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The Majority Report 06/22/18 - Demanding accountability from our leaders


Latino Caucus demands Trump reunite families

Latino CaucusExplosive news about the Trump administration’s policy of separating immigrant children, including infants and toddlers, from adult family members at the Mexican border prompted members of the Illinois Senate Latino Caucus to demand the president put an end to the practice.

As a result of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ orders in April to adopt a zero-tolerance policy for illegal border crossings, including people requesting asylum, more than 2,300 children have been taken from their families and are being held in facilities across the country. Serious questions now have surfaced about what it will take to reunite them with their families.

“This isn’t a game. These aren’t gang members being detained. These are children. These are people coming to our country seeking asylum and looking to contribute,” said State Senator Martin Sandoval, a Chicago Democrat and co-chair of the Latino Caucus.

While Latino Caucus members agreed the U.S. immigration system is broken and should be fixed, they were appalled by the treatment of families and children.

“We can disagree on how to secure our borders and how to fix our immigration system, but traumatizing children and separating families should not be a point of contention,” Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago) said.

 Collins questions CPS about abuse allegations

Senator Jacqueline CollinsMembers of the Illinois Senate Education Committee this week questioned Chicago Public Schools representatives in the wake of allegations that faculty and staff permitted a culture of sexual abuse and harassment of students.

CPS CEO Janice Jackson was not present at the hearing at the Bilandic Building Wednesday.

“The Chicago Public Schools system is a public entity, accountable to the public. We should have heard from the CEO today,” said State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago), who called for the hearing.

A recent Chicago Tribune investigation found 72 CPS employees were accused of misconduct over a 10-year period and were not properly reported to authorities. Several went on to commit abuses at CPS and many were hired elsewhere even after being investigated.

Collins has called for a study of what mandatory reporting laws are on the books and why personnel have failed to comply with them.

“I don't think apologies are enough,” Collins said.

State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood), chair of the Senate Education Committee, called for urgent action.

“It is unacceptable that sexual predators were not only near our children, but in positions of trust,” she said.


Black Caucus checks governor for radio boast

Senate Black CaucusLeaders of the Senate Black Caucus highlighted Gov. Bruce Rauner’s record of policy decisions that disproportionately harm the black community after he boasted on a radio program this week that “no governor’s done more than me” for African-Americans in Illinois.

“Perhaps the self-proclaimed protector of the black community forgot that black-owned businesses didn’t get paid during his impasse. Maybe he needs to be reminded that African-American women get breast cancer, too, and benefit from the screenings he tried to eliminate,” said State Senator Kimberly A. Lightford, a Maywood Democrat and chair of the Black Caucus. “And, in the midst of all this exaggeration, let’s not forget that under Bruce Rauner’s watch the African-American unemployment rate in Illinois is the highest in the nation. Some friend he is.”

Rauner made the remarks during an interview Tuesday on WVON-AM in Chicago. He told the station’s primarily black audience that he’s been great for African-American businesses and schools. Caucus members promptly reacted

“With a front-row seat to the largest budget impasse in state history, words cannot express the devastation that African-Americans across this state have been subjected to when politics trumps governing and heartlessness is promulgated by using the levers of the state to keep people from succeeding,” said State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights). “I have said time and again that the budget is a moral document. Don’t tell me what you believe in – show me. And African-Americans have felt it for the last three years under this governor. We know exactly where we stand.”

State Senator Emil Jones (D-Chicago) also weighed in, calling the governor’s claims misleading and disgraceful.

“The governor has had three years to take the lead on black issues. Yet, he waits until an election year to acknowledge our community and problems,” he said.


In case you missed it


bicentennialTo mark the countdown to Illinois’ bicentennial on Dec. 3, all this year the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus has published daily tributes to the people, places and events that have helped forge the state’s rich history.

From inventors and entertainers to our communities and the Capitol, Illinois has a lot to celebrate.

This week’s bicentennial countdown featured the rededication of Lincoln’s Tomb in 1931, the birth of publisher E.W. Scripps in Rushville in 1854, and the debut of Bozo the Clown on Chicago’s WGN-TV in 1960.

To find all of our historical vignettes, visit I Like Illinois online, on Facebook and on Twitter. #IllinoisProud


State Senator Tom Cullerton, Villa Park: Cullerton bill keeps sexual predators out of schools | Chicago Tribune

State Senator Michael Hastings, Tinley Park: Hastings, Orland Hills mayor to co-host veterans breakfast | Daily Southtown, Chicago 

State Senator Andy Manar, Bunker Hill: Illinois stands to gain from Supreme Court online sales tax decision | The State Journal-Register, Springfield

State Senator Julie Morrison, Deerfield: Illiopolis boy helps push bill to cover hearing aids for kids | The State Journal-Register, Springfield

State Senator Steve Stadelman, Rockford: Event helps people with criminal records gain free legal advice | WIFR-TV, Rockford 


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