College Affordability State Senator James F. Clayborne (D-Belleville) has moved a number of measures through the Illinois Senate this week  that would increase opportunities for those who are looking to attend college.

Understanding the expenses attributed to attending college, and the need to have easy access to the proper resources to succeed, Clayborne passed a measure, House Bill 3179, that would add computers and other technology to the definition of qualified expenses under the Illinois’ College Savings Plan.

“Today, computers are just as necessary as textbooks. If you don’t have easy access to a computer, your chances of succeeding plummet,” Clayborne said. “We should do everything we can to ensure students are able to attend college and afford the resources they need to go on and complete their degree programs.”

Read more: Clayborne working to increase college opportunity and affordability

balanced budget now

During the past few weeks, the Illinois Senate has been holding subject matter hearings with state agencies under the governor’s control to determine where, if possible, they can cut expenses to bridge a $5 billion gap in Gov. Bruce Rauner’s proposed budget.

Time and time again, the agency directors failed to offer any cuts they could make to balance the governor’s budget.

The governor’s allies insist his budget is balanced. My question to them is this: If Gov. Rauner proposed a balanced budget, why hasn’t he filed legislation for lawmakers to review and vote upon?

Under Article 8, Section 2 of the Illinois Constitution, the governor must submit to the General Assembly a budget which “shall set forth the estimated balance of funds available for appropriation at the beginning of the fiscal year.”

Rather than doing his job and presenting a balanced budget, the governor wants the legislature to give him the unilateral, unchecked authority to make whatever cuts he wants to fill his $5 billion gap.

Read more: It's time to pass a balanced budget

Springfield—Eligible voters throughout the state will now be automatically registered to vote under legislation advanced today with the full support of the Senate Majority James F. Clayborne (D-Belleville).

Senate Bill 250, sponsored by State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), would allow for the Secretary of State’s office and similar state agencies to submit eligible voters’ information to the State Board of Elections when they visit their facilities for services.

Currently 42.2 percent of eligible, voting-age black citizens in Illinois aren’t registered to vote. Overall, more than 2 million Illinoisans who are eligible to vote aren’t registered. The measure now moves to the Illinois House of Representatives, where it will be debated.

“Moving forward with automatic voter registration gives millions of citizens an opportunity to become civically engaged. This is major step in the right direction,” Clayborne said.



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