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Jones urges minority participation in sports betting and gaming legislation

Sen. Jones PictureSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Emil Jones III (D-Chicago)  joined lawmakers representing districts with large numbers of minorities in urging state leaders to take into account minority business goals when discussing sports betting and gaming legislation.

In a letter sent to Gov. JB Pritzker, Senate President John Cullerton, House Speaker Mike Madigan, and legislative leaders, Jones said the gaming industry needs to provide all Illinoisans a seat at the table and not just organizations who are currently in the industry.

“For years now, the Illinois Gaming Board has been strongly urging and requiring the gaming industry to do better in seeing to it that there is diversity at all levels of operation,” Jones said in the letter. “There has been little progress in that respect.”

Always an advocate for greater participation by minorities in industries, Jones recently sponsored a measure that would increase access to apprenticeship programs in the construction industry for African Americans.

Lawmakers who signed the letter said sports betting and gaming legislation will not get their vote if there are not revisions to accommodate minority involvement.

A copy of the letter is attached.

Jones plan would enhance diversity in construction apprenticeship programs

jones 052419SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Emil Jones III is the sponsor of a measure that would increase access to apprenticeship programs in the construction industry for African-Americans.

Jones’s legislation creates the Bureau on Apprenticeship Programs within the Illinois Department of Labor and creates an advisory board of 12 legislators (three from each caucus, appointed by the caucus leader). The goal of the commission is to increase minority participation in apprenticeship programs.

“Like in many other areas of society, minorities are underrepresented in apprenticeship programs,” Jones (D-Chicago) said. “Apprenticeships often provide a spring broad to good jobs, and we must ensure everyone has equal access to those opportunities.”

Illinois’ workforce stands at about 6 million, and there are about 16,000 active apprenticeships in the 13 basic crafts in the state's 102 counties.

The Senate approved Senate Bill 534. The bill moves to the House for consideration.

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.

Jones: Laquan McDonald death will not be swept under the rug

jones 030519SPRINGFIELD – Associate judgeships in Cook County circuit court would be converted to resident judgeships under a proposal sponsored by State Senator Emil Jones III (D-Chicago).

Currently, associate judges are not held to the same judicial standard as elected judges. Associate Judge Domenica Stephenson recently released three police officers that covered up the murder of Laquan McDonald.

“The reason I filed this bill is that public officials and judges are making life threatening decisions,” Jones said. “If appointed judges are going to continue making controversial decisions that impact the African-American community negatively, they need to be elected rather than appointed.”

Senate Bill 1428 specifies that the Illinois Supreme Court shall assign appointed judgeships to elected judges in Cook County's 15 subcircuits.

“Laquan McDonald’s death will not be swept under the rug by the police department or judges,” Jones said. “It’s time for a change, and people need to vote on these judges that care more for officers than the African-American community.”

Senate Bill 1428 has been assigned to the Judiciary Committee. 

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