The Majority Report 01/17/16 - Workers' rights, first year failures


Rauner claims impasse in labor negotiations

Rauner claims impasse in labor negotiationsHaving already shut down the state budget process, Gov. Bruce Rauner is now walking away from labor talks with the state's largest employee union and submitting an Unfair Labor Practices Act filing against AFSCME.

Late last week, his office said there is an impasse in negotiations, even though labor groups claim they are willing to keep working toward a compromise. The move is the first step in the possible declaration of an impasse in negotiations, a move which could force employees to strike.

Senate Democrats respond >





Senators, SEIU say Rauner's first year hurts poorest, most vulnerable (VIDEO)

Senators, SEIU say Rauner's first year hurts poorest, most vulnerable (VIDEO)As Gov. Bruce Rauner celebrates his first year in office, he should reflect on how he has failed to live up to his promise of ensuring Illinois is a compassionate and competitive state, a group of Democratic state senators and human service providers urged last week.

Flanked by providers who, along with their clients, bear the brunt of Gov. Rauner's budget impasse with the General Assembly, state senators Daniel Biss (D-Evanston), Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago 20th) and Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) called on the governor to stop holding the state's poorest and most vulnerable residents hostage in pursuit of an anti-family, anti-worker agenda that lacks legislative support.

Poorest still suffering >




Lawmakers want modern, simpler voter registration (VIDEO)

Lawmakers want modern, simpler voter registration (VIDEO)A group of Illinois state senators is advancing a proposal to streamline and simplify voter registration as a similar law takes effect in Oregon. State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) is the sponsor of Senate Bill 2134, which would automatically register voters when they apply for, update or renew a driver's license or state ID.

"This will modernize and streamline our voting system. If we can improve the efficiency and accuracy of this process, we will cut costs and eliminate costly errors guaranteeing citizens are free to exercise their right to vote," Manar said. Under Illinois' current law, if a voter wishes to register to vote at a DMV he or she must fill out separate, duplicative paperwork."

Automatic registration >





Harris calls for greater accountability via recall (VIDEO)

Harris calls for greater accountability via recall (VIDEO)State Senator Napoleon Harris (D-Harvey) announced last week his intent to file legislation that will allow Illinois citizens to recall elected officials statewide.

"The purpose of this legislation is transparency and accountability," said Harris. "We must hold our elected officials to a higher standard. If people decide they have lost trust in their elected officials, they should have the power to recall them."

Recall elected officials >




College students' options shrinking without funding

College students' options shrinking without fundingWithout a state budget for need-based state financial aid in place, Illinois’ public universities and community colleges paid roughly $182 million to allow students to continue their education last semester. However, half of the state higher education institutions will no longer be able to cover the costs for the spring semester.  Senate Higher Education Chairman Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) introduced Senate Bill 2226 last week with Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) and Senator Bill Cunningham (D-Chicago) to help alleviate some of the uncertainty for state universities.

“Governor Rauner has shown he values pre-K education by rolling back his changes in Child Care Assistance Program rules. He has shown he values K-12 education by signing that original appropriation bill,” McGuire said. “Senate Bill 2226 now gives the governor the opportunity to show he values post-secondary education."

College options dwindling >


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