Lightford law stops putting people in jail for unpaid parking fines

parking ticket 082218SPRINGFIELD – A plan led by Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) would reduce penalties from a Class A misdemeanor to a traffic citation for individuals driving with a suspended license due to unpaid parking fines, automated camera enforcement or unpaid child support.

“Putting people in jail for being too poor to pay parking fines or child support is counterproductive,” Lightford said. “We should be focused on helping people get on their feet instead of making life even harder for them.”

Currently, a person who drives  a motor vehicle while their license or permit is suspended or revoked for such offenses may be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor, which can result in a sentence of up to one year in jail.  This penalty is the same for those whose license was suspended for a DUI.

“There is a big difference between not having enough money to pay bills and irresponsibly putting lives in danger. They should be penalized accordingly,” Lightford said.

House Bill 3920 allows an individual to receive three citations for driving with a suspended license for parking fines, automated camera enforcement or unpaid child support before it becomes a Class A misdemeanor.

The law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2019.

Lightford law prohibits cuts to child care assistance through administrative rule

lightford 082018SPRINGFIELD – A proposal sponsored by Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) that aims to protect access to child care for working families under the Child Care Assistance Program is now law.

Lightford’s House Bill 5599 sets the eligibility threshold for childcare assistance at no less than 185 percent of the federal poverty level.

In July 2015, Governor Bruce Rauner made cuts to Childcare Assistance Program through administrative rule, lowering the income threshold to 50 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. The cuts left 90 percent of applicants throughout the state ineligible for childcare, decimated the program and caused massive layoffs in the childcare industry.

“Childcare is an essential part of a family’s ability to sustain,” Lightford said. “We have to ensure that no governor can ever harm our families by making arbitrary cuts to this program again, and that is why it is so important that we set the eligibility threshold for CCAP in state law.”

CCAP provides low-income, working families with access to affordable, quality care that allows them to continue working. In order to qualify, applicants must be recipients of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, a family with a special needs child, a parent furthering their education or a working family whose monthly income does not exceed the income guideline for their family size.

The law is now in effect.


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.”

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