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Lightford measure helping abused children passes Senate

lightford 052819SPRINGFIELD – Children taken into protective custody under suspicion of abuse could soon take part in a forensic interview without parental consent as a result of legislation by Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood).

House Bill 909, approved by the Senate on Friday, addresses issues in cases where an abused minor’s parents do not wish for the child to participate in a criminal investigation that may implicate a family member or close friend.

“Children need to feel safe and empowered to report their abuser, and most importantly, have the opportunity to end their abuse,” Lightford said. “By removing parental consent, we are ensuring that no child will be forced to stay silent.”

A forensic interview is an interview between a trained forensic interviewer and a child in which the interviewer obtains information in an unbiased and fact-finding manner, with the goal of supporting accurate and fair decision-making by caseworkers in the criminal justice and child protection systems.

The measure moves to the governor for final approval.

Rehabilitation classes to reduce required prison time under Lightford plan

lightford 052419SPRINGFIELD – Prison inmates who are required to serve most of their sentences could soon reduce them by successfully completing classes aimed at rehabilitation under a proposal led by Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood).

“We are working to increase participation in programs that prepare inmates for re-entry into our society,” Lightford said. “When we release people from the criminal justice system, they have a better chance of not returning to it if they can get their life back on track.”

Lightford creates special license plate for veterans with PTSD

lightford 022019SPRINGFIELD – More support for veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder could be available under a measure led by Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood).

House Bill 2126 authorizes K9s for Veterans to issue decals for the universal special license plate. The fees collected for issuing and renewing the plates would be deposited into the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Fund to be used for support, education, and awareness of veterans with the disorder.

“Our veterans who are struggling with mental health issues need our support, and we are giving Illinoisans an opportunity to do so through the special license plate program,” Lightford said.

Applicants would be charged a $25 fee in addition to the standard registration fee each year the decal is renewed. The Universal Special License Plate was established in 2016 to allow drivers to support any organization who has been authorized for a decal. An organization that would like to create a decal for the universal plate must have at least 2,000 applications before the Secretary of State can approve their application for a universal plate.

The legislation was approved by the Senate Transportation Committee and will head to the full Senate for consideration.

Lightford protects consumers from misleading utility plans

Majority Leader Kimberly A. LightfordSPRINGFIELD – To protect consumers from being taken advantage of due to misinformation from alternative retail electric suppliers, Senate Majority Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) is leading legislation that was approved by the Senate on Wednesday.

“The data clearly demonstrates that alternative suppliers focus their signup efforts on low-income neighborhoods, those where English is a secondary language, and communities of color,” Lightford said. “I am proud to stand with Attorney General Raoul to protect our most vulnerable residents from unknowingly signing contracts that will result in rate hikes they cannot afford.”

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