SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Thaddeus Jones, D-Dolton, took the oath of office Wednesday to begin a new term as state representative with a focus on expanding local access to healthcare and education and investing more in communities suffering from the effects of violent crime.
“I will continue fighting for the hardworking men and women of Illinois, particularly in our communities that are too often forgotten or overlooked,” Jones said. “Gov. Rauner’s refusal to sign a compassionate budget until his extreme agenda is approved has left our most vulnerable residents at risk. Social service agencies across our state that deliver meals on wheels to the elderly and provide child care for working parents have been forced to shut their doors, leaving many without the programs they so desperately need.”
Jones is frustrated by the governor’s recent decision to end bipartisan negotiations at a time when many social service agencies are on the brink of collapse. He is urging Gov. Rauner to return to the table with the goal of passing a budget that fully funds education, provides lifesaving healthcare to seniors, and prevents the closure of domestic violence shelters. Along with fighting for a compassionate and responsible budget, Jones highlights some legislative priorities for the upcoming session.
Jones is continuing to lead efforts to create a new South Suburban Trauma Center. He has been fighting for a center to serve our area, which has been without a trauma center for a number of years. Lacking a trauma center means residents facing life threatening injuries are a 30 minute ambulance ride from the nearest Level 1 trauma center in Oak Lawn. Jones introduced similar legislation last year, which received the support of local mayors and community leaders.
“Southland residents deserve to have access to lifesaving treatment close to home,” Jones said. “Opening a South Suburban Trauma Center would help save lives and bring good paying jobs to the region.”
Reducing violent crime and assisting struggling communities is a major priority that Jones plans to keep pushing in the coming General Assembly. His Crime Free Zones Program would charge a tax on extremely wealthy individuals, in order to fund job training programs and hire law enforcement community liaisons in areas with high crime.
“The families of my district are concerned about the future of their children and grandchildren,” Jones said. “Investing in job training programs and revitalizing our communities is the only way we will reduce crime and create a better place to live and work in.”
Jones is continuing his focus on access to higher education by introducing legislation to create a free community college program. The program would help thousands of students across Illinois attend community college free of charge, drawing funds from banks and credit unions. Jones believes all students deserve access to opportunity and education and in a time of a budget crisis, his proposal will help more students get in the door.
“I propose giving thousands of students across Illinois the ability to learn valuable skills and find gainful employment, without the burden of student loan debt,” Jones said. “The youth in our community deserve a path towards greater options and a brighter future.”
To share your concerns or thoughts with Jones, please call his constituent service office at 708-933-6018 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.