Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-13) has taken a pass on the 2014 Democratic race for governor. Sen. Raoul made the announcement yesterday through a press release and acknowledged the feeling to "provide voters with another option." He also acknowledged that his entry into the race could "create unnecessary divisions."
He is also the chairman of the pension reform conference committee and stresses he wanted to complete the task of meaningful "pension reform." State Senator Kwame Raoul heads a special 10-person committee that has been delving into the issue most of the summer, and recently indicated that an outline is in place for the "framework" of a deal.
In making the announcement, Raoul did not endorse either of the two major Democratic candidates in the race: Governor Pat Quinn and Bill Daley. However, he did pledge, "to do my part in this pivotal election to ensure that all who seek to be Illinois’ next governor hear the voices of people and communities who have been ignored or marginalized."
Sen. Kwame Raoul was appointed on November 6, 2004 to fill the state Senate vacancy caused by the resignation of his predecessor, Barack Obama, who had been elected to the United States Senate. He is a progressive that has promoted civil justice, early childhood education, domestic violence prevention and political reform during his time in Springfield. His work has led to the passage of laws expanding access to early voting in Illinois, and the state’s Low Income Energy Assistance Program and a crack down on the Pay Day loan industry.
This year, Sen. Raoul sponsored bills that were signed by Governor Pat Quinn, including House Bill 1189 closes the background check loophole for the sale or transfer of a firearm from a private party and requires all eligible firearm owners whose firearms are lost, misplaced or stolen to report the loss or theft to the local law enforcement agency within 72 hours after obtaining knowledge of the loss or theft. House Bill 1189 was sponsored in the House by State Representative Mike Zalewski (D-Riverside).
Also, Senate Bill 2885, sponsored by Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) and Rep. Karen May (D-Highwood), will allow more small businesses to join together to form a Healthcare Purchasing Group (HPG). This means that small businesses that may not have been able to provide health insurance coverage individually for their employees can pool resources with other businesses to acquire affordable coverage plans for up to 2,500 participants per group. This legislation, which takes effect Jan. 1, was an initiative of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and supported by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, the National Federation of Independent Business, the Illinois Public Interest Research Group and Illinois Department of Insurance.
Sen. Raoul also sponsored and saw come into law a bill that cracked down on flash mobs. He also sponsored a bill, a Cook County Waiver that authorizes the Cook County Health & Hospitals System to provide a limited Medicaid coverage to their patients, prior to the Affordable Care Act 2014 implementation.
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John is the author of an award-winning book, the 2010 Winner of the USA National Best Book award for African American studies, published by The Elevator Group, Mr. and Mrs. Grassroots. Also available an eBook on Amazon. John is also a member of the Society of Midland Authors and is a book reviewer of political books for the New York Journal of Books. John has volunteered for many political campaigns. John is an unpaid volunteer and social media advisor at Robin Kelly for Congress.