Illinois Legislative Black Caucus

Peter Medlin

Nearly half of Illinois high school grads who enroll full-time at a community college get placed in a developmental education course. That includes 70% of Black students and, of them, only 8% graduate compared to 26% of white students.

Those classes cost students tuition money and time, but don’t count for credit towards a degree. Emily Goldman, with the Partnership for College Completion, helped lawmakers craft the Developmental Education Reform Act to address the issue.

https://www.staterepwest.com/

Illinois lawmakers passed sweeping changes to the state’s criminal justice system.  

 

 

The Illinois House followed the state Senate to approve a stripped down set of reforms from the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus. It includes changes to police certification, the use of force and the cash bail system. The bill now goes to Governor J.B. Pritzker.

The original package drew early opposition from members of law enforcement including Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana. 

 

The black community is gasping for air. And when State Rep. Maurice West of Rockford says that, he means it literally, as in the killing of George Floyd during an encounter with Minneapolis police.

But he’s also talking about systemic issues disproportionately hurting black people. That includes problems in criminal justice, but also education and health.

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

Governor Bruce Rauner has signed an executive order he says will mean more minority-owned businesses will get government contracts. But some are skeptical about his true intentions.

staterepevans33.com

Black legislators say Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner hasn’t done enough in the wake of the release of police shootings of LaQuan McDonald and other African Americans.

When asked by reporters, Gov. Rauner said he cried after watching the 2014 video of black Chicago teenager LaQuan McDonald getting shot 16 times by a city cop.

“That video — shocking, terrifying. I cried for the young man who was brutally shot," he said.

In recent days officers responding to a call killed two other black Chicagoans.

www.staterepevans33.com

The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus plans to organize students to demonstrate over the holiday break if an agreement to end the budget impasse is not reached.

The protest subject will be MAP grants for lower-income students, which have not been funded this fiscal year because of the lack of a spending plan.

Senator Kimberly Lightford, a Maywood Democrat, is the chairwoman of the caucus. 

Flickr user woodleywonderworks / "police trooper writing a ticket" (CC BY 2.0)

Police could soon be forced to hand out documentation when they stop someone. 

Members of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus say they have heard from constituents who claim they are repeatedly stopped by authorities. In some cases, more than once per day.

The lawmakers’ response is a plan to require officers hand out what are called “stop receipts.”

Representative Mary Flowers, a Democrat from Chicago, supports the idea: