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SB2279

  • Sen. Andy ManarState’s oldest debt is outstanding wages for prison workers, caregivers and others

    SPRINGFIELD – An effort to compensate about 24,000 state workers for promised wages going back to 2011 took a step forward Thursday.

    A measure to set aside $63.25 million for the back pay was approved by a Senate appropriations committee. The legislation – Senate Bill 2269 sponsored by State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) – was approved 14-2 with bipartisan support.

  • harris campus demonstr introSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Napoleon Harris III (D-Harvey) introduced legislation that protects college students’ freedom of speech and would prohibit colleges from revoking athletic and academic scholarships as a result of protesting.

    Senate Bill 2279 came about after Republican lawmakers in Missouri filed legislation intended to punish African American football players who demanded the resignation of the head of the university after inaction against racism on campus.

    “Universities should remain strongholds for progress and freedom of speech,” said Harris, a former Northwestern University football player. “Students shouldn’t be treated like property for earning scholarships. I want to make sure it’s clear that students’ rights are a high priority in Illinois.”

    Harris noted that many students on athletic and academic scholarships come from low-income backgrounds and depend on their scholarships as their only means to a college education.

    “Legislation like what was introduced in Missouri is unconstitutional,” Harris said. “All students have the right to have their voices heard and no administration should be given the authority to silence them. I want to shut this down before anyone gets any dumb ideas here.”