CHICAGO – Due to pervasive gun violence coupled with schools lacking comprehensive programming to support students whom have experienced trauma, state Rep. Jonathan “Yoni” Pizer, D-Chicago, is sponsoring legislation that would fund such programs through a tax on ammunition sales.

“With growing concern that local schools do not have the funds needed to address the mental health needs of students, we must look at all funding options to empower them with the necessary resources,” Pizer said. “By working with education professionals on the ground, we’re putting forward legislation that will ensure schools develop trauma-informed support systems by taxing the root of the trauma.”

Pizer’s House Bill 5651 would add a $0.02 surcharge on each bullet sold and the revenue will go to the Safe Schools and Healthy Learning Environments Grant. This grant program enables schools to develop restorative interventions and resolution strategies that emotionally, psychologically and socially support the needs of students, rather focusing solely on disciplinary measures. This bill is supported by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), a group who represents social workers located in many setting, including schools.

“Our members are seeing an increase in trauma-related issues, particularly when it comes to youth in school settings,” Kyle Hillman of NASW said. “Gun violence is too prevalent in our communities yet mental health assistance for children exposed to this violence is not adequate. We cannot expect our children to learn when we are not taking the steps to address their emotional and psychological needs. Rep. Pizer’s bill which would bring more social workers into our schools, increase restorative justice programs and positive interventions as a much needed step toward acquiring funding to support and heal our youth.”

Rep. Yoni PizerRep. Yoni Pizer

12th District

Springfield Office:
261-S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8062

District Office:
3223 N. Sheffield Ave.
Suite A
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 296-4141