July 25, 2017

CHICAGO – To provide additional protections to students and individuals paying off their student loans, state Rep. Sonya Harper, D-Chicago, recently supported legislation that would create a Student Loan Bill of Rights in Illinois.  

“Illinois’ college graduates can be saddled with as much as $30,000 in student loan debt,” Harper said. “This has serious repercussions on peoples’ abilities to build their own futures, and hinders the chance of our state and local economies from growing because students are forced to spend their money paying back their loans instead of buying a home and shopping at locally owned businesses. This legislation is a first step in prioritizing people over loan servicers.”

Harper supported Senate Bill 1351, which establishes a Student Loan Bill of Rights and a Student Loan Ombudsman within the Office of the Attorney General to assist students with any questions about the loan servicing process. Harper’s measure allows the Attorney General to enforce pro...

July 24, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Recent legislation sponsored by state Rep. Sonya Harper, D-Chicago, that creates a statewide task force to develop employment opportunities for young people recently passed, and a measure aimed at funding violence prevention programs recently moved to the House floor for a vote.

“This is a great victory for our underemployed youth across Illinois,” said Harper. “This taskforce will be equipped to tackle unemployment issues and try to line up opportunities for young adults who are wanting to work hard. Now the fight is to ensure that anti-violence programs have the funds necessary to combat crime on the streets, saving people and their families from senseless crimes.”

Harper is the chief sponsor of Senate Joint Resolution 10, which was recently adopted by both legislative chambers. The Task Force on Developing Opportunities for Youth and Young Adults will study available opportunities for unemployed youth, and explore ways to do the much needed street level outreach to...

July 21, 2017

CHICAGO – State Rep. Sonya Harper, D-Chicago, is fighting to give families a voice in their children’s education by passing legislation creating an elected representative school board to lead the Chicago Public Schools (CPS).

“When it comes to Chicago’s school board, parents across our city feel powerless and voiceless when it comes to the education of their children,” Harper said. “An elected school board is the answer to that concern. Empowering residents

to guide our schools is the right course of action to allow our children to meet their full potential.”

Currently, the Chicago Board of Education members are appointed by the mayor of Chicago. Harper’s House Bill 1774 would change Chicago’s current appointed board into an elected one starting with the 2019 municipal election. Registered voters with residency in the Chicago electoral district for at least one year immediately preceding the election would be eligible to run for a board member position. House Bill 1774 would split Ch...

July 4, 2017

CHICAGO – Hoping to streamline the process to register to vote, state Rep. Sonya Harper, D-Chicago, supported a measure that will allow Illinois residents to automatically register to vote when they renew their driver’s license.

“Voting should be proactively encouraged by the government and frequently advertised for people to exercise whenever possible,” said Harper. “The country is suffering from extreme voter fatigue and empathy. A healthy, vibrant and effective democracy thrives on active voter participation, and, by getting everyone to play an active role in government, policies that benefit everyone can be put in place.”

The Harper-backed Senate Bill 1933 would allow the state to automatically register eligible voters while they are applying for, updating or renewing driver's licenses or state IDs with the Secretary of State and other designated agencies. The voter registration information would be sent electronically to the applicable election authority. Illinoisans who do not...

July 1, 2017

CHICAGO – To help protect immigrant families from the Trump administration’s new, extreme immigration policies, state Rep. Sonya Harper, D-Chicago, hosted a Know Your Rights Seminar on Saturday to highlight legal remedies that are available to immigrant families should they encounter law enforcement. 

“I want to ensure that families in my district, and across Chicago, know their rights under the Constitution and how to exercise them if they need to,” said Harper. “No one should be living in fear for their life or fear of deportation, which are serious concerns for members of our community because of the policies of the Trump administration.”

Harper was joined by representatives from the National Immigrant Justice Center, who reviewed with attendees their rights and legal remedies for potential infringement of their rights, in response to President Trump’s recent executive orders that place immigrants at a greater risk of being deported without seeing a judge. Immigration lawyers als...

June 28, 2017

CHICAGO – State Rep. Sonya Harper, D-Chicago, is joining her colleagues in calling on Gov. Rauner to join the U.S. Climate Alliance that New York, California and Washington states have joined to take proactive steps in protecting the environment.

“President Trump was wrong to withdraw the United States for the Paris Climate Agreement,” said Harper. “The United States should be a leader in climate change action and advocacy, and now that responsibility falls on each state. Illinois should follow the example of California, New York and Washington, and join the fight to protect the environment.”

Recently, President Donald Trump took unilateral action to remove the United States from the 2016 Paris Climate Agreement, which outlined participating nations’ policies to combat climate change and carbon emissions. Harper believes that an agreement that was negotiated by President Obama should not have been abandoned less than a year after it was enacted. In response to this action, Harper is join...

June 28, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – As part of her commitment to lifting up middle-class families in Illinois, state Rep. Sonya Harper, D-Chicago, worked to pass a comprehensive economic reform package that cuts taxes and fees on small businesses, provides more incentives to companies to invest in their employee’s education and increases take home pay for workers.

“My top priority is to fight for the needs of the middle class by supporting a fair and balanced budget along with other economic reforms that truly allow them to climb the ladder,” said Harper. “Our families would benefit from additional income to spend, and by providing incentives for local businesses we can grow our local economy and create more jobs.”

Harper is sponsoring House Bill 160, which has important reforms for Illinois’ middle class and small and medium-sized businesses. Included in this package, Illinois workers would receive additional money by an annual increase in the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit. With more disposable inco...

June 27, 2017

CHICAGO – In reaction to the reckless health care proposal from extreme politicians in Washington, state Rep. Sonya Harper, D-Chicago, is sponsoring legislation on the state level to oppose President Trump’s American Health Care Act and urge Congress to expand the federal Medicare program for people most in need.

“Due to the actions that our president is taking on repealing Obamacare, state action is required to protect those who will be directly affected by this dangerous plan,” said Harper. “If Trumpcare takes effect, it is estimated that 24 million people will lose their coverage and critical funding for medical services, like Medicaid, will be slashed. This is an attempt to keep poor and vulnerable people sick while artificially inflating the profits of big insurance companies.”

Harper is sponsoring House Resolution 445, which states the Illinois House of Representatives’ opposition to President Trump’s health care plan. Harper believes that people who rely on affordable health cover...

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