SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) released the following statement after the Senate passed its Fiscal Year 2023 budget Friday:  

"Building on our recent economic decisions, this budget has the largest surplus we've seen in years. We are using these additional funds to provide stability to more than 95% of taxpayers. 

"We are succeeding in paying our debts by meeting our pension obligations, saving taxpayers over a billion dollars, and fully funding College Illinois. In addition, to address violence in our communities, we are allocating funding to the Reimagine Public Safety Act.  

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lightford 033122SPRINGFIELD – Members of the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus joined child care advocates and parents on Tuesday to introduce a slate of legislation that would invest in families and children.

“To strengthen the lives of Illinois children, we have to ensure families have the freedom to give their children richer and fuller lives,” said State Senator Celina Villanueva (D-Chicago). “By investing in their potential, we also indirectly construct more equitable communities that offer greater opportunities for growth.”

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022422CM0073MAYWOOD – As a result of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus four-pillar agenda, specifically the Education and Workforce Equity Act, State Senator Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) announced a $17 million grant to create the first-ever state-funded Freedom Schools network. 

“Freedom Schools have a proud history and major significance for African Americans,” Lightford said. “These schools represent a long tradition of engaged citizenship, personal empowerment and academic excellence. I know this experience will have a positive impact on students, their families, and the whole community.”

Because of the monumental education package to rid Illinois of systemic racism, the Phillip Jackson Freedom School Grant was created to ensure Black students receive quality education across the state. 

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052821HAO00648SPRINGFIELD – When students struggle with reading comprehension, they often struggle in other areas of education. To address this issue, Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood), Illinois Senate Majority Leader, is sponsoring a measure to increase students' literacy and reading comprehension. 

"Children with strong reading abilities oftentimes have a confident approach to their education," Lightford said. "It’s critical for educators to focus on developing a child’s literacy development within the early stages."

Senate Bill 3900 creates the Right to Read Act in the School Code to help students achieve greater levels of literacy and reading comprehension at an early age through evidence-based literacy instruction. 

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