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The Majority Report 05/25/18 - Challenging the status quo on child care, equal pay


Hutchinson seeks update to Child Care Assistance Program

Sen. Toi HutchinsonState Senator Toi Hutchinson passed a proposal out of the Senate Thursday that would increase stability for the thousands of Illinois families who rely on the Child Care Assistance Program.

House Bill 4965 would bring Illinois in line with federal law by moving to a 12-month redetermination process for CCAP families instead of the current system, which reassesses eligibility every six months.

“Working families must have certainty that child care access will be available past an arbitrary six-month deadline,” Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) said. “Increasing the eligibility period to 12 months brings that certainty to families who are doing exactly what we tell them they are supposed to be doing, which is waking up every morning and going to work or school.”

Illinois Action for Children estimates the state will receive an additional $82.8 million in federal child care funding should it move to a 12-month redetermination process.

Hutchinson co-sponsored a separate proposal that passed the Senate to maintain current eligibility requirements for CCAP. The plan, contained in House Bill 5599, protects CCAP from drastic cuts at the whim of the governor.

The proposal seeks to prevent the near decimation of the program that took place in 2015 under Gov. Bruce Rauner, who unilaterally reduced eligibility for 90 percent of CCAP participants. Legislators on both sides of the aisle decried the move.

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Lightford’s Equal Pay Act heads to governor

Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. LightfordMore than half a century since the Civil Rights Act became law, U.S. workers continue to earn different wages based upon race.

Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) is fighting for legislation that would prohibit wage discrimination against African-Americans under the Equal Pay Act.

“It is unacceptable that African-Americans are being denied wages they rightfully deserve,” Lightford said. “My hope is that this legislation will provide the tools needed to close the wage gap.”

House Bill 4743 prohibits employers from paying wages to an African-American employee at a rate less than the rate paid to an employee who is not African-American for the same or substantially similar work.

According to a 2017 Federal Reserve study, black men and women earn persistently lower wages compared to their white counterparts and this wage gap cannot be adequately explained by differences in education, age, job type or location.

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Holmes advances ivory ban to fight illegal poaching

Sen. Linda HolmesState Senator Linda Holmes advanced legislation to ban sales on ivory through the Illinois Senate this week.

“This is a meaningful step that will help stop the brutal, illegal poaching of elephants abroad,” Holmes (D-Aurora) said. “It’s our responsibility to protect these magnificent animals before it’s too late.”

According to the World Wildlife Foundation, tens of thousands of elephants are killed every year for their ivory tusks. In the 1980s, it is estimated nearly 100,000 elephants were killed each year and up to 80 percent of herds were lost in some areas.

House Bill 4843 charges individuals caught selling ivory with a Class A misdemeanor and fine of up to $1000. Guns and knives that are older than 100 years and less than 20 percent ivory are exempt from the ban. Musical instruments older than 1975 and made from less than 20 percent ivory are also exempt from the ban.

“Decades of reckless poaching nearly wiped out these animals,” Holmes said. “Over time, these types of responsible, common sense measures will help bring them back from the brink of extinction.”

Read more.


In case you missed it


Senator Daniel Biss, Evanston: Proposed legislation demands environmental impact study on Amtrak project | Journal & Topics Media, Des Plaines

Senator Cristina Castro, Elgin: Illinois lawmakers vote to let kids take medical marijuana in school | Chicago Tribune

Senator Jacqueline Collins, Chicago: Lawmakers pass compromise to raise check-cashing fees, add safeguards for low-income Illinoisans | Chicago Tribune

Senator Bill Haine, Alton: Haine honored with SIUE Distinguished Service Award | St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Senator Napoleon Harris, Harvey: Sports betting negotiations jump-started in Illinois | NPR Illinois

Senator Toi Hutchinson, Chicago Heights: Bill to legalize industrial hemp clears Illinois legislature | WTTW-TV, Chicago

Senator Andy Manar, Bunker Hill: Final countdown: Lawmakers remain hopeful for budget in last week of session | Decatur Herald & Review

Senator Julie Morrison, Deerfield: Sexual assault nurses needed STAT | Chicago Tribune

Senator John Mulroe, Chicago: $14,000+ grant earmarked for Schiller Park library | Journal & Topics Media, Des Plaines

Senator Laura Murphy, Des Plaines: Senator seeks more ‘sunshine’ on tollway contracts | Daily Herald

Senator Steve Stadelman, Rockford: Sports betting bolstered by Supreme Court ruling | Illinois Times, Springfield


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