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Bush cracks down on payroll abuses in state commissions

paycheckSPRINGFIELD — State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) advanced a plan Thursday that targets the creative scheduling practices used by some state commissions to increase pay for their members.

“Many state board and commission members are compensated on a per-meeting basis,” Bush said. “Unfortunately, this has led to commissions that split up meetings, sometimes meeting only for half an hour.”

The legislation passed the Illinois Senate in a unanimous 49-0 vote Thursday.

Unlike salaried boards like the Prisoner Review Board or the Liquor Control Commission, where members perform yearlong work and receive an annual salary, commissions that meet only periodically pay members on a per-meeting basis.

“We’ve discovered instances of meetings beginning one day and continuing on another for specious reasons,” Bush said. “We’ve found commission members who made roughly $800 an hour due to scheduling manipulation. We owe it to taxpayers to prohibit this kind of abuse.”

The measure would disallow state boards and commissions from meeting more than once in a consecutive seven-day period unless each meeting is more than 4 hours in length or in case of emergency. Boards and commissions subject to the new regulations would include those with a gubernatorial appointee and which compensate members on a per-meeting basis.

The legislation is Senate Bill 1444. It proceeds to the House for consideration.

Media Advisory: Trotter hosts Community Job Fair next week

TrotterJobFairFlyerChicago – Chicago jobseekers can polish up their resumes and attend State Senator Donne E. Trotter’s (D-Chicago) Community Job Fair at Chicago State University next week. Trotter joins State Representative Elgie R. Sims, Jr. and Cook County Commissioner Stanley Moore at this event to connect residents with prospective employers.

WHO:              Representatives from the State of Illinois, U.S. Dept. of Veteran Affairs, PACE, Illinois State Police, U.S. Dept. of Professional Regulations, U.S. Customs & Boarder Protections; State Senator Donne E. Trotter, Dist. 17; State Representative Elgie R. Sims, Jr.; and Cook County Commissioner Stanley Moore.

WHAT:            Community Job Fair

WHEN:            Wednesday, April 8   9AM – 1PM

WHERE:          Chicago State University –
                                    Jones Convocation Center

9501 S. King Dr. Chicago 60628

Martinez fights to adequately fund Children’s Place Association

martinez-child-placeCHICAGO — Today, Senate Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago 20) joined Senator William Delgado, employees of the Children’s Place Association and children as well as parents to discuss the importance of the services they provide and the need to protect the center’s funding.

“The Children’s Place Association provides specialized preschool to children from low-income families who have HIV/AIDS and a wide range of other medical conditions such as autism and epilepsy,” Martinez said. “The budget fix passed last week restores most of its funding for the current year, but I am still concerned about funding for the upcoming year. There has been a lack of compassion demonstrated by the current and previous administrations that have targeted the Children’s Place Association for cuts.”

From FY 2001 to FY 2015, the grant for the Children’s Place Association has been reduced from $780,000 to $390,000, resulting in fewer families and children receiving services.

“This is the fourth attempt by an Illinois governor to completely eliminate our state grant to fund a preschool for the poorest children, many of whom are ill with HIV/AIDS, autism, spina bifida, Erb’s palsy and other severe medical conditions,” said Children’s Place Association President and C.E.O. Cathy Krieger. “Fortunately, our long-term defenders, such as Senators William Delgado and Iris Martinez have faithfully stood by us and have been successful at restoring funding for our kids and families.”

The Children’s Place Association serves more than 350 children and families across the Chicago region. For some with HIV/AIDS, it is the only resource they have nearby.

In addition to providing preschool services to children with specific medical conditions, the Children’s Place Association also offers supportive housing as well as food, rental and utility assistance to those in need.

Delgado fighting for one-of-a-kind Pre-K education facility

delgado-chld-placeCHICAGO — State Senator William Delgado (D-Chicago) coordinated with executives and parents from the Children’s Place Association to provide other members of the General Assembly with a tour of their facility in Chicago. The facility specializes in providing high-quality early education and support services to pre-K children from families challenged by illness and poverty. Children’s Place relies on government funding for approximately 87 percent of its operations. The budget the governor recently proposed eliminates all funding for Children’s Place from the Department of Human Services budget.  

“As a former child welfare specialist, I understand the needs of the children and the importance of the services that this organization provides. Giving these children, who have suffered so much, the services and opportunities that they need to develop is absolutely life changing for them.” Delgado said. “Cutting the funding to this incredible facility is socially unjust, and the governor needs to know that.”   

Children’s Place serves over 70 children each weekday, providing them with age-specific classrooms, nutritious meals, transportation and a private playground.

In addition to providing exceptional educational programs, Children’s Place Association has on-site nursing care available for students. A significant portion of the children who attend Children’s Place have disabilities or health issues including autism, HIV, heart ailments, epilepsy, spina bifida and hydrocephalus. For many of the children, this is the only early education facility they can attend due to their illness.

"There is not an ounce of compassion in a budget that cuts child care and preschool for HIV/AIDS-affected toddlers of families struggling with illness and extreme poverty," said Children’s Place Association president and CEO Cathy Krieger. "With parents often too sick to teach them their ABCs, they would start off years behind and never be able to compete when they grow up.

 

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