Clean Water Initiative photo cropCHICAGO - Oak Lawn is receiving a $12.7 million low-interest loan to combat flooding and protect its drinking water through stormwater infrastructure improvements. A law I co-sponsored to expand the state's Clean Water Initiative made this possible, and Gov. Quinn came to the Oak Lawn community to sign the legislation. Oak Lawn has experienced devastating flash floods during the past year. The full infrastructure repair and construction program Oak Lawn has launched will not only improve residents’ quality of life but also create 1,400 jobs.

The Clean Water Initiative, launched in 2012, set aside $1 billion for communities to rebuild or repair wastewater and drinking water systems in order to protect their residents from contaminated water. With urban flooding on the rise, stormwater management has become a critical piece of the puzzle, because floodwaters can compromise drinking water supplies as well as damaging residential and commercial property. I’m proud to have helped expand this successful financing program to allow communities to address their most pressing infrastructure challenges.

Charter school bill signing HB3232CHICAGO — State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) proudly looked on last Thursday as Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law stricter rules governing the way charter schools conduct their admissions lotteries and spend public money. Collins sponsored the legislation, House Bill 3232, in response to high-profile charter school scandals that left families and taxpayers concerned about transparency and accountability in charter education.

“I was pleased to work with educators, school districts and people of goodwill in the charter community who agree that high standards are absolutely necessary whenever public money is being spent,” Collins said.

Earlier this summer, the governor signed another law Collins sponsored on educational choice. House Bill 4591 ensures that state funding stays with students whenever they transfer from a charter school back to a traditional public school operated by a school district, and vice-versa.

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.

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