SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – After working with both Democrats and Republicans to pass a balanced budget, state Rep. Kelly Burke, D-Oak Lawn, helped ensure that Illinois will have funds to pay down old bills accrued during Gov. Rauner’s budget crisis that tripled state debt, while providing funding for necessary programs, such as domestic violence shelters and affordable child care. Burke also worked on a multitude of measures to protect higher education funding, reduce gun violence and protect the rights of women during this legislative session.
“It seems like every time we turn on the news, there is another young person whose life was tragically cut short by gun violence, and that’s unacceptable,” said Burke. “I supported a number of measures that raise the age limit on purchasing military-style weapons to 21; ban dangerous add-ons that make semi-automatic guns shoot like fully automatic weapons of war like the ones used in Las Vegas; increase the wait time to purchase rifles; and make it so people who are identified as a danger to themselves or others won’t have access to weapons. I urge the governor to hear the cries of families and parents everywhere by signing these bills into law.”
As Chairwoman of the House Appropriations – Higher Education Appropriations committee, Burke led the charge on needed reforms within higher education in the State of Illinois. She was a pivotal member of working groups that crafted Senate Bill 2354 and SJR 76, measures that would make transferring credits easier for students and remove the cap on tuition waivers. She also supported House Bills 4781 and 5020 and Senate Bill 2927, measures which would increase access to MAP grants and improve college access for financially disadvantaged students. Burke also supported Senate Bill 2969, which creates a mechanism that allows for deferred maintenance at state universities to be resolved.
“Over the past few years, Governor Rauner’s impasse put the higher education of our young people in danger, and we need to ensure our state universities are accessible and affordable for people who want to improve their lives through education,” said Burke. “I truly believe that education is a tool that many can use to improve situations for themselves and their families. We, as leaders in this state, need to do everything in our power to make sure the dream of a college education is one that is not exclusive to the privileged and wealthy.”
Standing up to Donald Trump and his extreme allies’ attacks on women, Burke has stood firmly to protect equal rights for women. She voted for Illinois to be the 37th of the necessary 38 states to support the federal ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, which would ensure constitutional protections, regardless of a person’s sex.
“Our country was founded on the concept of liberty and justice for all,” said Burke. “At a time where our Commander-in-Chief says some of the most classless things about women and minorities, it is good to see that many in the legislature won’t stand idly by when it comes to the mistreatment of women. The fight for true equality for women is still far from over, but I am proud to be a part of a diverse group of legislators who know that no woman should be subject to unequal treatment under the law.”
Burke serves the 36th Representative District, which contains parts of Chicago’s Beverly, Mt. Greenwood and Auburn-Gresham neighborhoods and portions of Evergreen Park, Oak Lawn, Chicago Ridge, Palos Heights, Palos Hills, Willow Springs and Worth. For more information, please contact Burke’s district office at 708-425-0571 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.