Jones

  • Jones highlights senior services in this year’s state budget

    jonesfloor 052120CHICAGO – The state budget for the next fiscal year will increase funding to senior services to help some of the most vulnerable Illinoisans cope during the COVID-19 crisis, State Senator Emil Jones, III (D-Chicago) announced Wednesday.

    “This pandemic has affected senior citizens harder than any other age group,” Jones said. “They are at more risk of contracting the disease and family members have had to limit in-person visits to decrease risk of exposure. This budget provides additional funding to ensure seniors have the services they need and to try to make social isolation a litter easier for them.”

    To offer much-needed assistance to struggling seniors during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, the budget provides $201.7 million in additional funding to the Illinois Department on Aging. 

    This includes $1 billion in support for the Community Care Program, which provides cost-effective alternatives to nursing home placement and helps seniors maintain their independence. As long-term care facilities account for a disproportionate number of COVID-19 deaths across the country, programs that enable older adults to remain at home may save lives.

    The funds will also allow the Department on Aging to continue to offer home-delivered meal services and run the Senior HelpLine, which connects older adults and caregivers with local programs and services. In addition, the budget increases funding to Adult Protective Services to expand efforts to prevent abuse, neglect and financial exploitation of older adults.

    Area Agencies on Aging will receive an additional $1.2 million to provide community-based services to seniors at a local level.

    “Tasks as simple as grocery shopping can be a risk for some seniors, so I encourage them to take advantage of services, like Meals on Wheels,” Jones said. “Seniors need to know we have their back and Illinois wants to ensure they stay safe during this time.”

  • Jones applauds IDPH for allowing dentists to resume routine oral care

    jones 05222019CW0602CHICAGO – State Senator Emil Jones, III is pleased to learn the Illinois Department of Public Health has updated its guidance on allowing dental providers to resume routine oral and dental care beginning this week.

    “Regular dental visits are essential because they help keep your teeth and gums healthy, which is why I am pleased to see IPDH allowing dentist to resume routine oral care on urgent patients,” Jones (D-Chicago) said. “Dental offices will have to follow health guidelines, so if you are in need of a dental treatment, I suggest you give your dentist a call.” 

    IDPH says to yield good procedural outcomes, oral health providers should consider their patient's health care needs, assess the risks and benefits of any procedures, and appropriately screen patients for COVID-19. Patients will need to be symptom free and have their temperature taken. Dentists will need to address their use of masks, face guards, and suction devices.

    Dentists gave up their PPE in the early days of the pandemic for hospitals, first responders and nursing homes. Now they have difficulty getting what they need to resume dental care. 

    “Patients have been waiting to get back to their dentists and, even though now we have the green light from the IDPH, we are in need of PPE to meet their guidelines,” said Dave Marsh, Director of Governmental Affairs with the Illinois State Dental Society. “Of course, we recognize the highest priorities for PPE in health care settings, but we will be seeking a higher priority for masks and face shields for our profession.”

    More details from IDPH are here.

  • Jones urges borrowers to contact their student loan providers

    student loan 042220CHICAGO — In an effort to help people struggling to pay their student loans during the unprecedented economic challenges facing the state and country, State Senator Emil Jones, III highlighted relief options that could benefit nearly 140,000 Illinoisans. 

    “Paying student loan debt is not an essential matter when borrowers are experiencing pay cuts,” Jones (D-Chicago) said. “This is an obstacle borrowers do not need during this tough time. I recommend they contact their loan provider and see if their payments can be waved through the duration of this crisis.”

    Under the initiative, spearheaded by Gov. JB Pritzker and Secretary Deborah Hagan of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, people with commercially-owned Federal Family Education Program Loans or privately held student loans who are having a hard time making their payments due to COVID-19 will be eligible for expanded relief.

    Borrowers who need assistance are asked to immediately contact their student loan provider to set up a plan. 

    Relief options are based on a person’s individual needs and include:

    • Providing a minimum of 90 days of forbearance,
    • Waiving late payment fees,
    • Ensuring that no borrower is subject to negative credit reporting,
    • Ceasing debt collection lawsuits for 90 days, and
    • Working with borrower to enroll them in other borrower assistance programs, such as income-based repayment.

    If a person is having problems contacting their student loan servicer, they can contact the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation Division of Banking at 217-785-2900 or the attorney general’s student loan helpline at 1-800-455-2456.

