Senator Patricia Van Pelt speaks during a committee hearingSPRINGFIELD – Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) issued the following statement in response to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s annual budget address:

“For the fourth year in a row, Governor Rauner introduced a plan to devastate Illinois’ most vulnerable residents by slashing programs that are necessary to end the cycle of poverty and help low-income families succeed. His cuts to After School Matters and Teen Reach would be dangerous for young people who might otherwise be on the streets.

“Rauner has touted his work on criminal justice reform, but his cuts to important human service programs show that he’s more interested in talking about criminal justice reform than making the necessary investments in our communities that would make a real difference in the long run.”

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Category: Press Releases

01252017CM1116SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) issued the following statement in response to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s State of the State address:

"I appreciate the governor's calls for bipartisanship, but he's spent the past three years pitting Chicago against the rest of the state, dividing instead of uniting. Rauner's actions over the past three years have led to chaos for our human service agencies, uncertainty in our schools and disproportionately hurt low-income families and people of color. It's time for the governor to stop placing blame on others and finally be the leader Illinois needs. It's time for him to stop campaigning and start governing."

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Category: Press Releases

Senator Van Pelt speaks at a Black Caucus press conferenceYesterday it was reported that an official letter was submitted to Amazon executives with an attached state and city bid signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and the legislature’s top four leaders. Members of the Illinois Legislative Senate Black Caucus are cautiously optimistic about the potential of Amazon moving its second headquarters to Chicago.

Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood), who also chairs the joint Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, delivered a clear message: “Job creation is a top priority for the caucus, specifically in our impoverished neighborhoods where unemployment rates soar due to lack of sustainable jobs. Preparation has to be our clear path toward future employment opportunities. It is our hope that we can work with Amazon and legislative leaders to ensure that our low-income neighborhoods benefit as well.”

“Areas like the south side of Chicago have suffered because of lack of job creation. I hope the incentives offered to Amazon not only interest them, but provide an opportunity for growth and financial stability for struggling communities,” said Assistant Majority Leader Donne Trotter, (D-Chicago).

With talks of the financial package being offered to Amazon coming in the form of the revamped Illinois EDGE tax credits, as well as other tax credits, Senate Black Caucus and Revenue Committee Chairwoman Toi Hutchinson, (D-Chicago Heights) had the following statement: “While I have serious concerns with the creation of another tax credit for a major corporation, I look forward to working to ensure that quality jobs are created no matter the address or zip code.”

The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus has continued working with business leaders and community stakeholders to find ways to spark job creation in a growing economy. Amazon has said that an estimated 50,000 employees earning an average of $160,000 per year, in the next several years, is possible. “With so many incentives offered to attract Amazon to Chicago, it is my hope that if the deal goes through, Amazon works to hire individuals from the west side neighborhoods that are struggling with high rates of unemployment,” said Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago).

Senator Emil Jones, (D-Chicago): “It’s clear to me, having lived on the south side of Chicago all my life, that we need more quality jobs. If the estimate on the number of potential jobs to be created is correct, I don’t see any problem with this effort. We have to do something.”

The Senate Black Caucus remains dedicated to driving bipartisan cooperation as Illinois seeks this transformational employment opportunity.

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Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD – Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) issued the following statement in response to Governor Rauner’s signature of a pro-choice measure:05292017CM0548

“In a victory for pro-choice activists, Governor Rauner kept his promise to protect a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions no matter what. When the governor threatened to change his position on this legislation, people across the state took action to remind him how important women’s reproductive rights are. Regardless of a woman’s income or any changes to federal law, every woman in Illinois should have the right to decide what is best for her health without government interference.”

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Category: Press Releases
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