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Clayborne measure promotes equal opportunity in business

clayborne 041118SPRINGFIELD – Legislation aimed at increasing participation of minority-owned businesses in local government contracts passed the Illinois Senate Transportation Committee yesterday.

Senate Bill 2610, sponsored by State Senator James F. Clayborne, Jr. (D-Belleville), would require counties and cities that receive more than $1 million in motor fuel tax revenue from the Illinois Department of Transportation to implement a business enterprise program before they receive their funds from IDOT.

The program would set goals for the inclusion of minority-, veteran-, female- and disability-owned businesses for government contracts. Currently, 21 counties and 46 municipalities receive more than $1 million in motor fuel tax revenues from IDOT.

Clayborne said requiring cities and counties to include these underrepresented communities in their contracting will open new avenues of opportunities for businesses.

“This is about making sure our local governments are including every community in their contracting process,” Clayborne said. “Our local governments should be investing in the communities they serve and this measure will guarantee that they are.” 

The legislation will now go before the whole Senate for a vote.

Clayborne condemns divisive comments made by Rauner appointee

clayborne 050217SPRINGFIELD – The Chair of the Illinois Lottery Control Board is under fire for comments he made about East St. Louis earlier this month. Evanston resident Blair Garber used the same disgusting remarks used by President Trump to describe third world countries to describe East St. Louis in a tweet.

Garber was appointed by Governor Bruce Rauner to the board that oversees the state lottery in May of 2016.

State Senator James F. Clayborne, Jr. (D-Belleville) represents East St. Louis in the Illinois Senate and is calling on the governor to ask for Garber’s resignation from the board.

Clayborne votes for fair funding, property tax relief for area schools

clayborne05052017CM0335rSPRINGFIELD – High-poverty, downstate school districts, shortchanged for decades under Illinois’ worst-in-the-nation education funding formula, could see a significant influx of funding to level the playing field with wealthier school districts under a landmark school funding reform measure that passed in both houses of the legislature this week.

“The current funding formula puts many students in our communities at a tremendous disadvantage and has forced local school districts to hike up property tax rates. I am proud to join my colleagues to support additional funding for our schools and property tax relief for our communities,” said Senator James F. Clayborne (D-Belleville).

Senate Bill 1 has strong support from thousands of school administrators, superintendents, principals, educators, taxpayers and advocates for fair school funding. Illinois’ school funding formula has not been updated in more than 20 years and is considered one of the worst in the nation because it relies so heavily on local property wealth.

An analysis of Illinois State Board of Education figures released estimates this week by Funding Illinois’ Future – a coalition that advocates for school funding reform – shows potential funding increases for area school districts under Senate Bill 1, an evidence-based model that accounts for factors such as students with disabilities, English language learners and low-income students.

It also provides extra support for the neediest districts in the quest for adequate funding, and it offers property tax relief.

No school district would receive less funding under Senate Bill 1 than they have received under Illinois’ current school funding formula.

The estimated overall gain some area school districts would experience under the Funding Illinois’ Future analysis of SB1 based on FY17 funding levels:

  • Belle Valley School District 119 - $437,238
  • Belleville School District 118 - $1,401,597
  • Belleville Township High School District 201 - $1,941,563
  • Brooklyn Unit District 188 - $36,744
  • Cahokia Community Unit District 187 - $551,826
  • East St. Louis School District 189 - $1,357,558
  • Freeburg Community Consolidated School District 70 - $32,974
  • Freeburg Community High School District 77 - $47,618
  • Granite City Community Unit School District 9 - $2,333,657
  • Grant Community Consolidated School District 110- $29,708
  • Harmony EMGE School District 175 - $69,982
  • High Mount School District 116 - $209,352
  • Lebanon Community Unit School District 9 - $39,789
  • Madison Community Unit School District 12 - $107,926
  • Millstadt Community Consolidated School District 160 - $24,580
  • O’Fallon  Community Consolidated School District 90 - $164,969
  • O’Fallon Township High School District 203 - $375,419
  • Shiloh Village School District 85 - $46,946
  • Signal Hill School District 181 - $104,876
  • Smithton Community Consolidated School District 3 - $19,989
  • Whiteside School District 115 - $66,197
  • Wolf Branch School District 113 - $25,444

In addition, under Senate Bill 1, high-tax school districts are eligible for property tax relief up to 1 percent of their EAV. Estimated property tax relief for two area school districts:

  • Cahokia Community Unit School District 187 - $64,904
  • East St. Louis School District 189 - $79,425

To review the Funding Illinois’ Future analysis, visit fundingilfuture.org.

Clayborne resolution reflects on 1917 East St. Louis Race Riots

clayborne estl 1917SPRINGFIELD – In May 1917, East St. Louis witnessed one of the worst race riots ever seen in the United States. Sparked by attacks on African American men and women following a union rally, the riots culminated in the burning of black neighborhoods and malicious attacks and murders of African-American men and women.

Senate Majority Leader James F. Clayborne (D-Belleville) passed a resolution Monday in remembrance of the events that took place 100 years ago.

“It is important we take time to reflect on and remember these events,” Clayborne added. “While we have made progress in race relations since the East St. Louis riots 100 years ago, our society remains contentious on race-related issues. To move forward, we must remember past actions and ensure the past does not repeat itself.”

In 1917, East St. Louis industry was booming. To fill the gap in the labor market, factory recruiters began looking toward the South for black workers. What became known as the Great Migration culminated in a competition for jobs. The labor issues became a racial issue, which quickly boiled over with rising tensions.

In early July 1917, the tensions became so bad that mobs of white men and women began setting fire to black neighborhoods, trapping people in their homes and shooting those who tried to escape.

With no effective interference from local police, the sheriff or military authorities, many African American men, women and children lost their lives, more than 300 buildings were destroyed and 6,000 people fled from their homes.  It took days for the National Guard to gain control of the situation.

“The events that transpired in 1917 were terrible to say the least,” said Clayborne. “The social, political and cultural ramifications these riots had on the community are vast. With this resolution I hope to draw attention to those events so the city, the state and the country can reflect on the atrocities of the riots and continue to heal.”

The measure, Senate Resolution 337, observes May 28, 2017, as a day of remembrance in the state of Illinois on the centennial of the 1917 race riots. A copy will be sent to Marla Byrd, the commissioner of the East St. Louis 1917 Centennial Commission and Cultural Initiative.

Read the resolution.

Sen. Clayborne


57th District
Senate Majority Leader

Years served:
1995 - Present

Committee assignments: Assignments (Chairperson); Energy; Executive; Insurance; Judiciary.

Biography: Attorney; born Dec. 29, 1963, in St. Louis; B.S., political science, Tennessee State University; J.D., University of Miami; partner with his firm Clayborne, Sabo and Wagner; (Belleville); former St. Clair County Assistant State's Attorney; has four sons.