to be assigned for further consideration.

Senator Emil Jones III


14th District

Years served:
2009 - Present

Committee assignments: Energy and Public Utilities; Higher Education; Licensed Activities (Chairperson); Transportation; Veterans Affairs; Oversight Medicaid Mang. Care, Spec; Financial Institutions; Insurance (Vice-Chairperson).

Biography: Born May 16th, 1978, in Chicago; son of former Senate President Emil Jones Jr. and the late Patricia Jones; graduated from Chicago Christian High School in Palos Heights; attended Chicago State University and Robert Morris College in Chicago; former administrator at the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

Associated Representatives:
Robert Rita
Justin Slaughter