elephants 081518SPRINGFIELD – Those who participate in the ivory trade could face stiff penalties under a measure by State Senator Linda Holmes, which became law Tuesday.

“Elephants, rhinos, and other ivory producing animals are being brutally killed under the sickening practice of illegal poaching,” said Holmes (D – Aurora). “It’s our duty to defend these magnificent creatures, and I’m proud to have passed a law to help protect them.”

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broadband 081418SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) passed a law to create the Broadband Advisory Council to study expanding broadband access in Illinois.

“Broadband access has become a critical means of access to the world for growth, learning and business,” Holmes said. “This resource is now as necessary as utilities for our communities, and we need to explore all opportunities to expand this critical resource to areas not yet being served.”

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04262018CM0572SPRINGFIELD – Voters in the western suburbs would have local control over the makeup of the Fox Metropolitan Water Reclamation District board under legislation advanced today by State Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora).

Holmes’s proposal, Senate Bill 2830, would allow voters in the areas served by the Fox Metro Water Reclamation Districts to elect their own trustees. These areas include Aurora, North Aurora, Boulder Hill, Montgomery, Oswego, Sugar Grove and portions of Yorkville and Batavia.  

Under current state law, Fox Metro Water Reclamation District trustees are appointed by members of the General Assembly, instead of being selected by voters in their area.

“Water Reclamation Boards make decisions that affect people’s lives every day. Voters, not politicians, should be allowed to choose who makes these decisions,” Holmes said.

Under Holmes’s proposal, members of the board will be elected beginning in the 2019 consolidated election. The board would continue to have five total members. Current members would continue to serve until their terms expire.

“Allowing politicians to fill these roles increases the potential for corrupt dealing and government waste, and there is little the public can do about it,” Holmes said. “This proposal allows voters to hold these public servants directly accountable through the electoral process.”

Holmes’s proposal passed the Senate with a vote of 54-01. It will now head to the Illinois House of Representatives.

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AURORA – Aurora schools will receive over $20 million in new funding thanks to the school funding formula overhaul supported by State Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora). Last week, the Illinois State Board of Education issued funds under the new formula to school districts around the state.

The distribution is based on detailed enrollment figures, district-specific student learning needs, the availability of local resources and other data. Intended as a first step toward fairer state support for every school district, the formula ensures no schools will ever receive less state funding than they do today under the new plan.

“Aurora school districts will see some of the largest increases in state funding, allowing them to correct inequalities caused by Illinois’ old, unfair funding model,” Holmes said. “For far too long, a student’s ZIP code has dictated the quality of education that he or she will receive. I look forward to seeing this trend reversed as Illinois dedicates more resources to its schools.”

Under the new formula, over $20 million in new, additional funding from the state will be sent to school districts serving Aurora. Aurora East Unit School District 131 will receive over $12.6 million, one of the largest funding increases in the state. Aurora West Unit School District 129 will receive $6.4 million and Indian Prairie School District 204 will receive over $700,000.

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