Veto Override

  • cunningham 022817SPRINGFIELD – An initiative that will help spur redevelopment of a key piece of industrial property in Chicago Ridge will become law after state legislators voted this week to override the governor’s veto of the plan.

    The measure, sponsored by State Senator Bill Cunningham, prohibits land owners from disconnecting their property from a municipality if the land is contained within a tax increment financing district.

    The current owner of the long-abandoned Yellow Freight trucking yard on Harlem Avenue wants to disconnect from the city’s TIF district, but a developer looking to rehabilitate the 90-acre property wants to utilize the benefits of the TIF district.

    “This bill will stop the current owner of the property from scuttling the Chicago Ridge economic redevelopment plan for the property and the entire Harlem Avenue corridor,” Cunningham said.

    Democrats and Republicans in the Senate voted Wednesday to override the governor’s veto. The House voted to override the veto on Nov. 14.

  • Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford

    SPRINGFIELD – More than half a century since the Civil Rights Act became law, workers in the United States continue to earn different wages based on their race.

    Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) is fighting for legislation that would prohibit wage discrimination against African-Americans under the Equal Pay Act.

    “Governor Rauner ignored the wage gap for African-Americans and decided he wanted to ‘All Lives Matter’ this proposal,” Lightford said. “Today, we made sure that wage equity continues to be a priority in Illinois.”

    According to a 2017 Federal Reserve study, black men and women earn persistently lower wages compared to their white counterparts and this wage gap cannot be adequately explained by differences in education, age, job type or location.

    That gap appears to be expanding rather than contracting. In 1979, the average lack man in the United States earned about 80 percent compared to the average white man, by 2016 that gap had grown to 70 percent.  The same is true for black women, who in 1979 earned about 95 percent compared to white women, but by 2016 earned only 82 percent of wages paid to white women on average.

    House Bill 4743 prohibits employers from paying wages to an African-American employee at a rate less than the rate paid to an employee who is not African-American for the same or substantially similar work.

    Governor Rauner’s veto was overridden in the Senate with a vote of 49-01.

  • hunter 112818SPRINGFIELD – A new law passed by State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) will help provide opportunities for small farmers and community organizers to create urban agriculture zones where communities can grow food for themselves and combat food deserts.

    The Senate voted to override the governor’s veto of House Bill 3418 today, which allows counties or municipalities to create urban agriculture zones composed of organizations or individuals who grow produce or other agricultural products, raise or process livestock or poultry or whose stock is a minimum of 75 percent locally grown.

  • sims 060418SPRINGFIELD—The Senate voted today to override the governor’s veto of legislation that will help students develop the people skills employers are looking for in an effort to better prepare them for the workforce.

    State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) sponsored House Bill 4657, which allows students to learn about emotional intelligence in schools and creates the Emotional Intelligence Task Force to help schools develop and implement the necessary curriculum guidelines.

    “It’s crucial that we prepare our young people to be contributing members of society,” Sims said. “In addition to focusing on providing our students a strong foundation in the core subject areas, it is vitally important that we focus on the critical people skills our kids will need to excel in the workplace.  With so many of our kids spending a great deal of time on their phones, computers and other electronic devices rather than interacting face-to-face, we are missing out on developing the beneficial skills we learn from human interaction.”

    The task force will develop age-appropriate emotional intelligence curriculum for elementary and high schools, including how to recognize, direct and positively express emotions.

    House Bill 4657 takes effect immediately.

  • holmes 022718SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) ensured a series of proposals will take effect to extend the same rights granted to firefighters to paramedics who are also employed by units of local government. The measures had been vetoed by the governor, but today Holmes successfully overrode those vetoes.

    “Just like firefighters, paramedics face life-threatening circumstances to save lives and serve our communities,” Holmes said. “We owe it to paramedics and their families to give them the same rights as firefighters for the dangerous sacrifices they are willing to make.”

  • harris 0418SPRINGFIELD – Midlothian residents will enjoy expanded programs from the Midlothian Park District after state lawmakers reversed the governor’s veto of a measure sponsored by State Senator Napoleon Harris III.

    Harris (D-Harvey) sponsored a plan to allow the Midlothian Park District to proceed with a $13 million bond issue – approved by local voters in March – to pay for an addition to a recreation center built in 1970 and to expand programs.

    “The community will benefit from a long-overdue expansion of the districts rec center, and students will have afterschool and summer programs to keep them out of harm’s way,” Harris said. “Local residents want this, they voted for it, and the governor should not stand in their way.”

    Senate Bill 2589 exempts the park district from a state-mandated cap on borrowing. Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed the measure in August.

    The Senate voted 42-0 to override the veto on Wednesday.

