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The Majority Report 08/23/15 - Protecting workers, investing in students


Senate overrides Rauner veto on collective bargaining (AUDIO)

Senate overrides Rauner veto on collective bargaining (AUDIO)Concerned by the Rauner administration's failure to reach a contract agreement with Illinois' largest government-employee union, the Illinois Senate voted to override the governor's veto of legislation that would mandate arbitration and prohibit strikes and lockouts if an agreement can't be reached.

"The state needs a contract with its employees," said Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park), the measure's sponsor. "Honestly, it doesn't seem like the governor's office is making much progress. Our last contract expired more than a month ago and the two sides still seem miles apart."

Veto vote >




An investment in middle-class students

An investment in middle-class studentsEvery year, thousands of Illinois students take advantage of the Monetary Award Program to help pay for the opportunity for higher education. The average student who is awarded a MAP grant receives about $2,700 to help pay for tuition. As college costs continue to skyrocket in Illinois, these grants are vital to many students' college careers.

This year, however, due to the ongoing budget stalemate, the state has yet to invest funding in MAP grants. State Senator Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge) passed legislation last week to ensure these students receive funding.

Education furthers economy >




Cost-effective care for seniors, people with disabilities (AUDIO)

Cost-effective care for seniors, people with disabilities (AUDIO)Seniors struggling to stay in their homes and people with disabilities in need of vital care would still have access to services under a plan passed by the Senate last week. Without action, substantial and detrimental changes to state-provided care proposed by the governor would force tens of thousands of older adults and adults with disabilities out of their homes and into costly nursing home facilities.

"The governor is cutting much more than hypothetical dollars from the budget with his plan," said State Senator Daniel Biss (D - Evanston). "He is cutting a lifeline for thousands of seniors and disabled Illinoisans who often rely on minimal and inexpensive services to ensure their basic health and safety."

Stay home, save state funds >




Silverstein extends work, wage rights for domestic workers

Silverstein extends work, wage rights for domestic workersState Senator Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) presented the Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights recently to establish provisions for overtime, wages, days off and other protections for Illinois domestic workers. House Bill 1288 defines what constitutes domestic work and expands rights for this class of workers.

"Domestic workers are struggling to provide for their families and current law makes their struggle more difficult, and unfair," said Senator Silverstein. "They play an important role in Illinois' economy but their value has been overlooked compared to other workers. Domestic workers deserve the same rights and protections as all working people in Illinois."

Unequal rights >





Collins' law requires charter schools to disclose criminal investigations

Collins' law requires charter schools to disclose criminal investigationsState Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins' (D-Chicago 16th) legislation to require organizations that seek to open charter schools in Illinois to disclose any ongoing criminal or civil investigations into their activities is now law.

"Charter schools are funded primarily with public money, so it is important to hold them to high standards and subject new proposals to the highest possible degree of scrutiny," Collins said. "Ongoing investigations should be a part of the picture when local school districts evaluate charter applications, and we are ensuring that districts have all the information they need to make prudent decisions for families and taxpayers."

Checking charters >



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