Priorities

The road to long-term financial stability requires a holistic approach to balancing the budget through forward-looking proposals to increase revenue and manage spending in a responsible manner.

Illinois has maintained a structural fiscal imbalance deepened by a budget stalemate that has left Illinois ranking at or near the bottom when it comes to state support for vital public services for our most vulnerable residents.

As we consider proposals to address the State’s fiscal needs, we must avoid the crisis-driven decisions that have jeopardized many of our most critical human services programs. Instead, our policies must emphasize the type of economic development that creates good-paying jobs, positive impacts on our communities, and long-term growth.

Jennifer believes we must build to the top, not slash our way to the bottom.

Throughout her career, Jennifer has fought to ensure that the ladders to success are available to everyone – and that starts with equitable funding for our public schools.

Our state has historically underfunded public education at the state level, shifting the burden to local property taxpayers. This is an unsustainable system that hurts students and puts undue burden on homeowners.  Jennifer supports state funding of education in Illinois at constitutionally-mandated levels, which would bring more equity and higher-quality education to students and bring property tax relief to beleaguered homeowners. Jennifer’s priorities include maximizing funding for public education from Kindergarten through college.  We must direct as much money as possible into classrooms by reevaluating administrative and bureaucratic costs and continuing to adjust and improve Illinois’ school funding formula.

Strong schools make strong communities, and Jennifer will join a coalition of legislators who are working to increase the role the State plays in funding our children’s education. The State’s over reliance on property taxes is a critical issue that must be addressed in a way that does not shortchange our children.

Jennifer stands committed to directing our limited financial resources towards public education and will oppose charter schools that undermine the growth of our neighborhood schools.

Our state has an obligation to provide a healthy environment for all residents in Illinois and to protect our natural resources for future generations to come. Jennifer is committed to supporting environmental laws and policies that promote conservation, sustainability and environmental justice through renewable resource practices and clean energy jobs.

As environmental protections come under attack, Jennifer will partner with advocacy groups to fight back against federal rollbacks and any attempts to weaken or repeal environmental health and safety laws in Illinois.

As we push forward to implement the recommended reforms championed by the House Task Force on Discrimination and Harassment and the Women’s Caucus, which included amending the Ethics Act, Jennifer will continue to advocate for policies proven to have a positive impact in eliminating workplace sexual harassment and fostering a culture of respect.

Jennifer’s commitment to changing workplace culture and combating sexual harassment extends beyond the Capitol to policies that promote a safe working environment in the private sector as well.

Jennifer’s work to expand protections under federal law for victims of gendered-based persecution, including child sex trafficking and forced marriage, has given her a unique perspective on the ongoing work by members of the House Democratic Women’s Caucus to ensure that our workplace is free from harassment, bullying or retaliation of any kind.

Women’s rights are at the top of Jennifer’s legislative agenda, and she will work to empower women to achieve equity in every facet of our lives. She will fight for equal pay, safeguard a woman’s right to choose and ensure access to critical medical services like birth control and cancer screenings.

As the granddaughter of Chinese immigrants who faced deportation under the Chinese Exclusion Acts and the only immigration lawyer in the General Assembly, Jennifer will advocate for policies that support the diversity and welcoming spirit that make our State a place where families choose to live, work and thrive together.

Jennifer stands with advocates working to protect the civil liberties of all Illinois residents regardless of immigration status. Through her work representing immigrant families, many of whom are parents of US citizen children, Jennifer has experienced gaps in State law that fail to protect our most vulnerable children. Jennifer will work to close those gaps through legislation that protects the inherent dignity and integrity of all our families.