SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Sonya M. Harper, D-Chicago, issued the following statement after the adjournment of the General Assembly’s spring legislative session:
“I voted to pass a balanced budget that puts working and middle-class families first, while creating a surplus of funds that will help to pay down the state’s debt. This budget that now heads to Governor Rauner reverses his devastating cuts and protects vital services like the Community Care Program, affordable child care, domestic violence shelters, breast cancer screenings, and provides $350 million in new funding for our local schools. I am proud of the work to pass a budget before the deadline with broad, veto-proof support, but the work to help our most vulnerable has just begun.
“The fight for our schools and our students’ future continues. I will not rest until Chicago Public Schools’ board consists of elected members from neighborhoods across our city instead of unaccountable bureaucrats. Until we have parents participating in a greater capacity in the determination of our student’s education, we are not going to see progressive change in the South Side except for more school closures.
“The families that I represent are demanding an elected school board as well as greater resources to keep our schools open and provide the best education possible to students. I fought this year to require CPS to adhere to new notification standards if and when they seek to close another school in our neighborhood or in the city. Too many times have schools closed on the South Side with no plan in place for students or parents. This has to stop because these people deserve to be treated fairly and equally.
“Over this legislative spring session, the time has come to adopt a progressive fair tax for Illinois to finally require the ultra-wealthy to pay their fair share. Illinois’ regressive flat tax requires middle class families to pay the same rate as millionaires and billionaires, which results in an effective tax rate that is nearly twice as high for low and middle-income earners than the wealthiest among us. This could bring in as much as $2 billion in additional revenue that could be used to modernize our schools and ease other taxes that are hurting the middle class.
“In an effort to bring healthier food options to my district, I have been working tirelessly to expand Urban Agriculture Areas in food deserts throughout the state. I’ve been living in the South Side for nearly four decades and the availability to purchase nutritious foods has greatly diminished, forcing many of us to buy food at a gas station or convenience store. My proposal would empower residents to grow and harvest locally grown food to then trade and sell.
“I want my constituents to know that I hear their voices and that their demands will continued to be heard in Springfield. I won’t stop until our students have an equally represented voice on our school board, until the wealthiest pay their fair share and our neighbors have the tools they need to grow their own food. This is the time to stay strong and unified as community.”
Visit Rep Harper’s website
276-S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 558-6370 FAX
4926 South Ashland
Chicago, IL 60609
(773) 925-6584 FAX