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Thank you for visiting my legislative website.  It is always an honor to serve the people of the 16th Legislative District in the Illinois General Assembly. On my website, you can learn more about me and the issues I work hard to address for our community and our state.   Your opinions are important to me, and I urge you to contact my Springfield or Chicago office if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank you,

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Senator Jacqueline Collins

State Senator, 16th District

042313br0242“What our young people need most is hope for the future, and vocational programs provide that hope for many students.”

— Sen. Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th)

CHICAGO – State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) issued the following statement on the decision to eliminate the Chicago Public Schools’ last remaining electrical program, located at Simeon Career Academy:

What our young people need most is hope for the future, and vocational programs that offer pathways to the trades provide that hope for many students. I was disappointed to learn last week that Simeon’s electrical program — the only one of its kind remaining in the Chicago Public Schools — had been terminated.

It is my understanding, based on numerous conversations with my constituents, that this program was flourishing, satisfied performance standards and met an established need for vocational education in the communities I represent.

I intend to make inquiries to CPS regarding the rationale behind the decision, and I will continue to push for high-quality career and technical education in our schools so interested students can graduate and find good employment in the trades.

I also wish to express my gratitude to Simeon, electrical program teacher Latisa Kindred and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 134 for giving our youth a vision of future success and the skills to reach their dreams.

030414 js 0519LSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) issued the following statement on the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision in Kanerva v. Weems that a 2012 law altering state retirees’ health insurance benefits violated the Pensions Clause of the Illinois Constitution:

The Illinois Supreme Court has resoundingly affirmed what I have always known to be true: that our state constitution protects public employees and does not allow state government to break its promises.

In 2012, I voted against the law the high court has now declared unconstitutional, because changing the rules on individuals who have based financial decisions on their constitutionally guaranteed benefits is no way to treat those who have dedicated their lives to serving the people of this state.

I have also refused to support the General Assembly’s attempts to unilaterally diminish the pension benefits due to our teachers, university employees and state employees, placing the burden of Illinois’ financial woes on the backs of faithful public servants.

I am grateful that our judicial system stands firm for the constitution and against abandoning promises when the obligations of our laws become burdensome. I urge my colleagues to broaden the scope of options on the table, honestly examining our corporate tax structure as we revisit the question of public employee benefits and their impact on the budget.

“Step Up, Get Tested” event also unveils new Red Ribbon Cash scratch-off ticket

Red Ribbon Cash and testing dayCHICAGO – State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th), was present at last week’s unveiling of the new Red Ribbon Cash scratch-off lottery ticket, which supports HIV/AIDS services, and observed National HIV Testing Day by reminding Illinoisans that while new diagnoses have increased among at-risk, predominantly minority populations, there is hope for those who know their status and take control of their health.

“While our efforts to prevent the spread of HIV have resulted in dramatic declines in new infections since the epidemic’s peak, rates remain unacceptably high among young, Black, gay and bisexual men,” Collins said. “On National HIV Testing Day and throughout the summer, we are working with our valued community partners to make sure all Chicagoans — especially members of at-risk populations — have access to testing, services and hope.”

Nationally, newly diagnosed cases of HIV among men with male sex partners dropped from 75,000 per year in the mid-1980s to only 18,000 in the early 1990s but have now risen to 30,000 annually. Chicago saw a 76 percent increase in new infections among gay men younger than 30 between 2000 and 2011, and African American men accounted for most of the jump. Chicago will be the site of a new five-year study, conducted by Northwestern University and funded through a National Institutes of Health grant, of the reasons behind this disturbing trend.

“The Quality of Life program and the Red Ribbon Cash ticket have generated a vital stream of revenue for HIV/AIDS prevention, testing and services during a time when state public health funding has been scarce and the struggle against HIV, particularly in communities of color, is often ignored,” Collins said. “I want to personally urge anyone who may be at risk to step up and get tested, and I also urge all our city and state leaders to step up, spread the word and fund the fight.”

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Contact Info

 Chicago Office:

1155 W. 79th St.

Chicago, IL 60620

(773) 224-2830

 

Springfield Office:

M114 Capitol

Springfield, Il 62706

(217) 782-1607

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