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New law will help Chicago parents get their children to school safely

A new state law sponsored by State Senator Kimberly A. Lightford will make parents of children who live along "safe passage" routes eligible for financial reimbursement to pay someone to drive their children to school.

The law was inspired by an incident that occurred last December where a Chicago girl was beaten and raped half a block from one of the city's "safe passage" routes and other anecdotes from parents about the lack of safety along "safe passages."

"When our children step outside to walk to school in the morning, they shouldn't have to worry about gangs, drugs and gun violence," Lightford said. "They have enough to worry about at school. This law will help parents throughout Chicago get their children to school safely."

When CPS closed 50 schools last year, the students from those shuttered facilities were sent to new "welcoming schools." Though each welcoming school has a "safe passage," many parents were – and still are – concerned that these routes pass through dangerous areas known for gang violence and along dangerous streets known for high crime rates.

A CNN story about the December rape case is available here.

The governor signed the legislation earlier today, and it will take effect on January 1, 2015.

Sen. Lightford

lightford-2014-150

4th District
Assistant Majority Leader

Years served:
1998 - Present (Senate) 

Committee assignments: Assignments; Executive; Education (Vice-Chairperson); Committee of the Whole; Executive Appointments; Energy and Public Utilities; Labor.

Biography: Full-time senator; B.A. in communications, Western Illinois University; M.A. in public administration, University of Illinois Springfield; village of Maywood trustee; employee for Secretary of State, Department of Corrections and Central Management Services; longtime champion in the Senate for education, working families and women's issues; lives in Maywood with her son, Isaiah.

Associated Representative(s): Emanuel Chris Welch, La Shawn K. Ford