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Firefighters honored in Springfield

Published: Tuesday, May 14, 2019 04:41 PM

ff mem 2019SPRINGFIELD – Firefighters from across the state gathered in Springfield Tuesday to honor firefighters for their service to their communities and to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

The 26th Annual Firefighters Medal of Honor ceremony began at the Illinois Fallen Firefighter Memorial statue on the southwest side of the Capitol. Firefighter Juan Bucio of the Chicago Fire Department gave his life in the line of duty. His family was presented with the Duty Death Gold Badge.

Hunter leads effort to increase wages for home health care workers

Published: Tuesday, May 14, 2019 04:36 PM

hunter 051419SPRINGFIELD – Speaking at an SEIU Healthcare Home Care Lobby Day rally, State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago, 3rd) once again stressed the importance of giving a raise to care workers who provide in-home services for seniors in Illinois.

“Right now, home care agencies are struggling to recruit and retain caregivers in every corner of the state,” Hunter said. “Why? Because the average Illinois home care worker’s hourly wage is only $11.08.”

Fine introduces plan to help prevent homelessness

Published: Monday, May 13, 2019 10:25 AM

fine 032819SPRINGFIELD – A bill sponsored by State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) will provide support for people who are facing homelessness.

“Many individuals and families may be one paycheck away from homelessness, and we want to do as much as we can to prevent this traumatic experience,” Fine said. “This bill gives families who are struggling a little bit of breathing room.”

House Bill 3331 gives homeless organizations the flexibility to use the funding they already receive to better address issues. It adds the payment of rent or mortgage as a type of assistance available through the Homelessness Prevention Services Program. This will allow these organizations to help families stay in their homes so they do not find themselves in a stressful, traumatic situation.

The bill passed the Senate Human Services Committee, and will be up for consideration by the full Senate.

Koehler: Coal ash clean-up shouldn’t fall on the back of taxpayers

Published: Friday, May 10, 2019 02:38 PM

Senator KoehlerSPRINGFIELD – Legislation putting in place policies designed to address coal ash, the toxic byproduct left over by coal-fired power plants, passed the Illinois Senate today.

Assistant Majority Leader Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) is one of the measures chief co-sponsors and says it’s important that cleanup costs not fall on taxpayers who did nothing wrong.

“The discussion has to be around who is responsible and who is going to pay for this,” Koehler said. “These messes aren’t going away, and if we don’t pass this legislation then the taxpayers are going to be on the hook for this.”

A report issued by environmental groups in late 2018 found that the groundwater around the Edwards Coal Plant south of Peoria was 18 times the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s drinking water standard.

“I understand the concerns of energy industry, but that’s the cost of doing business,” Koehler added. “When you make a mess, you clean it up.”

The legislation passed the senate on a bipartisan roll call and now goes to the House of Representatives.

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