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Lightford wants every child born in Illinois to have a college savings account

lightford 052617SPRINGFIELD- Children born in Illinois could soon be welcomed with a college savings account under a plan led by Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) that was recently approved in the Senate.

House Bill 3691 would allow the State Treasurer to use state appropriated funds, private individual donations and foundation support to fund the Illinois Children’s Savings Account program.

“Parents have enough to worry about when welcoming a child and the increasing cost of higher education does not have to be one of them,” Lightford said. “This measure simplifies the process for investing in a child’s education and it starts investing from birth.”

The account will be seeded with an initial investment of $50. Following the initial deposit, low and moderate income families are encouraged to save more through a saving incentive that matches up to $150 a year.

The measure will now head back to the House on concurrence.

Lightford measure creates Veterans’ Cancer Screening Program

lightford 050317SPRINGFIELD- In response to concerns surrounding the lack of awareness surrounding the importance of cancer screening among veterans, Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) passed legislation through the Senate today that establishes the Veterans’ Cancer Screening Program.

“Early cancer detection can make all the difference for many who are diagnosed,” Lightford said. “We know that a number of veterans were exposed to conditions that could result in cancer, and it is important that we are raising awareness and helping our veterans get screened.”

Senate Bill 838 directs the Department of Public Health to promote awareness of cancer in veterans by:

  • Distributing information regarding the risks of cancer in veterans and benefits of early detection
  • Promotion of information about counseling
  • Establishment of referral services and screenings
  • Beginning January 1, 2018, public service announcements publicizing the importance of cancer screening for veterans

The legislation now moves to the House for consideration.

Lightford measure aims to keep reenrolled dropouts in school

lightford sb446 050217SPRINGFIELD— Re-enrolled dropouts could receive more resources under legislation steered by Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) that was approved in the Senate today.

School districts with a high dropout rate would receive more funding for each student that was dropped from enrollment rolls for at least one month and was re-enrolled into an evidence-based and best practices program for high school dropouts.

“We are addressing the reality that educators need resources to keep at-risk students in the classroom,” Lightford said. “If our goal is to get these students back on track, they need to be placed in programs tailored to their needs.”

Senate Bill 446 provides an incentive weighting of two times the foundation level of support for each re-enrolled high school dropout for districts with two times the state high school dropout rate.

Lightford proposes more funding for educating reenrolled dropouts

lightford 040417SPRINGFIELD- Districts with high dropout rates could soon receive more funding to help retain students under a proposal led by Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) that was approved in the Senate Education Committee today.

“There is a disincentive to re-enroll dropouts based on low attendance rates, and the resources to get students back on track are not available to guarantee their success,” Lightford said.

Senate Bill 446 would provide high schools with high dropout rates with increased state funding to provide an incentive to bring students back to the classroom. Re-enrolled students would have to be placed into an evidence-based model and best practices program for high school dropouts.

“Students in these high dropout rate districts need support and guidance to get across the finish line,” Lightford said. “Educators should feel encouraged, not punished, for doing what is right and educating these students.”

The measure now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

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