The Majority Report 05/27/19 - Collins passes plan to fight rising maternal and infant mortality rates


Collins passes plan to fight rising maternal, infant mortality

Mother and child

All portions of a comprehensive plan to combat rising maternal mortality rates, sponsored by State Senator Jacqueline Collins, have passed the Illinois Senate.

“I’m gratified to see this legislative package pass without opposition in the Senate,” Collins said Friday as the Illinois Senate passed House Bills 3 and 5, two of the legislative package’s bills. “We bring this plan forward to fight against an environment where women’s concerns over their bodies and their children’s well-being are diminished or ignored, often in ways that can be deadly for women of color in particular. This data-driven plan will seek solutions for this widespread public health concern and guide us in how to act.”

The plan is in response to increased rates of infant and maternal mortality, particularly among women of color. The infant mortality rate among women of color is twice that of white women.

The legislative effort comprises House Bills 1, 2, 3 and 5, all of which have passed both chambers of the General Assembly. Continue reading.


Link works for mental health care for police, firefighters

Sen. Terry Link

A comprehensive proposal aimed at ending the stigma surrounding mental health issues among firefighters and law enforcement officers passed the Senate.

The legislation – House Bill 2766 – is sponsored by State Senator Terry Link (D-Indian Creek).

“Our brave first responders often work in traumatic environments that can be extremely stressful,” Link said. “Over time, these exposures can have an impact on the mental health of an individual. Ensuring there are services available when needed acknowledges these often tough working conditions and is vital to maintain the overall health of police officers and firefighters.”

Link’s plan ensures individuals tasked with providing peer support counseling to law enforcement and firefighters are properly trained. The plan also ensures individuals who seek out mental health treatment can do so without fear of termination or adverse employment action. Continue reading.




Gillespie passes workforce training grant

Sen. Ann Gillespie

The Illinois House has approved State Senator Ann Gillespie’s (D-Arlington Heights) plan to create the 21st Century Employment Grant Program to address employment gaps in Illinois’ manufacturing, health care and technology industries.

“Employers need us to establish a pipeline of skilled workers for manufacturing, health care and technology careers. This measure will help us do that,” Gillespie said. “Career and technical education is a priority of mine, and I am excited to advance this important legislation.”

Senate Bill 1919 would create a statewide career and technical education (CTE) framework for identifying the skills employers are seeking on an ongoing basis and would award grants to CTE programs in those disciplines. The program seeks to establish an ongoing pipeline of highly trained workers in the manufacturing, health care and innovative technologies fields.

Gillespie’s proposal allocates funds to community colleges and high schools that train students for a career and teach them in-demand professional skills. Each program receiving a grant must provide students with industry-recognized certifications upon completion. Continue reading.


Castro bill bans employers from asking for salary history

Sen. Cristina Castro

The Illinois Senate voted to approve Senator Cristina Castro’s (D-Elgin) legislation strengthening the Illinois Equal Pay Act.

House Bill 834 would prohibit employers from asking about salary histories when interviewing job applicants. The measure would reduce the effects of pay discrimination from past jobs.

“I don’t believe that all employers consciously discriminate, but they need to become aware of this issue,” Castro said. “Many employers tend to set salaries for new hires using their previous salary rather than basing it off of the applicant’s worth to the company. Businesses shouldn’t see this legislation as a threat; it is the right thing to do.”

Employers can currently consider salary history when making hiring decisions and salary offers. This perpetuates wage inequality, especially since women, on average, earn less than men for similar work. It has also been found that women of color earn even less than white women when compared to men. Continue reading.


Honoring those who gave their lives in service

Memorial Day 2019

This Memorial Day, take a moment to remember those who gave their lives in service to our country. Our freedoms should never be taken for granted, and we owe them a debt of gratitude.

Click here to learn more about the history of Memorial Day.





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