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Collins: Governor’s Crosscheck veto hurts all Illinoisans

collins 042418CHICAGO – Today the governor rejected legislation co-sponsored by State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago) that would have ended Illinois’ participation in the deeply flawed and discriminatory Crosscheck system.

“Crosscheck threatens the rights of Illinoisans to participate in our democracy,” Collins said. “It has been used as a discriminatory tool to purge voter rolls in other states, a practice which we attempted to prevent here. I am disappointed that the governor chose to continue to use this faulty system that also puts all Illinois voters’ information at a cybersecurity risk.”

Senate Bill 2273, co-sponsored by Collins, would have discontinued Illinois’ involvement in the controversial Crosscheck system, which is used by election authorities to identify voters who may be registered in multiple states.

Crosscheck has been found to adversely affect voters with similar last names by disregarding middle names and designations like Jr. or Sr. and only comparing first and last names. Furthermore, Crosscheck takes inadequate measures to safeguard voters’ personal data from cybersecurity threats.

“Illinoisans should be able to participate in our democracy without fear of their personal identification being compromised,” Collins said. “I will continue to work to end Illinois’ participation in Crosscheck.”

Collins urges governor to sign synthetic cannabinoid legislation

collins 042418SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Jacqueline Collins is urging the governor to sign her legislation adding synthetic cannabinoids to the Controlled Substances Act.

The Illinois Department of Public Health yesterday announced more cases of severe bleeding among individuals using synthetic cannabinoids. According to the agency, more than 160 people in Illinois have experienced similar symptoms, and four people have died.

Collins questions CPS on sexual abuse allegations against staff

collins 042418SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago) joined members of the Illinois Senate Education Committee in a public hearing in Chicago to question Chicago Public Schools representatives in the wake of reports that allege faculty and staff have permitted a culture of sexual harassment and abuse against students for years.

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

“Dr. Jackson’s absence today is inexplicable. The CPS witnesses were not the decision makers and they failed to answer many of the more detailed questions required to discern negligence,” Collins said. “The Chicago Public Schools system is a public entity, accountable to the public. We should have heard from the CEO today.”

Collins called for the hearing after an in-depth report by the Chicago Tribune detailing a lax background check policy which allowed the hiring of teachers with red flags in their histories and allegations by dozens of students against faculty and staff within the school system across a 10-year period. She has called for a study into what mandatory reporting laws are already on the books and how and why personnel have allegedly failed to comply with them.

“I don't think apologies are enough,” Collins said, addressing Morgan Aranda, 22, a former student of Walter Payton College Prep who testified to the committee about her experiences while she was a student. “I think we already have laws on the books that were violated. What’s to say once the media spotlight is off the issue, we won't be confronted with the same issue? If we're all in this endeavor to protect our children, this has been a systemic failure by all adults.”

Check cashing rate compromise passes General Assembly

collins 042418SPRINGFIELD – A proposal setting new rates on check cashing services, including lowering the rate on government assistance checks, passed the General Assembly without opposition last week and awaits the governor’s signature to become law.

State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago) worked alongside consumer advocates to reach the compromise in the wake of a proposal from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) which would have raised rates on check cashing services like those at a Currency Exchange. The measure now awaiting the governor’s signature includes lower rate increases on smaller checks and also caps the rates on all public assistance checks at a lower rate for many recipients.

Sen. Jacqueline Y. Collins

16th District

Years served:
2003 - Present

Committee assignments: Financial Institutions (Chairperson); Insurance; Transportation; Committee of the Whole; Higher Education; Commerce and Economic Development; Public Health.

Biography: Full-time state legislator. Born December 10th in McComb, Mississippi. Studied journalism at Northwestern University; MA from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government; MA in Human Services Administration from Spertus College; MA in Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School, June 2003. Former Emmy Award-nominated news editor at CBS-TV in Chicago, and 2001 Legislative Fellow with United States Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.