Senator Jacqueline Collins


Dear Friends,


The governor has made his priorities clear: profits before people, corporate tax breaks before compassion and an anti-worker agenda before revenue reform.


This week, a majority of my Senate colleagues responded by reaffirming our priorities. We voted to override Gov. Rauner's irresponsible vetoes of budget measures needed to fund juvenile justice services, assistance for those with developmental disabilities, the state's ethics commission, care for wards of the state, public health initiatives, in-home aides for senior citizens and much more.


I was also honored to co-sponsor legislation to fund the state's most vital services and pay state employees during the stalemate. This emergency, one-month budget is now on its way to the governor's desk. It is the bare minimum needed to liberate those held hostages to the Rauner administration's refusal to compromise on his extreme agenda.


Unfortunately, the governor has already said he will veto even this stop-gap measure. Please continue calling (312-814-2121) and writing to Gov. Rauner, and I will continue working to keep services operational, make sure state employees are paid for their work on behalf of the people and negotiate a responsible and moral state budget.


In this edition of my newsletter, you will find more information about a very important program Gov. Rauner has already slashed: child care assistance for low-income working parents. I've also included resources and events that may be of interest to you - including a workshop I will co-host this Monday for anyone seeking to know more about securing an apprenticeship in a trade.


As always, please contact me at (773) 224-2830 or through my website with any questions, concerns, ideas or requests for assistance. It is an honor to represent you and work alongside you to improve our community, especially in these challenging times.


Jacqueline Collins
Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins
16th District – Illinois


Pathway to Apprenticeship


Are you in need of a job? Better yet, a career? I am pleased to co-host this free informational fair designed to help you on the pathway to an apprenticeship and a solid career practicing a trade.

apprenticeship flyer



Child care in crisis


Although he vetoed the budget the General Assembly sent him in May and continues to force a stalemate in an attempt to push through his anti-worker agenda, Gov. Rauner wasted no time in almost completely freezing new applications for the Child Care Assistance Program, which helps low-income parents afford child care so they can work and/or attend school.


More than 80 percent of new applicants who would otherwise have been eligible for the program are now excluded because they earn too much to qualify under new income standards.


Families with household incomes amounting to half of the federal poverty level or greater can no longer receive help paying for child care unless they are headed by a teen parent or receive TANF, or unless the child in need of care has a qualifying disability. That means that a family of two (one parent, one child) must earn $664 or less per month to qualify for assistance, while the average cost of infant child care in Illinois is $1047 per month. The math is simple; without a friend or relative willing to provide child care at no cost or at a discount, many low-wage workers raising children will be forced out of the labor market. Meanwhile, families who were enrolled in Child Care Assistance prior to July 1, 2015, may stay in the program, but most will face higher co-payments.


Here, I discuss the governor's responsibility for the current child care crisis and my deep concerns about his plans for Illinois:

CCAP video


Kidney Action Day


Most people don't spend much time thinking about their kidneys. On August 26, pay attention to your kidneys for a change and have some family fun by coming to Daley Plaza for free screenings, food samples and entertainment.

Kidney Action Day



Free parenting classes


Summer is the perfect time to meet other parents and learn skills that will help you become a better and more confident parent. These free classes are a good place to start.

Parenting classes


Geek is chic in Chicago this summer


Help the youth in your life become interested in science, technology, engineering, math and the arts (and get in touch with the geek inside you, too) at the Geek Street festival on Wednesday, July 22. Enjoy gadgets, gizmos and games from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Daley Plaza.


Geek Street



District Office

1155 West 79th Street • Chicago, IL 60620

773-224-2830 (Phone) • 773-224-2855 (Fax)


Springfield Office

M114 Capitol Building • Springfield, IL 62706

217-782-1607 (Phone)



Congratulations to our team and America's team, Jackie Robinson West! Your community is proud of you and your outstanding achievements. It was an honor to celebrate these 13 talented, hard working young men who battled their way to the United States Little League championship and took on the world's best in the Little League World Series.
JRW parade for web

042313br0050webLast week, Chicago Public Schools CEO Dr. Barbara Byrd-Bennett announced that Simeon Career Academy's electricity program will continue to provide high-quality training and offer excellent job prospects to students pursuing career and technical education. Senator Trotter, Representative Flowers, Representative Ford and I had all advocated for this outcome ever since learning in July that the program would be terminated. We submitted the following guest commentary to local media.



"Now is not the time to rest"

Area lawmakers push for expanded career and technical education programs


Brandon Davenport scored in the top 3.5 percent on the apprenticeship test he took this spring. Takaia Butler recently graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a B.A. in applied sciences. Timothy King was named valedictorian of his high school class, went on to earn a degree in electrical engineering from Southern Illinois University and has been accepted to graduate school. Malcolm Zeno and Aaron Moore have just successfully completed their first year of apprenticeship school and are well on their way to good careers as union electricians.

They are all alumni of the electricity program at Simeon Career Academy, and theirs are just a few of its names and faces of hope. These young people, who hail from neighborhoods with some of the highest unemployment rates in the city and state, were trained, mentored and equipped for success in the only remaining electrical shop in the Chicago Public Schools. Last month, a decision was made to terminate this proven school-to-career pipeline and, with it, the hopes and dreams of the dozens of youths enrolled each year in Latisa Kindred's classes.

As legislators proudly representing the communities Simeon serves, we were moved to raise our voices in opposition to the steady erosion of opportunities for our youth, and we were honored to stand alongside the students, families, advocates and community partners who refused to yield.

We thank Mayor Emanuel and CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett for listening to our concerns and responding appropriately, reinstating this vital program in time for the start of the new school year. And it is with tremendous gratitude and excitement for the future that we recognize Local #134 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which has committed to offering jobs to students who complete the three-year program. Local #134, which has long partnered with Simeon and vocational education, will also begin an outreach campaign to make middle school students aware of career opportunities in electricity.

Now is not the time to rest. College is more expensive than ever, and America's total student loan debt has supplanted its credit card debt as the heaviest millstone holding back the next generation from financial freedom. Many students in our public schools are not college-bound but deserve the chance to take pride in a trade, provide for themselves and their families, contribute to economic growth and give back to their communities. It is essential that CPS not only maintain its existing career and technical education programs but expand on them, forging new partnerships and reaching out to students in more effective ways.

We stand ready to continue working with CPS and, most importantly, the extraordinary citizens who cared enough about our youth and neighborhoods to get organized and achieve this victory for Simeon's students.

 Collins signature web

State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th)

trottersig web

State Senator Donne E. Trotter (D-Chicago 17th)

Flowers signature web

State Representative Mary E. Flowers (D-Chicago 31st)

Ford signature web

State Representative La Shawn K. Ford (D-Chicago 8th)

It is my honor today to extend a special welcome to those participating in Illinois Muslim Action Day, an annual opportunity for Illinois Muslims to meet their legislators and discuss a variety of issues important to our state's Muslim community. I look forward to speaking with those in attendance, many of whom are my constituents.

I am proud to represent one of America's largest and most vibrant Muslim communities, centered in the 16th District. I consider it a privilege to listen to the concerns and perspectives of these valued constituents. Like them, I am a person of faith whose beliefs and values inspire me to seek justice, especially for the marginalized, vulnerable and overlooked among us.

The priorities of the diverse group of Muslims assembling at the Capitol today include immigrants' rights and assistance, civil liberties, anti-violence efforts and youth employment. I wish them a successful day of action and hope their presence here increases awareness, tolerance and acceptance of our great state's cultural and religious diversity.

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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