SPRINGFIELD – The mighty Maroons of Belleville Township High School – West boys’ basketball team joined State Senator James F. Clayborne, Jr. (D-Belleville) at the state capitol today to honor their recent 4A State Championship.

The Maroons triumphed over the Dolphins of Whitney Young Magnet High School (Chicago) in overtime at Carver Arena in Peoria last month, giving Belleville West their first state championship in program history.

Senator Clayborne, the senate’s Majority Leader, was proud to welcome the students, saying their victory was a huge win for them and the entire Metro East.

“It is always wonderful to see our young student-athletes bring home hardware from Peoria,” Clayborne said. “Every Metro East resident can be proud of these young men who I know will go on to do amazing things in their lives.”

Belleville Township – West is a part of Belleville Township High School District 201 which serves students in Belleville, Centreville, East St. Louis, Fairview Heights, Caseyville, Millstadt, Shiloh, Smithton and Swansea.

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“This is about making sure our local governments are including every community in their contracting process.” - State Senator James F. Clayborne, Jr. (D-Belleville)

SPRINGFIELD – Legislation aimed at increasing participation of minority-owned businesses in local government contracts passed the Illinois Senate Transportation Committee today.

Senate Bill 2610, sponsored by State Senator James F. Clayborne, Jr. (D-Belleville), would require counties and cities that receive more than $1 million in motor fuel tax revenue from the Illinois Department of Transportation to implement a business enterprise program before they receive their funds from IDOT.

The program would set goals for the inclusion of minority-, veteran-, female- and disability-owned businesses for government contracts. Currently, 21 counties and 46 municipalities receive more than $1 million in motor fuel tax revenues from IDOT.

Clayborne said requiring cities and counties to include these underrepresented communities in their contracting will open new avenues of opportunities for businesses.

“This is about making sure our local governments are including every community in their contracting process,” Clayborne said. “Our local governments should be investing in the communities they serve and this measure will guarantee that they are.”

The legislation will now go before the whole Senate for a vote.

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“The money that will come out of these reforms will finally help provide a level playing field so our schools can start to excel.” - State Senator James F. Clayborne, Jr. (D-Belleville)

BELLEVILLE – More than $10 million in new school funding will be coming to public schools in the 57th legislative district this year as last year’s education funding reforms begin to take effect.

The reforms were part of an effort to overhaul how the state funds public schools. Previously, poorer districts were left waiting for adequate funding behind richer districts with little need for state aid, but the new formula fixes that discrepancy by prioritizing the school districts that need it most.

State Senator James F. Clayborne, Jr. (D-Belleville) said the new funding from these reforms will help area schools invest in their students for generations to come.

“Our public schools cannot succeed without the resources necessary to do so,” Clayborne said. “The money that will come out of these reforms will finally help provide a level playing field so our schools can start to excel.”

The schools receiving the largest funding increases in the 57th district are Belleville Township High School District 201 at $2.42 million, Belleville School District 118 at $1.68 million and East St. Louis School District 189 at $1 million.

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