  • murphy 041118SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Laura Murphy joined 35 Senate colleagues Wednesday in overriding Gov. Rauner’s veto of a bill that raises the minimum age to purchase tobacco products in Illinois to 21 years.

    Senate Bill 2332 passed through both houses of the General Assembly in May, but was vetoed by the governor in August. The bill, popularly known as “Tobacco 21”, aims to help reduce the number of underage smokers and increase the overall health of people in Illinois by preventing anyone between the ages of 18 and 21 from purchasing or possessing tobacco problems.

    “Smoking is one of the worst habits for young people to pick up,” said Murphy, a Des Plaines Democrat. “The goal of this bill is to prevent and delay the onset of smoking.  Studies have proven that if you can delay cigarette smoking until 21, you are likely to prevent young people from ever starting. Elk Grove Village and Hoffman Estates, two municipalities within my district, have already passed similar local measures and have seen promising results. I’m proud to have helped override this veto to make this law consistent throughout the entire state.”

    The motion to override now moves over to the House of Representatives, where 71 votes in favor are required. Should it pass, the bill will become law and will be effective on January 1, 2019.

  • vets home 030918SPRINGFIELD – Despite a veto from Gov. Bruce Rauner, State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) lead the charge in the Illinois State Senate to help provide justice to the 14 families who lost loved ones to a Legionnaire’s disease epidemic at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy.

    Hastings’ Senate Bill 2481 would remove a $100,000 cap for state payouts in civil litigation. The measure will allow families greater restitution for the loved ones who died as a result of state negligence and mismanagement. The Illinois Senate overrode Rauner’s veto of Senate Bill 2481 with bipartisan support on Wednesday.

  • link 040618SPRINGFIELD – A longtime champion of stricter tobacco legislation, State Senator Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills) moved today to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of a proposal to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco to 21 years old.

    “For the first time in years, tobacco use among teenagers is on the rise,” Link said. “Raising the age to purchase tobacco to 21 will cut down on access for teenagers and curb the next generation of adult smokers.”

    It has been more than 10 years since Link’s Smoke Free Illinois legislation banning smoking in most public places went in to effect. Since Smoke Free Illinois, there has been a 20 percent decrease in hospitalization of various smoking-related diseases. But with the advent of e-cigarettes, tobacco use among teenagers is on the rise for the first time in years.

    “Smoke Free Illinois was a major step forward in improving the health of our residents and making Illinois a better place to live,” Link said. “Tobacco 21 builds on those efforts and moves us one step closer to a healthier, smoke-free Illinois.”

    Limiting access to cigarettes has proven effective in reducing the rate of tobacco use among teens. In October 2014, Evanston became the first Illinois community to adopt Tobacco 21. Since then, tobacco use among high schoolers has dropped by 37.5 percent.

  • harris 111518SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Napoleon Harris III (D-Harvey) led a successful effort this week to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of a bill to help economically disadvantaged communities in Cook County shore up their water infrastructure.

    “Smaller Cook County suburbs lack the funding to make necessary repairs to their infrastructure and have a small chance of qualifying for state loan programs,” Harris said. “We now have a way for towns like Harvey and Ford Heights to access the capital funds needed to provide residents with safe drinking water.”

    In October 2017 the Chicago Tribune found Ford Heights residents pay nearly six times more for the same water usage as residents of the wealthy, predominantly white town of Highland Park, and four times more for water than people living in Chicago. Similar problems exist in Harvey and Maywood.

    Eight towns surveyed by the Tribune — Hometown, East Hazel Crest, Posen, Burnham, Riverdale, Flossmoor, Lyons and Maywood — lost more than 30 percent of their water. Of the 10 towns with the highest water rates, 50 percent have majority black populations.

    The legislation would set up a drinking water grant program under the Illinois EPA to fix aging water pipes in Harvey, Ford Heights, Maywood and other towns.

    The legislation goes into effect immediately.

  • Voices Act

    The Illinois Senate took steps to combat human trafficking Wednesday by voting to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of the Voices Act. The bill would empower immigrant trafficking victims to come forward by protecting them from deportation if they help bring to justice the people behind these human trafficking rings.

    “These traffickers prey on underprivileged women and children, taking advantage of their fear of law enforcement to subject them to unthinkable atrocities,” State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago) said. “The Voices Act is an effort to fight back and go after the real criminals – human traffickers.”

    Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago) joined members of the Senate in overriding the veto of legislation that helps human trafficking and crime victims obtain visa certification paperwork from law enforcement within 90 business days. Munoz released the following statement after the vote:

    “As rhetoric from the White House continues to instill fear in our immigrant communities, we want to continue encouraging victims of human trafficking and other severe crimes to work with law enforcement. I’m glad we were able to move this legislation forward and hope to see it enacted into law.”

