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We cannot allow political debate to become a punishment

lightford-shutdownSPRINGFIELD – In support of the temporary budget proposed and passed by the Illinois Senate yesterday, Assistant Majority Leader Senator Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) released the following statement.

“The governor has vetoed all but one budget measure sent to his desk, but has made no real attempt at compromise. This reality has forced the Senate’s hand. We proposed a temporary solution to ensure our most vulnerable are taken care of during this time of uncertainty.

“Yesterday, I voted in support of a one-month stop-gap budget to allow the most critical of programs to continue to be funded - programs supporting people with developmental disabilities, wards of the state, abused and neglected children, veterans, and senior citizens who need in-home assistance.

“These programs and services are critical for the well-being of so many hard-working citizens. The leadership of Illinois cannot allow political debate to inflict harm on the people.

“We need to continue paying our prison guards, police officers and the National Guard to keep our communities safe. We cannot allow services like The Community Care program, put in place to save taxpayers’ money, to disintegrate and force seniors to be shipped off to nursing homes. We cannot afford to lose juvenile justice specialists and education programs for our troubled youth.

“Yes, the governor signing an education budget was a step forward, but, in essence, he has still not done the job he promised. He campaigned on a promise to improve the educational outlook for children in this state, and I share this goal with my whole heart. But a child cannot be expected to thrive in the classroom, if at home, their parents can’t put food on the table or pay for day-care. There simply cannot continue to be a disconnect between talk and action. Lives are at stake.

“Both parties can come together in critical moments on critical issues. We have done it before and we have no choice but to do it again. Let’s take immediate action on a budget that sincerely recognizes the immutable needs of the people.”

Sen. Lightford

Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford

Senate Majority Leader
4th District


Years served: 1998 - Present (Senate) 

Committee assignments: Assignments (Chairperson); Education; Energy and Public Utilities; Executive Appointments; Executive; Oversight Medicaid Mang. Care, Spec; Supplier Diversity, Special Com. On; Subcommittee on Gov. Operations (Sub-Chairperson); Subcommittee on Charter Schools (Sub-Chairperson).

Biography: B.A. in Communications, Western Illinois University; M.A. in Public Administration, University of Illinois Springfield; former Village of Maywood trustee; former employee at 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 family.

Associated Representatives:
La Shawn K. Ford
Emanuel Chris Welch