Thank you for visiting my legislative website. It is always an honor to serve the people of the 16th Senate District in the Illinois General Assembly. On my website, you can learn more about me and the issues I work hard to address for our community and our state. Your opinions are important to me, and I urge you to contact my Springfield or Chicago office if you have any questions or concerns.
Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins
State Senator, 16th District
SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) condemned the governor’s decision today to veto legislation that would have established automatic voter registration in Illinois, bypassing arcane and unnecessary registration rules to engage more citizens, especially youth.
“Democracy can’t wait on the governor to become comfortable with an idea that has already taken root in five states and would protect our most fundamental freedom – one for which our foremothers and forefathers bled and died,” Collins said. “As a Black woman hopeful for the next generation of active citizens, I am deeply troubled that our state ranks 23rd nationally in the percentage of eligible voters who are registered. Automatic voter registration would improve access to the polls and civic participation – a goal toward which every elected official should strive.”
More than two million Illinoisans are eligible to vote but cannot because they aren’t registered. Young people between the ages of 18 and 24 are least likely to be on the voter rolls. Moving accounts for one-third of the gap; one in nine Americans move each year, and those who change addresses often are not aware that they must reregister at the new address in order to vote in subsequent elections.
The automatic voter registration plan (Senate Bill 250), which passed both legislative chambers with bipartisan support, would have streamlined access while improving security. It would have required government agencies – including Driver Services facilities and human services offices – to forward information provided to them by eligible residents to the Board of Elections to add to the voter rolls or update existing registrations. An eligible voter could still opt out of being registered. The legislation the governor vetoed today actually contains stricter safeguards than the current law to prevent fraud and require the rolls to be regularly updated and checked for accuracy.
“Recent federal court rulings in Wisconsin, Texas and elsewhere have reinforced that voting restrictions – such as ‘voter ID laws’ – that disproportionately block access to the polls by minorities, seniors and young people are unconstitutional, no matter how hard their proponents try to disguise them as fraud prevention tactics,” Collins said. “Here in Illinois, members of both parties are endeavoring to forge a different path, one that empowers all who are entitled to vote, and I am greatly disappointed that Governor Rauner has decided to stand in the way.”
Illinois still protects your legal rights if you apply for help through Making Home Affordable
SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) announced good news for Illinois homeowners struggling to avoid foreclosure or to protect their legal rights against lenders. Legislation she sponsored so that Illinois residents can continue to participate in the federal Making Home Affordable program was signed into law today and takes effect immediately.
“We know the housing crisis is not over for every homeowner in every neighborhood, and the federal government recognized this when it extended the Making Home Affordable program through the end of this year,” said Collins, a frontline champion of those affected by foreclosure, mortgage scams and other threats to homeownership. “I’ve made it my mission to ensure Illinois residents can take advantage of all applicable federal assistance to stay in their homes whenever possible.”
Making Home Affordable gives struggling homeowners options – such as refinancing, a modification of mortgage terms, a short sale in lieu of foreclosure or a temporary forbearance for unemployment – when they become unable to make monthly payments and apply to the federal government for help. If the lender continues to foreclose on and sell the home in violation of the Making Home Affordable Act and if the borrower applied for assistance by the deadline, Illinois law allows the borrower to ask a court to set aside the sale. Collins’ proposal, which becomes law today, extends the date by which the borrower is required to have asked for help under Making Home Affordable in order to ensure the justice system works for those whose lenders have violated rules while rushing to foreclosure.
Making Home Affordable is still accepting applications through Dec. 31, 2016. The new state law extends legal protections through Jan. 1, 2018, so that Illinois is prepared in case the federal government renews the program a second time.
Homeowners can learn more about Making Home Affordable and apply for assistance through www.makinghomeaffordable.gov or by calling (888) 995-HOPE.
SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) was pleased to announce the governor signed into law on Friday three pieces of legislation she sponsored to improve the quality of public K-12 education in Illinois.
• House Bill 3199 requires charter schools, which are funded with public dollars, to comply with all state absenteeism and truancy laws applicable to traditional public schools.
• House Bill 4343 extends the deadline for the Illinois Attendance Commission, created by legislation Collins sponsored in 2015, to meet, hold hearings and submit its findings to the General Assembly. The commission has already produced a report that suggests improvements to the way school districts and the state track student attendance. The commission’s findings also call on legislators and educators to devise better strategies for helping families with chronic truancy so their children can stay in school and become prepared for higher education and/or a career. Collins’ sponsorship of the commission was inspired by an alarming Chicago Tribune investigative series that pointed out high truancy rates in Chicago, Rockford and elsewhere in Illinois.
• House Bill 119 prohibits the Chicago Public Schools from denying promotion or graduation to a student with a learning disability who fails a competency test when his or her failing score is directly attributable to his or her disability. To make sure this directive is being enforced and that students with disabilities and learning difficulties are not being wrongly held back, the legislation allows CPS to create a retention committee to consider each request that a student repeat a grade level.
“Our state’s public schools exist to serve students of all incomes, backgrounds and abilities,” Collins said. “Illinois’ children face a variety of challenges to success in school and life, and there’s more we can do to connect them and their families with the resources they need to overcome whatever barriers stand in their way.”
Page 1 of 44
Chicago Office:1155 W. 79th St.Chicago, IL 60620(773) 224-2830
Springfield Office:M114 CapitolSpringfield, IL 62706(217) 782-1607