Text Size
Login
config

Castro reacts to Senate passing anti-sexual harassment legislation

castro 060219SPRINGFIELD State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) issued the following statement after voting in favor for Senate Bill 75 which is a comprehensive sexual-harassment proposal she co-sponsored.

“This legislation moves us to the culture change we need in regards to sexual harassment,” Castro said. “With the recent sexual harassment allegations sweeping the nation, I am proud that Illinois is doing its part to combat this issue head on.”

Senate Bill 75 is an omnibus bill, which:

  • Limits the use of contract provisions intended to prevent an employee from reporting sexual harassment, such as non-disclosure agreements, arbitration clauses and non-disparagement clauses for cases involving harassment, discrimination and retaliation
  • Makes harassment against contract employees illegal (currently, these employees do not have legal protection against sexual harassment)
  • Clarifies that it is illegal to discriminate against an employee if they are perceived to be part of a protected class (i.e. gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity), even if they are not
  • Allows victims of gender-related violence to take unpaid leave from work to seek medical help, legal assistance, counseling, safety planning and other assistance
  • Prevents a union representative from representing both a victim of sexual harassment and the alleged harasser in a disciplinary proceeding
  • Requires hotels and casinos to provide employees who work in isolated spaces with panic buttons for use if they are sexually harassed or assaulted

Hastings encouraged to see stability provided by a balanced budget

hastings 060219SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Michael E. Hastings voted today to approve a fiscally responsible state budget for the upcoming year, paving the way for a return to stability in Illinois.

“With this budget we’ve made smart investments in education and human services, while also ensuring our pension obligations have been made,” Hastings (D-Tinley Park) said. “We had to demonstrate to working families that we’re on their side, and I feel we’ve accomplished that.” 

The proposed budget would fully fund the evidence-based formula, allocate an additional $50 million for early childhood education and double funding for higher education. MAP grants would also receive $50 million increase over last year in an effort to provide postsecondary education options for students.

“By increasing funding for higher education and MAP grants, we’ve adopted disciplined approach to incentivize students to stay in Illinois should they choose to pursue a college education.” Hastings said. “Students at every level need to know that we’re prioritizing them and striving to give them the best possible education opportunities.” 

Additionally, nearly $30 million in additional funding is included to increase eligibility for the Child Care Assistance Program to provide reliable child care for working families.

Pension obligations would also be made for the seventh year in a row.

“In a broader sense, it’s a relief to see our state on a new path toward normalcy,” Hastings said. “We have only just begun to repair the carnage left to us by the Rauner administration, but I’m encouraged by the action we in the legislature have taken to earn back the trust of the people of Illinois.”

As recreational cannabis passes, Fine expands medical cannabis

fine 060219SPRINGFIELD – Hours after the Illinois House approved legislation legalizing the use of recreational cannabis, State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) led the charge in the Senate to expand Illinois’ medical cannabis program.

“The legalization of recreational cannabis doesn’t eliminate the need for medical cannabis,” Fine said. “Many people rely on medical cannabis as part of their treatments and will still continue to do so once recreational cannabis becomes legal. We need to make sure they’ll still have access to the medications they require.”

Senate Bill 2023 expands access to the medicinal cannabis program. It gives nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants the authority to certify a patient’s eligibility for medicinal cannabis. Currently, only doctors have this authority. The bill also adds 12 additional conditions for eligibility bringing the total number of conditions to 54.

“Medical cannabis has been proven to be an effective method for treating debilitating medical conditions,” Fine said. “By expanding the number of possible conditions as well as the number of medical professionals that can certify eligibility, we can ensure that patients who need medical cannabis for their treatment can receive it.”

The bill passed the Senate on concurrence. It will be sent to the Governor for approval.

Bennett votes for Danville casino

casinoSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) voted today to approve a bipartisan capital improvement budget and legislation to bring a long-awaited casino to Danville.

The multibillion dollar investment will create jobs, modernize the state’s infrastructure and include funds for the 52nd District to finance needed construction projects. It allocates funding for transportation projects including roads and bridges, education infrastructure, state facilities, environmental conservation projects and mental health care and human services centers.

The comprehensive capital plan also includes a measure to expand gaming in Illinois. Senate Bill 690 would authorize the building of six new casinos throughout the state, including one in Danville.

“We’ve been trying to bring a casino to Danville for years, and I’m thrilled that we finally have that chance,” Bennett said. “This tremendous opportunity to create revenue, jobs and economic growth in Danville is a direct result of the tireless advocacy from a coalition of Vermilion County elected officials who fought for decades to include Danville in gaming expansion in our state.”

Sports betting would also be legalized under the bill. Existing casinos, races tracks and sports facilities would be allowed to apply for a license.

Bennett said a casino will help Danville and Illinois remain competitive with other states, bring both temporary and permanent jobs and create much-needed local revenue for the area.

“This will provide an economic spark for the economy in Danville,” Bennett said. “This is revenue that could be invested in schools, public health and social services or workforce training and job development that can help families and communities in the area.”

Having received the approval of the Illinois House and Senate, the capital plan and gaming expansion proposal now heads to the governor for consideration.  

Photo of the Day

06022019CM0570POTD
Sign up for The Majority Report HERE
fair tax button
Majority Report Podcast
Find Your Legislator
Monthly Minute

Follow ILSenDems

Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

News Releases

IMAGE Mulroe: RHA protects the health, safety and autonomy of women
Wednesday, 12 June 2019
SPRINGFIELD – State Senator John G. Mulroe issued the following statement as Gov. JB Pritzker signed into law the Reproductive Health Act (RHA):...

Read More...
IMAGE Sims: RHA is historic step that protects fundamental right to choose
Wednesday, 12 June 2019
SPRINGFIELD—State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) released the following statement after the Reproductive Health Act was signed into law...

Read More...
IMAGE Bertino-Tarrant acts to preserve five-hour school days in Illinois
Friday, 07 June 2019
PLAINFIELD –Illinois’ five-hour classroom time will now ensure students receive a balanced education, thanks to the Senate’s Education Chair...

Read More...
IMAGE Bertino-Tarrant fights workplace discrimination
Thursday, 06 June 2019
PLAINFIELD – Women across Illinois will soon have remedies to fight sexual harassment and discrimination in work places, thanks to a measure...

Read More...
IMAGE Holmes: new budget means stability and progress for Illinois
Thursday, 06 June 2019
SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Linda Holmes released the following statement after Gov. JB Pritzker put his signature on the bipartisan, balanced...

Read More...
Senate Schedule
General Assembly Bills & Resolutions
The Great Pension Debate