Christian Mitchell

FACEBOOK / CHRISTIAN MITCHELL

A Chicago lawmaker has been named interim executive director of the Democratic Party of Illinois.

Rep. Christian Mitchell will replace Timothy Mapes, who stepped down from the post and from his job as chief of staff to House Speaker Michael Madigan amid sexual harassment allegations.

Mitchell will be the first African-American to serve in the position. In a statement Tuesday Mitchell says he looks forward to working to assure Democratic victories this fall and "charting a new and inclusive path forward for our party."

Madigan will continue as party chairman.

Flickr user / alamosbasement "old school" (CC BY 2.0)

The Illinois House has sent the governor a measure raising public school teacher salaries to a minimum of $40,000 a year.

  While the historic 22-month Illinois budget impasse has dominated the legislative session in Springfield again, state lawmakers also have grappled with how to respond to Chicago’s gun violence. 

housedem.state.il.us

Despite overall cuts to higher education, "MAP" grants could see an increase in the next fiscal year. The grants help Illinois students -- especially ones from low-income families -- pay for college. 

Democratic Rep. Christian Mitchell from Chicago says this will help get rid of the barrier of access for some students. He says those who qualify and are able to get into college should have the money to go so that they can “be productive citizens.”