Naomi Jakobsson, Democratic incumbent in 103rd, says UI funding “should be considered investment”

Naomi Jakobsson is the Democratic incumbent for state representative in the 103rd district. 

Funding for Higher Education:

Jakobsson said she wants to make sure the state has as much money as possible going toward the Monetary Award Program, or MAP, funding to help students afford college. Because she serves on the Appropriations Committee for Higher Education, she said she is a voice for the University.

Jakobsson said she has helped with many projects at the University, and she wants to be able to continue these efforts. She said she helped to get the money for Lincoln Hall renovations, and that she helped to get money for the University’s Environmental Change Institute Building. 

“I spend a lot of time helping them understand that this is the flagship University,” Jakobsson said. “When the state is looking at money for the University of Illinois, it shouldn’t be considered an expenditure. It should be considered an investment.”

Plan to bring more jobs to Illinois:

Jakobsson said one of the biggest ways to improve the economy is to increase the availability of post-secondary education. She said it is important for students to attend community colleges and universities and added that she wants all students to be college or career-ready when they graduate from high school. Jakobsson said she is also working on a bill that will move the state from a flat tax to a progressive income tax. She said increasing revenue is one of the best ways to get Illinois on its feet again.

Illinois environmental issues:

Jakobsson said she is in the process of passing a bill that will protect the Mahomet Aquifer, one of the state’s sole sources of drinking water for east-central Illinois communities. The bill will prohibit companies from dumping polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, into the Clinton Landfill, which is located directly above the Mahomet Aquifer. She said the issue of dumping PCBs into landfills is a statewide, bipartisan problem, and she is therefore working across the state to help with this issue. She said another statewide issue in environmental concerns is hydraulic fracking, and she has proposed a bill to set regulations in the industry.

Healthcare:

Jakobsson said she held public hearings and took collective petitions to the capitol to keep Health Alliance Medicare as she believes it is the biggest provider of health insurance for local employees and retirees.

“If we didn’t have Health Alliance (Medicare), we were going to have to go to other places to find a health care provider,” Jakobsson said.

She said she is looking to continue these efforts to keep health insurance accessible, and she is also looking to make health care more affordable. She said one example is the bill she introduced that will help senior citizens get funding for their pharmaceuticals.

Lauren Rohr contributed to this report