Lightford

  • Lightford proposal prohibits wage discrimination against African-Americans (VIDEO)

    lightford 051018SPRINGFIELD – More than half a century since the Civil Rights Act became law, workers in the United States continue to earn different wages based on their race.

    Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) is fighting for legislation that would prohibit wage discrimination against African-Americans under the Equal Pay Act.

    “It is long overdue that African-Americans are paid a fair and equal wage for their work,” Lightford said. “My hope is that this legislation will provide the tools to close the wage gap between African-Americans and their white counterparts.”

  • Lightford plan allows public universities to establish bridge programs

    Asst. Majority Leader Kimberly A. LightfordSPRINGFIELD – While obtaining a college degree is increasingly vital to career advancement, low-income, racial minority and first-generation college students often struggle to transition into a college or university’s culture.

    A plan led by Illinois Senate Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) that was approved in the Senate Higher Education committee Tuesday seeks to ease the transition into college by allowing Illinois’ public universities to establish bridge programs. These programs would provide access, academic support and financial aid to underrepresented students.

    “There are still so many young people who are going to college for the first time and moving away from everything they are familiar with, and that can be a nerve-racking situation,” Lightford said. “We have a very diverse population in our state, and our universities should be focused on inclusion so that all young people benefit from the world-class education they offer.”

  • Lightford works to implement school resource officer training

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  • Senate Women’s Caucus announces first bipartisan effort (VIDEO)

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    Caucus endorses ratification of Equal Rights Amendment

    SPRINGFIELD – The Equal Rights Amendment is the first measure to earn the backing of the Senate Women’s Caucus, members of the bipartisan group announced today.

    “The intention of the Illinois Senate Women’s Caucus is to advance legislation that supports, empowers and protects women of all aspects of life, and that’s exactly what we are doing today,” said State Senator Karen McConnaughay, a St. Charles Republican and co-chairwoman of the caucus.

    SJRCA 4, the Equal Rights Amendment proposes to ratify the ERA to the U.S. Constitution and solidify equality for women. Women do not currently have guaranteed equal rights under the federal Constitution.

  • Senators outraged at governor's veto of gun safety measure

    gun dealerIn spite of repeated pleas from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers to support commonsense measures to curb gun violence and help sweep unregistered firearms off the streets, the governor vetoed Senate Bill 1657, the Gun Dealer Licensing Act.

    According to a 2014 report from the University of Chicago Crime Lab, almost 20 percent of all guns recovered from crimes scenes in Chicago between 2009 and 2013 came from three of the state’s 2,400 dealers. Although Democratic and Republican lawmakers supported the gun dealer licensing legislation, along with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson and many gun safety advocates and victims' families, the governor vetoed the bill today.

  • Lightford celebrates Black organizations in speech at the Capitol (VIDEO)

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  • Senate Black Caucus: The ‘Bruce Rauner Experiment’ has failed

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

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  • Lightford introduces the Fair Lending Act (VIDEO)

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

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  • State senators urge ISBE to accelerate its teacher shortage study

    manar teacher 111517SPRINGFIELD – Three Senate education leaders are urging the governor’s administration to expedite its study of the statewide teacher shortage and report its findings to the General Assembly by March 1.

     In a Nov. 14 letter addressed to Illinois State Board of Education Chairman James Meeks, State Senators Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, Kimberly A. Lightford and Andy Manar ask the board to accelerate its inquiry into the crisis so that lawmakers will have enough time to craft and pass legislation that will help to address the matter prior to next school year.

  • Lightford: Vetoed cursive writing proposal now law

    lightford 040417SPRINGFIELD- Cursive handwriting will remain a subject in Illinois public schools thanks to the Senate’s action in overriding a veto of a measure that requires public elementary schools to offer at least one unit of instruction in the subject. 

    Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) led the initiative, noting it promotes the practical and fundamental values cursive writing has in education.

    “Cursive writing is a skill children will need throughout their lives,” Lightford said. “You cannot write a check, sign legal documents or even read our Constitution without an understanding of cursive writing.”

  • Red tape deterring too many teachers from coming to Illinois

    manar lightford 110617DECATUR – Teachers around the country often skip over Illinois when they’re looking for a job because of low starting salaries, licensure difficulties, lack of mentoring and other issues, Senators Andy Manar, Kimberly Lightford and Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant and members of the Senate Education Committee learned Monday during a hearing about the statewide teacher shortage.

    “Today’s hearing allowed us to learn from people on the front lines of public education about the barriers that keep teachers from seeking jobs in very good school districts across Illinois,” said Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat and a member of the Illinois Senate’s Education Committee, which convened its hearing Monday afternoon at Decatur Public Schools’ Keil Administration Building.

  • 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.

  • Illinois Legislative Senate Black Caucus: Congress needs to act on CHIP

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  • Lightford disappointed in governor’s veto of cursive writing proposal

    cursiveSPRINGFIELD – Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D – Maywood) released the following statement today after news that Governor Rauner vetoed her proposal that would have guaranteed students receive cursive writing instruction in elementary school:

    “The governor’s veto threatens the ability of students to learn a fundamental skill that they will need going through life. Practical benefits, including writing a check, developing a motor skill and even interpreting historical documents like our Constitution, all require using and understanding cursive writing.

  • Lightford: Lottery dollars should serve as a supplement to education funds

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  • Manar’s historic school funding legislation signed into law

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  • Senate brings historic education funding reform across the finish line (VIDEO)

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  • Lightford: Rauner denies workers a living wage

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    SPRINGFIELD — Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) released the following statement after Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed legislation that would have increased the statewide minimum to $15 per hour by January 2022.

    “Governor Rauner’s veto doubles down on his stance against some of our most vulnerable communities. Throughout his term he has irresponsibly cut the child care assistance program, held up grant money for low-income college students and caused severe damage to our social services through a historic budget stalemate.

    “There is no reason why a single parent working full-time should qualify for food stamps and Medicaid. Our workers deserve financial independence and the empowerment that comes from being able to provide for a family.

    “Our fight does not end here. I will continue to stand for hardworking people struggling to make ends meet as I have done my entire career because I know the difference a living wage can make in a person’s life, in our communities and in our entire state.”