More than 800 Chicago State University students received their diplomas Thursday in an early ceremony moved up weeks for fear the school would run out of money and shut down due to an ongoing state budget impasse.
A last-minute, $600-million higher education deal will, for now, keep the doors open at Chicago State, Eastern Illinois University and other state schools. But the stop gap plan isn’t enough to offset the long-term damage that’s been done as the schools have gone nearly a year without any state support. Layoffs and program cuts are still expected at Chicago State and other schools.
Senator Emil Jones III was at Thursday’s graduation ceremonies – the 358th commencement for the nearly 150-year-old university. As happy as he is for the CSU graduates, he’s equally concerned for the underclassmen who increasingly are victimized by the budget showdown that began when Gov. Bruce Rauner rejected the entire higher education budget last year.
CHICAGO — Illinois State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) and former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords on Thursday called for greater accountability from Illinois gun dealers in an effort to curb violent crime with illegally purchased guns in Chicago and elsewhere in the state.
Harmon is the Senate sponsor of legislation that would give state authorities and police agencies the tools they need to encourage better business practices by federally licensed gun dealers, while holding corrupt gun dealers accountable.
SPRINGFIELD - A measure preventing the leasing of properties with high levels of lead in building materials, paint passed the Illinois State Senate on Friday.
Illinois has the second highest prevalence of lead poisoning in the country, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
"There's an alarming number of old apartments across Illinois that are filled with lead," said Assistant Majority Leader Donne Trotter, the bill’s sponsor. "Preventing owners and tenants from passing on the burden to an unknown owner or tenant can stave off the ill effects of lead contamination."
Senators William Delgado (D-Chicago), Michael Noland (D-Elgin) and Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) recently joined Adriana Trino, Executive Director of the Latino Treatment Center, to plead for the agency to receive money it’s owed from the state.
The Latino Treatment Center is owed over $59,000 from the state and will begin closing its facilities in June if it doesn’t receive payments.