  • Jones announces expansion of COVID-19 testing in Black communities

    Jones cvd testing 041520CHICAGO – To address the health disparities in minority neighborhoods, State Senator Emil Jones, III (D-Chicago) announced more COVID-19 testing sites on the Southside and Westside of Chicago. 

    “Since the start of this pandemic, Roseland — an already underfunded hospital — has been the only health care facility providing walk up and drive in testing for COVID-19 on the Southside of Chicago,” Jones said. “This has really shown the lack of testing in the predominantly black neighborhoods. I appreciate Gov. Pritzker taking steps to address this issue and providing vital resources to our district.”

    Pritzker announced a partnership between Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago and four Federally Qualified Health Centers on Chicago’s West and South Sides that will expand testing in these communities to an additional 400 tests per day. The expansion includes three locations in Illinois’ Metro East to assist communities in East St. Louis and the surrounding region, and another facility in the Markham-Harvey area of the South Suburbs.

    Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot brought attention to racial disparities in the number of deaths due to coronavirus, pointing out that 72% of the city’s fatalities were African-Americans. She was one of the first government leaders to address the “death gap,” a topic now being discussed across the nation and world.

    “It’s not shocking that there are disparities in the African-American communities. There were health gaps way before this crisis happen,” Jones said. “My concern is that these resources need to continue to be in these communities after this crisis is over.” 

    For more information or access to additional resources, please contact Senator Jones district office at 773-995-7748 or email here

  • Jones supports SNAP recipients receiving additional benefits during COVID-19 pandemic

    grocerycartCHICAGO – State Senator Emil Jones, III announced Tuesday that eligible SNAP recipients will receive additional benefits beginning this week. 

    “All families, especially ones with low-incomes, need support more than ever,” Jones (D-Chicago) said. “Many people were laid off their jobs, so it’s essential for them to know that they have more funds to still feed their families during this pandemic.”

    More than 450,000 Illinois residents will receive additional Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. The increased amount will automatically load onto their link cards. Link card holders do not need to call or visit an office. All new applications authorized in April will also receive the maximum allotment for their household size.

    SNAP households that are not currently receiving the maximum allowance will receive additional SNAP benefits. Households already receiving the maximum benefit will not receive additional benefits. 

    Maximum amounts per household size:

    Number in SNAP household

    Maximum benefit

    1

    $194

    2

    $355

    3

    $509

    4

    $646

    5

    $768

    6

    $921

    7

    $1,018

    8

    $1,164

    Each additional person

    Add $146

    Illinois SNAP recipients receive their benefits at different times each month, so increased SNAP benefits will be loaded on different dates for SNAP recipients.

    Jones urges residents with questions or concerns to give his office a call at 773-995-7748. 

  • Jones announces additional support to essential workers

    Sen. Emil Jones IIISPRINGFIELD – State Senator Emil Jones, III (D-Chicago) announced Monday the expansion of support to childcare workers and other essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “Essential workers do not have the luxury of staying home during this crisis,” Jones said. “Doctors and nurses are working day in and day out so it’s important these childcare centers are sustained to support these essential employees."

  • Jones pushes for parents to be on charter school boards

    Senator JonesSPRINGFIELD – A parent or guardian would be required to be on charter school boards of directors under an initiative from State Senator Emil Jones III (D-Chicago).

    “Parents have the strongest interest in a school doing well because they have a child attending there,” Jones said. “They wouldn’t be using the position as a springboard for higher office.”

    Currently, charter schools are administered and governed by their boards of directors or other governing bodies in the manner provided in their charters.

    Also under the legislation, every voting member of a charter school’s board or governing body must complete a minimum of four hours of professional development leadership training.

    “Parents will be getting training to make certain they are familiar with the roles and responsibilities of being on the school board,” Jones said. “Overall, parents will ensure the students’ interests are the top priority.”

    House Bill 3659 passed the Senate Education Committee and is scheduled to go to the Senate floor for further debate.

  • Lawmakers, advocates stress importance of accurate 2020 Census count

    Sens. Elgie R. Sims Jr., Emil Jones III, Iris Y. Martinez and Kimberly A. Lightford

    SPRINGFIELD – Senate lawmakers and advocates gathered Thursday to stress the importance of getting a full and accurate count in Illinois during the 2020 Census.

    Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez spoke to the potential consequences of an undercount.

