The Chicago Crusader - August 21, 2017 | original article

The future of Chicago Public Schools grew brighter Sunday, August 13 after the Illinois Senate voted 38-19 to override Governor Bruce Rauner’s amendatory veto of the school funding bill.

Black leaders praised the move, saying CPS and minority students would have suffered under Rauner’s plan.

The vote moves the bill closer to helping CPS, which is counting heavily on the state to provide financial relief to the cash-strapped district.

The bill is now in the hands of the House, where it has 15 days to decide on the override. The deadline to send out state aid payments expired August 10, but the state lawmakers need to approve an “evidence-based” school funding formula before it can release those funds. The requirement is part of an agreement Democratic lawmakers included in a budget package that was passed in June.

Under Rauner’s plan, CPS would have received $463 less, according to an analysis by the Illinois state Board of Education.  Democrats were concerned that school districts such as Chicago would lose money in the next several years under Rauner’s plan, which would have redistributed funds from CPS to other school districts in the state. It’s a plan that Rauner said ensures fairness because the state is tired of bailing out CPS.

“For decades students have suffered under a broken formula that shortchanged low income children throughout the state,” said Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood). “The governor’s veto fell far from our goal of making a quality education a reality for every child in Illinois.”

State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago) issued the following statement.

“Youth throughout our state deserve the opportunity to have a fair shot at obtaining a quality education. My colleagues and I have worked tirelessly to ensure that our effort to bring equitable education to all parts of the state, was achieved. Our schools need the proper investment and certainty that Senate Bill 1 provides. I stand committed to making sure our schools stay open and fixing our broken funding formula.”

State Senator Emil Jones III (D-Chicago) said “Our governor’s attempt at holding our children’s education hostage is just another political ploy.”

Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) said, “Senate Bill 1 is the only plan that ensures no schools in Illinois lose funding. I am proud to vote to override the governor’s harmful amendatory veto. It’s the best thing for all Illinois children. I hope the House is able to do the same.”

The Senate override of Rauner’s amendatory veto is good news to CPS, which recently unveiled a $5.7 billion 2018 budget after it announced a $269 million shortfall August 11. City officials are mum about where the funds would come from.

In addition to funds from the city, the CPS budget is counting on $300 million in the school funding bill that’s now in the House.

Chicago officials say the CPS budget will serve as only a framework for the eventual fiscal 2018 budget.

Category: Latest

At the end of each year, we publish a list of new laws set to take effect on Jan. 1. While a great deal of the General Assembly’s focus in 2016 was on the ongoing Illinois budget stalemate and a stopgap budget to keep vital programs and services going, a variety of new laws regarding safety, ethics, criminal justice reform, and employment wages and benefits will become effective Jan. 1.

Here are our Top 10 New Illinois Laws for 2017.

Category: Latest

SPRINGFIELD — A key legislative initiative introduced by Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago), giving children in police custody for certain crimes would have greater protection when being interrogated by police under legislation was signed into law by the governor.

Senate Bill 2370, which passed in the Illinois Senate and House of Representatives with bipartisan support, requires that minors under 15 years of age who are charged with murder or sex offenses must be represented by counsel throughout the entire custodial interrogation. The bill allows public defenders or attorneys under contract with the county to have access to these minors under 15 years of age during custodial interrogations. SB 2370 requires a simplified version of Miranda warnings be given to minors under the age of 18. Finally, SB 2370 requires videotaping of all custodial interrogations of minors charged with misdemeanor sex offenses or any felony offense.

“I consider this a huge win for those who are underrepresented in this state. As this bill was signed today let us reflect on those lives who have been negatively impacted, prior to this legislative, specifically Trevon Yates ,” Van Pelt said

Trevon Yates, then 17 years old, was arrested in 2013, by St. Clair County deputies and questioned in connection with a robbery of a couple that was lured to a parking lot in Belleville, where they expected to meet someone who had advertised an iPhone for sale on Craigslist. A two-hour interrogation video shows the East St. Louis teen repeatedly professing his innocence, begging for his mother and praying to God, before being coerced into confession by sheriff’s detectives.

Yates, who has diminished cognitive ability, was charged with armed robbery and spent nine months in jail before the charges were eventually dismissed after additional evidence cleared him of any wrongdoing. He was later awarded a $900,000 settlement in a federal lawsuit alleging the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department violated his civil rights.

Previous law only required minors under 13 years of age who are charged with murder or sex offenses to be represented by counsel during custodial interrogations. The law is set to take effect January 1, 2017.

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Category: Latest

PVP Press Conference final

CHICAGO - Last Wednesday, State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago), who represents some of Chicago'€™s most violence-stricken neighborhoods, standing with colleagues and members of the community called for accountability within the Chicago Police Department. Van Pelt is sponsoring legislation a series a legislative initiatives directly targeting that lack of accountability: SB 2210, SB 2231 and SB 2233.

The package of bills pertains to creating an independent police review board, retention of police misconduct records and FOIA requests detailing police misconduct.

"Accountability has been a major issue throughout the City of Chicago, specifically as it relates to policing. Introducing and passing these measures are a strong step in the right direct," Sen. Van Pelt said.

In the past year, Illinois has seen numerous efforts from the General Assembly to pass measures for policing reform. Most notably, Senate Bill 1304, a measure signed into law by the governor after passing both chambers, establishes wide-ranging rules for body cameras, largely prohibits chokeholds, introduces bias-free policing and demands more data collection on arrests.

Category: Latest
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