SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – At the conclusion of this spring’s legislative session, state Rep. Lakesia Collins, D-Chicago, issued the following statement:
“I am incredibly proud of the work we were able to accomplish this past session, but the path to a more progressive and inclusive Illinois is just getting started.
“One of the biggest accomplishments of this session was being able to be a Chief Co-Sponsor on House Bill 2877, which provided much needed rental assistance to tenants and landlords throughout the state. Through the Rental Assistance program, tenants or landlords can file for up to $25,000 in financial assistance to pay for up to 12 months of unpaid or future rent. This piece of legislation brings much needed relief and assistance to families in the state who have been put through one of the worst public health disasters of our lifetime.
“COVID-19 also brought many families to financial lows. I am incredibly proud to have been Chief Sponsor on House Bill 3620, which would increase the number of families eligible for the Illinois Child Care Assistance Program. The bill increases the percentage of families eligible from 185% to 200% or less of the federal poverty line.
“I also worked to protect workers’ rights and their ability to collectively bargain. As a union member and former organizer, I am adamant about protecting the right of workers to unionize. That is why I firmly support Senate Joint Constitutional Amendment 11 which will allow voters to decide if we should change the State Constitution and protect the right of any worker in Illinois to collectively bargain. We also passed Senate Bill 2182, which requires data centers in Illinois who want to apply for a Data Center Tax Credit, to enter into a labor peace agreement, agreeing to not hinder employee’s rights to unionize. Both of these pieces of legislation will continue to protect the Illinois’ workforce and strengthen our state’s economy.
“The most historic and landmark piece of legislation we were able to pass is the final pillar of the Illinois Black Caucus Legislative Pillars; the health care pillar. This legislation does several things but focuses on putting more funding and research into maternal death rates for women of color. Black women die at higher rates during pregnancy birth than any other race. Racism is still incredibly prevalent in our medical system and it’s a disturbing fact that must be rectified.”
“There is more left to do to better our state, but I’m proud of how far we have come and look forward to continuing to fight for those whose voices have been silenced.”