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Red tape deterring too many teachers from coming to Illinois

manar lightford 110617DECATUR – Teachers around the country often skip over Illinois when they’re looking for a job because of low starting salaries, licensure difficulties, lack of mentoring and other issues, Senators Andy Manar, Kimberly Lightford and Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant and members of the Senate Education Committee learned Monday during a hearing about the statewide teacher shortage.

“Today’s hearing allowed us to learn from people on the front lines of public education about the barriers that keep teachers from seeking jobs in very good school districts across Illinois,” said Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat and a member of the Illinois Senate’s Education Committee, which convened its hearing Monday afternoon at Decatur Public Schools’ Keil Administration Building.

Senate President announces leadership change, harassment awareness training, anticipated inspector hiring

jjc analysisSPRINGFIELD – Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton announced Wednesday that Senator Ira Silverstein will no longer serve on the Senate Democratic leadership team. Senator Silverstein resigned from the Majority Caucus Chair post effective immediately.

The post carries a $20,649 annual stipend. It will remain vacant for the immediate future.

Cullerton also announced that a professionally led sexual harassment awareness training seminar for senators will be scheduled for next week. The Senate is in session next week.

Senate Black Caucus Reactions to Amazon Bid

ilbc amazonYesterday it was reported that an official letter was submitted to Amazon executives with an attached state and city bid signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and the legislature’s top four leaders. Members of the Illinois Legislative Senate Black Caucus are cautiously optimistic about the potential of Amazon moving its second headquarters to Chicago. 

Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood), who also chairs the joint Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, delivered a clear message: “Job creation is a top priority for the caucus, specifically in our impoverished neighborhoods where unemployment rates soar due to lack of sustainable jobs.

Senate Dems react to Trump's DACA decision

Castro DACA 080617This week, Senate Democrats expressed disappointment and outrage at the Trump administration’s backward decision to rescind legal and immigration protection for children who were brought to this country and are now productive parts of our economy and society.

Senator Cristina Castro spoke at a press conference with other state and local elected officials business leaders, and two Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients in support of Dreamers and a legislative solution to the Trump administration's announcement he would end the program.