001collinsDear Neighbor,

The spring legislative session is in full swing, and the main topic of conversation is the looming state budget crisis. If the 2011 income tax increase is allowed to expire, pre-K through 12th grade public education could lose almost a billion dollars in state funding, 45,000 college students could lose access to financial aid and many social services could lose at least 14 percent of their funding, already sharply reduced during the past few budget cycles.

Lawmakers must undertake a thorough review of our tax structure so that we do not neglect funding of the core state services needed to combat generational poverty. I believe the answer is a “fair tax” that taxes the wealthy at a higher rate than the poor. I support the effort to allow voters to decide this November whether to allow different tax rates for different income levels, as do three-fourths of states with an individual income tax.

I also have introduced legislation to double the state Earned Income Tax Credit over the next five years. The EITC is a proven anti-poverty tool that kept 294,000 Illinois residents out of poverty between 2010 and 2012. Working families use their EITC checks primarily for necessities such as rent, groceries, school supplies and car repairs, thus putting money back into the economy — between $1.50 and $2 for every dollar the state spends on the tax credit. This supports local businesses and boosts employment.

I urge you to contact me with your thoughts and questions on this or any other legislation. As always, be sure to visit my website (www.SenatorJacquelineCollins.com) for the latest news. You may also call my office at (773) 224-2830 if I can be of assistance to you or your family.


Jacqueline Y. Collins
State Senator, 16th Legislative District

Chicago truancy task force holds public hearings

The Truancy in Chicago Public Schools Task Force, created by legislation I sponsored last year, has met to discuss the CPS truancy problem and existing approaches to it. Now it’s your turn to tell us what is working, what is not working and which approaches you believe could be most effective in keeping youth in class in your community.

Click here for more information and a schedule of upcoming public hearings.

Inequitable nursing home care still a concern

Illinois is a diverse state, and our aging population is also diverse. Although groundbreaking reforms enacted four years ago eliminated many of the worst abuses in the nursing home industry, intolerable disparities remain. Last week, the Senate approved legislation I sponsored to create the Long-term Services and Supports Disparities Task Force. This group will examine the quality of care received not only by racial minorities, but also rural residents and residents whose native language is not English.

Heartland AllianceThe task force will hold public hearings and bring back recommendations as to what state government can do to reduce the gaps in care that have been identified. I look forward to soliciting public input and moving forward with the next steps for reform.

Help with utility bills, a symposium for women business owners and more

From utility bill assistance to a Women Business Owners’ Symposium to a new leadership program for African American professionals, please visit my website to find out what’s happening this month in our community.

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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