ILLINOIS STATE HOUSE DISTRICT 34: Smith Prioritizes Working Families, Education During Spring Session
Illinois State House District 34 issued the following announcement on June 1.
Throughout the spring legislative session, state Rep. Nicholas Smith, D-Chicago, worked hard to help middle-class families throughout Illinois by increasing the minimum wage and supporting a Fair Tax to make the wealthy pay their fair share. Smith also championed accessibility and affordability for education at all levels, as well as holding elected officials accountable on decisions regarding education.
“Ensuring hard-working families across Illinois earn a living wage is one of my top priorities,” said Smith. “I proudly supported an increase in the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour, which will help to combat rising costs of living, health care and education. I also supported a Fair Tax to provide relief to local middle-class families. Our current tax system is catered to the wealthy, but under the Fair Tax Amendment that I supported, Illinois can move towards a system that cuts taxes for hard-working families while asking millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share.
Smith supported Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 1, the Fair Tax Amendment. The proposed amendment to the state Constitution will be placed on the ballot in 2020, allowing voters to make the decision if the state should move to a new tax plan.
“Education opens the doors to opportunity and the chance to succeed. That is why I am proud to fight for expanded access to higher education for those working hard to support themselves and their families,” said Smith. “I also proudly spearheaded legislation improving transparency in decision-making for local schools, allowing parents and community members to hold their school officials accountable. I also worked to address our teacher shortage by removing unnecessary requirements that have prevented otherwise qualified teachers from entering the classroom.”
Smith, a steadfast advocate for education, sponsored or supported an assortment of legislation focusing on education including House Bills 2205 which would require Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to publish a cost-benefit analysis after the announcement of a school closure. House Bill 2267, supported by Smith, would make the CPS Board elected rather than appointed, allowing parents, teachers, and community members to directly hold them accountable for their decisions.
Smith was a Chief sponsor of House Bill 423 removing the basic skills test requirement from the teacher certification process, a move designed to address the Illinois teacher shortage crisis, as according to the Illinois State Board of Education, more than 1,500 vacant teaching positions went unfilled across the state during the 2017-2018 school year. Smith’s Senate Bill 1641 requires colleges and universities to notify students who are eligible for benefits under the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), only open to full-time students working at least 20 hours a week or those who support a dependent five years or younger.
“While I am proud of the progress made by the General Assembly this session, there is still more work to do to move Illinois forward,” continued Smith. “I look forward to returning home and engaging with local residents and community leaders to discuss ways that we can work together to build a stronger Illinois. I will continue to bring their concerns, ideas, and values to Springfield to shape our state and help create a more prosperous Illinois for all.”
Original source can be found here.