Senator Collins on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD– State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago) reflects on the compliance of the Illinois Department of Insurance to investigate auto insurance charges during the pandemic.

“As a proud advocate for the prevention of predatory business practices, I am pleased the Illinois Department of Insurance responded to the demands of myself, my colleagues and advocacy organizations,” Collins said. “The investigation is the first step in facilitating accountability within our financial institutions.”

In January, Senator Collins and advocates sent a letter to the department to study the profits earned by auto insurers during the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused a reduction in the amount of vehicle crashes and auto insurance claims due to stay-at-home protocols. If the department were to find unfair charges, it would be urged to call on auto insurers to give refunds to Illinois policyholders.

Analyses by the Consumer Federation of America show insurance companies obtained $42 billion in excess premiums while refunding only $13 billion as of 2020, demonstrating a discrepancy between actual driving data and the cost of insurance claims during the pandemic. The CFA also found the disparaging effect of undue auto insurance is most predominant among the Black community.

“Communities like those I represent disproportionately experience unethical suffering thanks to greedy businesses looking to maximize profits at the expense of consumers,” Collins said. “Illinois has worked diligently to remove barriers to equitable resource access exposed by the pandemic, and addressing these overcharges is necessary to achieve our goal.”

Senator Collins has prioritized consumer protection during her time in the Senate by sponsoring and supporting measures to bring equity and transparency to business practices. These initiatives include ending the use of credit scores to determine auto insurance premiums, spearheading the Community Reinvestment Act to ensure banks serve all communities in their business areas and imposing an interest rate cap on consumer loans.

In urging an analysis of insurance claims during the pandemic, Senator Collins shows continued dedication and service to economically disadvantaged communities.

Senator Collins standing on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago) issued the following statement Wednesday following Gov. JB Pritzker’s budget proposal address:

“The proposed budget brings meaningful investment in community-based programs that prevent, reduce and interrupt the violence within our neighborhoods. In addition, I am interested in preserving housing stability by working with the governor to address the disparities in home appraisals that continue to contribute to the racial wealth gap.”

“This budget proposal prioritizes building community, which is especially prevalent in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Building community means supporting and protecting the entities aiming to reform oppressive systems that target Black and Brown populations, entrench racism and motivate violent behavior.”

“I look forward to beginning negotiations on creating and refining the most equitable financial plan possible.”

computer with marketing chartCHICAGO – Local businesses in the 16th District were recently awarded $1.8 million in funding from the Back to Business Program thanks to advocacy and support from State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago).

“Businesses across the state have been our front line defense against the COVID-19 pandemic,” Collins said. “These grants are giving our local businesses a much needed boost to get back on their feet as they continue to recover.”

The B2B grants are awarded by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity using funds allocated to them by the American Rescue Plan through last year’s state budget. So far – thanks to strong support from Senator Collins – DCEO has provided $111 million in B2B grants to nearly 3,000 small businesses throughout the state with an emphasis on disproportionately impacted areas.

“The B2B program focuses on businesses in hard-hit sectors –restaurants, salons, fitness centers and organizations,” Collins said. “I am proud to see worthwhile investments in our local businesses to help them cover the costs of staying open and keeping our community members safe during these unpredictable times.”

Grants will continue to be awarded on a rolling basis. Visit the DCEO website for more information on the B2B program and view a full list of grantees here.

handymanCHICAGO – The Community Youth Development Institute of Chicago will receive a $500,000 grant thanks to a $9.6 million state investment program, State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago) announced Friday.

“Funding apprenticeship programs funds job opportunity and supports the diversification of the state’s most important workforces,” Collins said. “I am honored to represent a community organization that is committed to creating, crafting and assisting the careers in our local economies.”

The Community Youth Development Institute of Chicago focuses on the development of skills needed to thrive in students’ careers. The program offers an array of areas in which to conduct work-based learning. Activities are designed to provide students with the resources needed to access local career fields despite economic and other forms of disadvantage.

“Just as increasing representation in other fields allows for important and relevant information exchange, equity in the construction industry opens the door for our underrepresented populations and prepares them for the essential work they do for our state,” Collins said. “This is an opportunity to advance our communities of color, giving them the exposure and connections they need to launch successful and fulfilling careers.”

The $9.6 million grant comes from the Illinois Works Jobs Program Act. Funds are disbursed to organizations that will provide pre-apprenticeship training and supportive services in the construction industry as part of the Rebuild Illinois initiative, which seeks to expand equity in Illinois’ construction workforce. Diverse communities have not been appropriately represented in the construction industry and the trades, and the funds awarded through the grant program help overcome systemic barriers that inhibit entry into the trades for diverse populations.
Supporting pre-apprenticeship training programs that primarily serve underrepresented groups helps establish a pipeline of qualified candidates for the future. More information on Illinois Works can be found on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s website.

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