    “The census is used to determine federal funding and representation for our state,” Martinez (D-Chicago) said. “That means, if we are undercounted, we stand to lose billions in federal funding, along with two congressional seats and two Electoral College votes.”

    Martinez is the sponsor of legislation, contained in Senate Bill 1408, that would appropriate $25 million to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to provide grants to community providers and local governments for the purposes of encouraging full participation in the 2020 federal census.

  • Laramie Park to receive $400,000 state grant

    Sen. Emil Jones IIIALSIP – Laramie Park in Alsip is a beneficiary of a $400,000 state grant, State Senator Emil Jones III revealed today.

    The Open Space Land Acquisition and Development Program grant program is administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

    “Families of the Alsip community will be ecstatic that their park is receiving a renovation,” Jones said. “Every park in my district is important to me and I’m pleased to see that Laramie Park is one of the parks that will benefit from this grant.”

  • Jones says Midlothian officer should be immediately dismissed

    jones 012918Security guard Jemel Roberson killed on the job by Midlothian police officer

    SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Emil Jones III (D-Chicago) released the following statement concerning the investigation of the death of Jemel Roberson, a security guard working at Manny’s Blue Room Lounge in the village of Robbins, who was shot by a Midlothian police officer early Sunday morning:

    “Police are shooting people of color far too often. It’s time to be more aggressive in our response to these incidents.

  • Black Caucus members on Van Dyke verdict: We still have a lot of work ahead

    Illinois Black Caucus

  • New fiscal year brings new state laws

    CapitolSWJuly brings the beginning of a new fiscal year for the state, and several measures passed by the legislature and signed into law take effect on July 1.

    Most notably, two new laws address Illinois education: one reaffirms the importance of learning cursive writing in Illinois schools and another addresses the statewide teacher shortage.

  • Jones: Governor falsely claims support of black community

    jones 012918CHICAGO – State Senator Emil Jones, III (D-Chicago) is issuing a response to misleading claims made by the governor during his Juneteenth remarks today.

    Gov. Bruce Rauner touted helping the black community, especially black businesses. Rauner has actually largely ignored black-owned businesses during his term.

    “I was disgusted by the governor’s claims that he’s been a pillar within the black community, when in reality, he’s done various things that have in fact hurt our people,” said Jones.

    Some areas that have suffered under Gov. Rauner include:

  • Jones: Commission to ensure minorities properly counted in 2020 Census

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  • Senate Dems react to governor's Fiscal 2019 budget address

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  • Senate Black Caucus to Rauner: We need true leadership (VIDEO)

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  • Sen. Jones demands funding for Roseland and safety-net hospitals

    jones 012918CHICAGO – Today, State Senator Emil Jones III (D - CHICAGO) joined elected officials at Roseland Community Hospital to discuss the financial future of Roseland and safety-net hospitals around the state.

    “Safety-net hospitals provide quality health care to the poorest communities, which is something that all people in Illinois deserve, regardless of their race or income,” said Jones. “These hospitals also employ an estimated 25,000 people in Illinois and 23,000 people across the Chicagoland area.”

    To remain at a sustainable funding level for the year, Roseland has laid off nearly seven percent of its staff and reduced the pay of all of its doctors and nurses. As of now, all “fixed payments” to hospitals will sunset on June 30, 2018.  The hospital assessment program, a combination of state and federal funds that provides financial relief across the state, is up for negotiation, creating uncertainty among safety-net hospitals.

    “Ensuring safety-net hospital funding for the next fiscal year has to be a top priority in Springfield,” Jones said. “Roseland, along with many other hospitals, is suffering tremendously—they cannot stand to lose any federal dollars.”

    In the past, it has taken each hospital assessment 12-15 months for federal approval. It is estimated that taxed payments account for almost 50 percent of all payments to safety-net hospitals.

  • Senate Black Caucus Reactions to Amazon Bid

    ilbc amazonYesterday it was reported that an official letter was submitted to Amazon executives with an attached state and city bid signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and the legislature’s top four leaders. Members of the Illinois Legislative Senate Black Caucus are cautiously optimistic about the potential of Amazon moving its second headquarters to Chicago. 

    Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood), who also chairs the joint Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, delivered a clear message: “Job creation is a top priority for the caucus, specifically in our impoverished neighborhoods where unemployment rates soar due to lack of sustainable jobs.

  • 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.

  • Black Caucus: State of the State address lacked solutions (VIDEO)

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