Senator GillespieARLINGTON HEIGHTS – State Senator Ann Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights) will join members of business, education and labor in overseeing an employment grant program, she announced today.

As a member of the 21st Century Employment Grant Program Advisory Board, it will be Gillespie’s duty to help oversee the progress of grant recipients, track gainful-employment rates of participants and monitor industry trends to determine where employment gaps can be filled.

“Equipping people with the professional and technical skills for jobs in their area will revitalize regional industries and uplift thousands of working class people,” Gillespie said. “Adults seeking employment and young people looking for low-cost alternatives to higher education will now have opportunities to receive hands-on training in a variety of fields.”

Read more: Gillespie appointed to workforce development board

Category: News

Senator GillespieARLINGTON HEIGHTS – State Senator Ann Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights) announced that she is taking action on the abuse of isolation rooms in public schools. A Chicago Tribune and ProPublica Illinois investigation revealed that school staff placed children in isolation rooms over 20,000 times in the 2017-2018 academic year.

“Classrooms shouldn’t instill fear in our children,” Gillespie said. “Students deserve to feel safe with their teachers and school staff, not made to feel like literal prisoners.”

Isolation rooms function much like solitary confinement for prison inmates. They are small, locked chambers where children have no interaction with their peers and limited interaction with adults. Some don’t even have a place to sit other than the floor.

Senate Bill 2315 would make Illinois the 20th state to ban the use of isolation rooms in schools.
State Representative Jonathan Carroll (D-Northbrook) filed identical legislation in the Illinois House under House Bill 3975. The two legislators have vowed to work together to end the traumatic practice.

Current law allows school staff to isolate a student if they pose a danger to themselves or others. However, the investigation revealed that the isolation rooms are often used as a punishment for refusing to do classwork, swearing and other behavior that does not pose a threat to safety.

Governor JB Pritzker directed the Illinois State Board of Education to end the use of isolation rooms. ISBE amended their rules to only allow timeouts with a trained adult in the room, an unlocked door and “only for therapeutic reasons or protecting the safety of students and staff.”

Both bills will be considered when legislators return to Springfield in January.

Category: News

Senator GillespieSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Ann Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights) helped pass two government ethics measures today. The legislation strengthens statements of economic interests and creates a bipartisan commission to recommend where other ethics laws can be strengthened moving forward.

“These measures are starting a conversation on how we can regain public trust in our state institutions,” Gillespie said. “I am looking forward to hearing the commission’s recommendations on how we can take preventative measures against corruption.”

Senate Bill 1639 broadens the criteria for what must be disclosed on a statement of economic interests, requires the secretary of state to create a database of lobbyist contributions and statements of economic interests filed by state officials, and requires lobbyists to disclose their subcontractors.

House Joint Resolution 93 creates the Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform. The commission will consist of 16 members appointed by legislative leaders, the governor, the secretary of state and the attorney general. Appointees must be bipartisan and no member may have been a lobbyist in the past five years. The commission will hold a series of public hearings to review ethics laws and make their recommendations to the General Assembly by the end of March 2020.

House Joint Resolution 93 takes effect immediately and Senate Bill 1639 awaits the governor’s signature.


Category: News

Senator GillespieSPRINGFIELD –State Senator Ann Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights) celebrated the Illinois State Board of Education’s (ISBE) announcement that career and technical education (CTE) enrollment has increased.

Citing the first funding increase to CTE programs in over five years, ISBE announced that CTE enrollment has increased by nearly 5,000 students since 2016. Gillespie says it is vital to train more Illinois workers for in-demand, specialized jobs.

“Career and technical education programs offer an affordable alternative to higher education that train students with tangible, hands-on work skills,” Gillespie said. “Increased investments in workforce development will prepare young people for success and ensure that employers have an educated workforce with the skills necessary for their respective industries.”

Earlier this year, Senator Gillespie created the 21st Century Employment Grant Program to identify employment gaps and fund high school and community college programs to fill them. Gillespie also created the Apprenticeship Tax Credit to incentivize employers to invest in employee training and education at Illinois community colleges.

Category: News

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Springfield Office:
121A Capitol Building
Springfield IL 62706
Phone: 217-782-4471

Arlington Heights Office:
171 W. Wing St., #202
Arlington Heights IL 60005
Phone: 847-749-1880