February 14, 2005

Public Policy Institute to sponsor visit Illinois Senate President to give free public lecture at SIUC

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Illinois State Senate President Emil Jones, Jr. will give a free upcoming public lecture at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Jones, a member of the Illinois General Assembly since 1973, will speak at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 23, in the Student Center's Ballroom D.

The Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, based at SIUC, is sponsoring Jones's lecture.

He'll discuss issues in state government, education and civil rights.

Mike Lawrence, director of the Institute, said Jones is a powerful champion of education and civil rights.

"Senator Jones has used his leadership role in Springfield to champion civil rights and comprehensive reform of the way Illinois funds elementary and secondary education," Lawrence said. "He also has demonstrated a strong commitment to higher education. We are delighted he is taking time from his hectic schedule to share his visions and his views with the SIUC community and the people of Southern Illinois."

Jones, D-Chicago, served in the Illinois House of Representatives from 1973 to 1983. He was elected to the state senate in 1982. In January, Jones received unanimous support of members of the Democratic caucus to be re-elected to a second two-year term as state senate president. Prior to being named senate president, Jones was the senate minority leader from 1993 to 2003.

Jones has been a strong supporter of education issues during his tenure in the General Assembly. He proposed and championed the passing of the measure to increase per-pupil spending for school districts throughout the state, and sponsored legislation directing 50 percent of all new revenue towards education. He also fought for and passed legislation to double the personal exemption on the state income tax.

The Paul Simon Public Policy Institute is sponsoring Jones' visit. For more information, contact Matt Baughman, the Institute's director of development, at 618/453-4009.