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Manar: Governor takes a step in the right direction

manar 011619SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar is lauding Gov. JB Pritzker’s move to recognize fair pay for state employees and distance himself from the anti-worker policies of the previous administration.

In his first full day in office, Pritzker announced he will begin bringing state employees to their appropriate step salary level and that he plans to continue addressing outstanding employment issues, such as back pay. State workers, including prison guards, veterans home nurses and public health monitors, have been owed this for years.

“This is a step in the right direction. It doesn’t resolve all the issues that linger, but it tells state workers that the new governor understands their issues, values their work and is on their side,” said Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat who helped advise the governor’s transition team.

Manar said he is pleased with the turnaround and acknowledged the effect that the uncertainty of the past four years has had on state workers and the central Illinois economy.

“By far, the No. 1 constituent question my office continues to receive is when will state employees see back pay and promised step advancement restored,” said Manar, whose district includes thousands of state workers.

“I appreciate that the governor has made this a priority and that he intends to move ahead in a manner that is responsible to the taxpayers of this state. I also hope this is bodes well for inking a new contract agreement with state employees.”

New law by Lightford fights for employee diversity, combats pay disparity in state contractors

lightford 011519 2On Tuesday, Gov. Pritzker signed Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford’s bill, Senate Bill 203, the first legislation to receive his signature as governor. The new law protects worker wages and promotes diversity in employment by state contractors. Additionally, it requires the disclosure of data on employee demographics and pay among businesses which contract with the State of Illinois.

Belt supports Breakfast Beyond the Bell program

belt 011519CAHOKIA – State Senator Christopher Belt is commending local school leaders for starting a Breakfast Beyond the Bell program to help students get a nutritious start to the day.

Cahokia Unit School District 187 is starting the free and reduced breakfast program, which is federally funded and will provide breakfast to students who cannot afford it on a regular basis.

Gillespie: Pritzker correct to make wages a top priority

gillespie rptr 010919SPRINGFIELD – Barring state agencies from asking prospective employees about their salary histories is a good move by Illinois’ new governor on his first day in office, State Senator Ann Gillespie said today.

“Gov. Pritzker seems to be off to a good start. Moving swiftly to eliminate gender bias in the state’s hiring process is long overdue,” Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights) said, reacting to the governor signing a series of executive orders and legislation this afternoon.

“I am eager to see how he will work with lawmakers to establish a much-needed $15 livable minimum wage in Illinois. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the General Assembly and with the governor to push this important issue forward.”

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