State Senator Emil Jones, III (D-Chicago) offered the following statement after the Senate voted to advance a bipartisan balanced budget:

“Today, we came together and voted for a budget deal after finally reaching a bipartisan agreement that will allow us to fund critical government programs and services.

“The full-year package we passed includes funds to education, MAP grants, Medicaid and childcare services. All of these programs are essential and should be appropriately funded to provide stability to the people we serve.
 
“For the health of Illinois families, we extended funding to health insurance and the Medicaid Program. Earlier this year, the governor proposed a 4 percent cut to Medicaid, which would have caused more bleeding and suffering to our most vulnerable populations. When negotiating at the bargaining table, I and my colleagues worked to ensure safety-net hospitals were protected and received their fair share in the budget deal.

“Safety-nets, unlike other hospitals, lose millions of dollars, as they take Medicaid patients almost exclusively, and Medicaid only covers 50 to 70 percent of the cost of providing care.

“I am also proud to say we have included and increased funding for P-12 education. Chicago Public Schools will reap the benefits under the new funding formula.

“The investments of the bipartisan budget deal will positively impact the lives of Illinois children and families and I was happy to support the measure.”

Category: Front Page

Jones aims to protect safety-net hospitalsToday, State Senator Emil Jones III (D - CHICAGO) joined elected officials at Roseland Community Hospital to discuss the financial future of Roseland and safety-net hospitals around the state.

“Safety-net hospitals provide quality health care to the poorest communities, which is something that all people in Illinois deserve, regardless of their race or income,” said Jones. “These hospitals also employ an estimated 25,000 people in Illinois and 23,000 people across the Chicagoland area.”

To remain at a sustainable funding level for the year, Roseland has laid off nearly seven percent of its staff and reduced the pay of all of its doctors and nurses. As of now, all “fixed payments” to hospitals will sunset on June 30, 2018. The hospital assessment program, a combination of state and federal funds that provides financial relief across the state, is up for negotiation, creating uncertainty among safety-net hospitals.

“Ensuring safety-net hospital funding for the next fiscal year has to be a top priority in Springfield,” Jones said. “Roseland, along with many other hospitals, is suffering tremendously—they cannot stand to lose any federal dollars.”

In the past, it has taken each hospital assessment 12-15 months for federal approval. It is estimated that taxed payments account for almost 50 percent of all payments to safety-net hospitals.

Category: Front Page

This morning, with the release of the newest  video of an young black male suspect being gunned down at the hands of a Chicago police officer, I cannot help but wonder when will it stop.

Time and time again, we see law enforcement overstep their boundaries and take the role of the judge, jury and executioner when other steps can be taken to deescalate a non  life threatening situations.

Earlier this year, I introduced Senate Bill 2207, ensuring every Chicago Police officer would be required to wear body cameras.  Instances like this only prove that we need to have an accurate account of police encounters, so law enforcement can be protected from false claims and citizens can be protected from rogue officers.

I plan to make a strong push to advance this legislation during veto session, with the additions of a key measure. This measure would be aimed at holding police officers who turn their video device(s) off during suspect pursuit more accountable by seeking disciplinary action.

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Category: Front Page

Every year, the Illinois Student Assistance Commission helps more than 125,000 students throughout Illinois advance their career dreams by helping them pay for college. The Monetary Award Program is designed to help eligible students who may not have enough money to pay for higher education go to a higher education institution, as long as they meet guidelines outlined by the grant. Without Governor Rauner’s approval, students statewide won’t be able to afford college tuition and other associated costs.

State Senator Emil Jones III’s (D-Chicago) district houses Chicago State University and he believes Governor Rauner needs to make the appropriation of state funds to the grant program a priority.

“Not every family has the means to send their child to school,” Jones said. “And there are many students who have the ability to go to college, receive a degree and be prepared to enter the workforce. We must ensure we give these students who are looking for a hand up and not a hand out an opportunity to reach their goals and contribute back to our communities. Funding this program is a no-brainer. If we want a vibrant economy, we need a workforce prepared for the challenges of tomorrow. Funding this program ensures economic vitality in the future.”

Read more: Jones votes for MAP grant and federal pass-through funds

Category: Front Page
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