New Health Care Law Aims To Stop Systemic Racism

SPRINGFIELD — Before Vallena Adkinson’s 35-year-old daughter Helen Heath died in March from complications of the autoimmune disease lupus, Adkinson spent years navigating a health care system she said treated her daughter poorly because she was Black. She said during her daughter’s hospital stays, she was often treated rudely when seeking better treatment for Heath, […]

Pritzker Signs Health Care Reform Measure Backed By Black Caucus

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker declared health care “a right, not a privilege” Tuesday as he signed a massive reform bill backed by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, the last of four policy pillars introduced as part of an anti-racism agenda last year. The “Illinois Health Care and Human Services Reform Act,” contained in House […]

New Illinois Law Expands Black History Education — But How Will It Be Taught?

DANVILLE – Brennon Hightower says Black history is lacking in the education her two sons receive at their public school in Danville, a city in east-central Illinois. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Hightower decided to homeschool her sons — aged 10 and 15 — using curricula she found and liked. But even that material included very […]

Health Care Reform Bill Will Head To Governor

SPRINGFIELD – A massive health care reform bill, the fourth and final pillar of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus agenda, passed the state Senate Thursday, the final step before heading to Gov. JB Pritzker for his signature. House Bill 158, sponsored by Democratic Rep. Camille Lilly and state Sen. Mattie Hunter, both of Chicago, is […]

Black Legislative Caucus Healthcare Bill Heads For State Senate

SPRINGFIELD – A healthcare bill spearheaded by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus has passed out of the State House on a party line vote. Sponsors say the bill is meant to reckon with racial inequities in healthcare, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. A previous attempt to pass a similar bill died at the end of the […]

Pritzker Signs Education Equity Bill Into Law

SPRINGFIELD — Gov. JB Pritzker joined members of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus on Monday to sign a measure aimed at advancing equity in education in the state. House Bill 2170, known as the Education and Workforce Equity Act, contains over 20 provisions aimed at decreasing racial gaps in opportunity and attainment that currently persist […]

Illinois Lawmakers Vote to End Cash Bail

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois General Assembly passed an expansive criminal justice bill on the last day of the lame-duck session, which, among other changes, would end the use of cash bail and impose new certification requirements for police officers. The measure was a part of a slate of bills spearheaded by the Legislative Black Caucus. Gov. […]

Pandemic, Social Unrest, Statehouse Scandals Top 2020 Stories

SPRINGFIELD – It was a year like no other, and one most Americans would just as soon forget, but 2020 is sure to last in the history books as one of the most tumultuous in modern history. It was a year when face masks and hand sanitizer became ubiquitous items of everyday life and when […]

Black Caucus Calls For Racial Equity In Education

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus continued to set the stage for its fall legislative agenda Wednesday, calling a news conference and committee hearing to discuss education policy. Education and workforce development make up one of four pillars on the agenda unveiled by the caucus earlier this month. The others are criminal justice reform, […]