The following is a legislative update from Sen. Kimberly Lightford:
May 22, 2013
As the 2013 session of the Illinois General Assembly begins to wind to a close, I have some exciting progress to announce. My plan to require all 6-year-olds to attend school has cleared the Illinois Senate and is moving in the House.
I know some of you may be shocked to learn that kids are not required to attend school in Illinois until they turn 7, but that is the law in our state – a law I believe we should change. Seven is too late to start school, and the kids who start school late often end up far behind their classmates. This legislation would also make it easier to address the unacceptable chronic truancy rate among kindergartners and first graders – last year a Chicago Tribune investigation revealed that 18 percent of these young kids are not in school when they should be.
To read more about this legislation, click here.
Of course, I’m busy on many other issues, including a plan to help people who are arrested but not convicted or who have successfully completed probation for non-violent crimes seal or expunge their records, making it easier for them to find jobs and housing. In addition, I’m sponsoring legislation to protect the important Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which helps lower-income seniors and families pay for heat in the winter.
We are also still working on finding a fair solution to Illinois’ pension crisis and the state budget, where I hope to minimize cuts to education programs.
When I return to the district in a few short weeks, I will update you on the resolution of these important issues and renew my focus on in-district events, like the KAL Saturday University that I organized last year to provide free tutoring for fifth- through eighth-graders.
Please visit my website or call my office if you have any questions, concerns or ideas.
Assistant Majority Leader
4th District – Illinois