Current Issues

During my first term as State Senator, I’ve worked hard to secure funding in the budget for Springfield & Decatur, and to bring back manufacturing and retain and create more jobs in our communities. To date I’ve secured $8.6 million for the South Central Regional Workforce Center that will provide well-paying union jobs and create an employment pipeline that will benefit the entire region.

I’m also proud of the work we’ve done to expand electric vehicle manufacturing in Decatur with T/CCI and to build a new data center in Springfield. Both of these projects will create well-paying jobs for generations to come, and promise to keep Central Illinois as an essential part of our state’s economy. 

I’ve also passed historic legislation increasing state requirements for minority hiring to make sure state contracting is equitable, and inclusive of minority-owned businesses.

I spent my career in healthcare, and there’s nothing more important to me than making sure everyone has high quality, affordable healthcare. As Chair of the Illinois Department of Public Health Center for Minority Services, I saw firsthand the disparities that still exist in our healthcare system, and now as State Senator I’m working to make sure that we do more to increase access to healthcare. 

As a lifelong resident of Springfield, I know how important it is to make sure rural communities have access to hospitals, which is why I’ve worked to create a loan forgiveness program for healthcare workers in rural communities. Where you live shouldn’t determine whether or not you can see a good doctor, and I’ll continue to fight to make sure we reverse the shortage of physicians in rural communities by funding programs that bring doctors to our communities. 

We all know that healthcare is too expensive–not only do people need to pay to see their doctor, they have to pay a premium for lifesaving prescriptions, money that just makes the drug companies richer. That’s why I’m working to pass legislation that will compel pharmacies to make the retail price of medications available to customers so they can be sure they’re getting the best price.

Mental health is an important and often overlooked part of our overall well being. During my career in health, I saw all the gaps that make it harder for people to take care of their mental health, especially for those who depend on Medicaid. I partnered with AFSCME to streamline the Medicaid pre-approval process for the severely mentally handicapped so that they can get the medication their doctor prescribes when they need it, not after a bunch of paperwork is filled out.

During the pandemic, we saw just how important our healthcare workers are, that’s why I voted to fund a COVID relief package that got essential PPE to our emergency responders. 

We need to make sure our children get a good education so they’re able to grow up to find good jobs that support their families. That’s why I support fully funding our schools and paying our teachers fairly for the important work they do. 

I’ve also worked to increase the pipeline of teachers through a Grow Your Own initiative with Eastern University to encourage more professionals to get teaching degrees and become teachers in our communities.

I believe in supporting agriculture and Ag education as one of the economic backbones of our state. That’s why I successfully passed legislation that allows ag sciences and ag education courses to count as admissions requirements at public universities. We should be doing everything we can to remove barriers and encourage students who want to pursue careers in agriculture, be it in farming technology, scientific forecasting, business management, animal science or a number of other paths that lead to successful careers in agriculture.

I also secured $550,000 in funding for Future Farmers of America, $500,000 to Richland Community College, and $400,000 to Sacred heart Griffin High School.

In my first term I’ve been able to secure substantial funding for our district. This funding goes towards improving our roads, bridges and other critical infrastructure. Sangamon County received $3.25million, the Village of Chatham received $500,000, Decatur received $395,000, Springfield received $300,000, the Village of Stonington received $150,000, and South Fork Township received $75,000.

Additionally, I secured $10 million in violence prevention funding. I continue to fight to ensure downstate receives its fair share. 


Taking care of our seniors is near and dear to my heart. Everyone deserves to age with dignity, and I want to make sure that all seniors, especially those living in care facilities, have social and educational opportunities that bring them joy and happiness. My office regularly conducts outreach to senior facilities and organizes monthly luncheons and other activities to help take care of the seniors in our communities. 

I’m also working to secure additional funding for the Mid Illinois Medical District to create more jobs so we can better serve the healthcare needs of our community.

I believe we should all work together in government to get things done, and done right. Throughout my career on the Springfield City Council and Sangamon County Board I worked across the aisle to make our community stronger. I bring this same bipartisan mentality to my work as your State Senator, where my priority is representing all of my constituents.

I came to Springfield knowing that we needed to pass strong ethics reform to put and end to corrupt practices that have long been overlooked. That’s why I co-sponsored a historic ethics reform package that increases transparency of politicians’ financial holdings; stops elected officials from lobbying other units of government for clients that also lobby them; establishes a revolving door policy on legislators immediately becoming lobbyists when they leave office; and bans fundraisers anywhere in the state on a session day or the day before a legislative session day

The package also allows the Executive and Legislative Inspectors General to initiate investigations independently and makes sure that members of the General Assembly aren’t paid for work after they’ve quit in the middle of a pay period. 

Issues in the Press