Sen. Jacqueline Collins announces new program to provide fresh groceries to underserved areas of Chicago, statewide


CHICAGO, IL – State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins’ (D-Chicago) efforts to eliminate Illinois’ so-called “food deserts” will receive a major boost under a new program announced over the weekend.


Due in large part to Senator Collins’ efforts, the governor announced the creation of The Illinois Fresh Food Fund. The Fund will increase the availability of fresh food in communities that lack adequate access by providing money to independent grocery store operators and developers to create full-service grocery stores in those underserved areas.


“The relationship between access to fresh foods and health, academic performance and overall quality of life is well known, and I have always believed a solid investment in good nutrition can help transform struggling neighborhoods,” Sen. Collins said. “The Fresh Food Fund is an innovative use of capital and federal funds and a winning proposition for children and families, Illinois farmers, business owners and job seekers.”

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Lenders may not require up-front payments for loan modifications

Legislation to deter mortgage fraud was signed into law today. House Bill 4521, sponsored by State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins tightens the regulation of mortgage lenders and protects borrowers seeking loan modifications or short sales.

“In 2009, I co-sponsored the law that enrolled Illinois in the National Mortgage Licensing System and Registry. Today, we are taking another step toward an objective, transparent, and accountable process for licensing and regulating the lenders who hold so much power in our economy,” Sen. Collins said. “Exercising vigilant oversight in the areas of loan modifications and short sales will be particularly beneficial as we work to slow the rate of foreclosure and protect distressed homeowners from financial exploitation.”

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CHICAGO, IL – In a ceremony held at the Chicago Urban League, State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-16th) applauded as Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation she sponsored to protect borrowers from financial exploitation by both tax preparers who facilitate refund anticipation loans and mortgage lenders who burden low-income borrowers with unfair repayment terms. Senate Bill 1692 prohibits tax preparers from charging excess, hidden fees on refund anticipation loans (RALs) and also bans prepayment penalties, loan modification fees and balloon payments for high-risk home loans.


“This law represents yet another hard-won victory in the battle against all forms of financial exploitation, particularly those taking disproportionate advantage of low-income individuals and racial minorities,” said Sen. Collins, who chairs the Senate Financial Institutions Committee. “Through good times and bad, through booms and busts, the American dream remains just out of reach whenever people face discrimination, misinformation or predatory lending practices.”

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 SPRINGFIELD, IL – State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-16th) joined with 250 volunteers and BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois at last Saturday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony for a playground built in a day. The playground, the one hundredth installed in Chicago by KaBOOM!, will give children attending before- and after-school programs at Auburn-Gresham’s Lots of Love Community Center a safe place for unstructured physical activity and imaginative play.


KaBOOM! works with community stakeholders and businesses like BlueCross, which donated the Lots of Love playground, to bring playgrounds to places where children have few opportunities for outdoor recreation. The building process, described as an “urban barn-raising,” brings together hundreds of local volunteers, community leaders and employees of generous businesses to install the playground in about six hours.

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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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