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Lightford backs grants for childcare providers

Lightford052920SPRINGFIELD –After hearing concerns from childcare providers about the financial impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on them, Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) made it a priority to ensure funding was available to keep them afloat.

The General Assembly recently approved this year’s budget, contained in Senate Bill 264, which provides funds for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Grant Program for childcare and daycare providers who have had to close their businesses during the current pandemic.

“Childcare providers from across my district reached out to me with concerns about having to permanently close without financial support,” Lightford said. “I went to Springfield with their concerns in mind, and I am glad we were able to drive funds to this important issue.”

Childcare centers are one of the many types of businesses that were widely affected by the closures required during the COVID-19 outbreak. Currently, childcare providers can only operate at a limited capacity to care for children of essential workers.

The grants will be distributed through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity once the program is established and funds are made available.

Lightford protects workers under new plan headed to the governor

lightford floor 052320SPRINGFIELD – Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) led a measure through the Senate Saturday to expand disability benefits for some frontline state employees, protect retail workers from assault, and allow horse racetrack casino, or racino, employees to organize.

“The current pandemic has underlined the need for securing basic rights for working class people with disproportionate infection rates among populations with a high number of essential workers,” Lightford said.

Lightford steps down as Black Caucus Chair after five years

lightford 052819SPRINGFIELD – Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) released the following statement after stepping down as Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Chair Sunday.

“It has been an honor to serve as the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Chair for the last five years. I worked very hard to lay a foundation that will be passed on and built upon. The ILBC is strong and will continue to advocate for the Black community across the state. 

“My time to move on from this leadership role has come, and I am proud to pass the torch to the next legislator chosen to carry on the work I began with this phenomenal group of legislators. I am committed to the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus and its mission, and will remain a supportive, engaged leader.

Lightford: IBHE to use $1.3M to improve early childhood education

earlychildhood 051220SPRINGFIELD – Governor JB Pritzker has awarded the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) $1.3 million in grants geared towards strengthening the early childhood workforce, Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) announced Tuesday.

“Educators and their effective skills are central to students’ experiences in the classroom,” Lightford said. “I applaud Governor Pritzker in his efforts to ensure educators receive resources that gives them the opportunity to shape our children’s future.”

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