    State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) issued the following statement:

    “The governor’s veto was an ill-advised, knee-jerk response to the word ‘immigrant’ becoming politically charged over the last several months. This is a commonsense piece of legislation that simply expedites a process already in place to assist victims of terrible crimes like kidnapping, rape and human trafficking. I am glad we were able to put partisan politics aside today and override the governor’s veto, hopefully creating a speedier path to safety for those who come to our country fleeing unimaginable circumstances.”

    Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) issued the following statement:

    “This legislation should have been easy for any governor to sign. What it does is simple – it helps people who are fleeing violence and human trafficking get to a safe place. Beyond that, it helps our law enforcement agencies investigate and prosecute those crimes by empowering victims to work with police. Everyone deserves justice, no matter their skin color or their immigration status. This shouldn’t be a partisan issue, and I am glad we were able to override the governor’s politically motivated veto.”

    State Senator Omar Aquino (D-Chicago) released the following statement after the vote:

    “Victims of human trafficking and other severe crimes need our support as they help capture from those committing crimes against them and escape terrible situations. This legislation creates a process that ensures they have the documentation necessary to request a visa and encourages them to work with law enforcement. I encourage my colleagues in the House to approve this measure.”

  • holmes 111418SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) this week overrode a veto of a measure to address the election of trustees for the Fox Metro Water Reclamation District. Senate Bill 2830 requires the trustees be elected rather than appointed. The bill had been vetoed by the governor in August and Holmes successfully overrode that veto today in the Senate.

    “I believe it is important that those who represent the citizens of our communities should be elected and not appointed,” Holmes said. “This bill provides for trustee candidates to go on the ballot during consolidated elections. It represents government reform that will better serve water quality needs in the future for people in the Fox River Valley.”

    The Water Reclamation District was created in the late 1920s and today serves nearly 300,000 residents in Aurora, North Aurora, Boulder Hill, Montgomery, Oswego, Sugar Grove and portions of Yorkville and Batavia, according to the Board’s website.

    Senate Bill 2830 provides that trustees will be elected at consolidated elections, rather than appointed by members of the General Assembly, beginning with the 2019 consolidated election. Current members of the Board can continue to serve until their terms expire, at which time an elected trustee will take their place on the Board. Trustees will be elected to staggered 4-year terms. The Board will continue to have 5 total members. 

    Approved on a vote of 50-5 by the Senate, the measure now moves to the House for concurrence.

  • jjc 053118SPRINGFIELD — As part of an ongoing effort to combat human trafficking, the Illinois Senate voted Wednesday to speed up the process through which victims can get federal immigration relief. The 40-12 Senate vote set aside a veto by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

    Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, the chief sponsor of SB 34, issued the following statement regarding the successful vote to override the governor and protect victims of human trafficking and other heinous crimes.

    “Just as lawmakers have come together to raise awareness and fight back against human trafficking, we came together to make sure the existing process works for these victims. This system was created to empower victims to come forward knowing they’ll be protected if they help us bring to justice the people behind these horrible crimes. The veto was a mistake and today we are one step closer to setting the record straight.”

    Background information:

    In 2000, the federal government created special immigration visas for victims of human trafficking and other specific crimes who work with police. The list of crimes includes: abduction and kidnapping, blackmail, female genital mutilation, being held hostage, incest, involuntary servitude, murder, rape, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, slave trade, torture and trafficking.

    Information about the immigration relief offered to these victims by US Citizenship and Immigration Services can be found here:

    https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/victims-human-trafficking-other-crimes

    SB34 — known as the VOICES Act — simply puts a 90-business day deadline on local authorities to wrap up the paperwork required by the federal visa process. The visas and the process already exist. The proposal simply adds a deadline for action. If local authorities don’t believe the person should qualify for a visa, they can state that in the federal paperwork.

    The override effort now moves to the Illinois House. If House members similarly override the veto of SB 34 it becomes law.

     

  • cunningham 052418SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Bill Cunningham voted Wednesday to override the governor’s veto of legislation that would increase the age to legally purchase tobacco products in Illinois to 21.

    “Big tobacco has a long track record of targeting young people to sell their products,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “This legislation demonstrates our commitment to improving the health of Illinois teenagers by limiting their access to tobacco and preventing lifelong addiction from developing.”

    The bill would make Illinois the sixth state in the country to raise the tobacco purchasing age to 21. More than 300 municipalities across the United States have adopted Tobacco 21, including 24 communities in Illinois.

    Raising the tobacco purchasing age has been proven to reduce the number of high school students who use tobacco products. In Chicago, where Tobacco 21 is currently in effect, the high school smoking rate dropped from 13.6 percent in 2011 to 6 percent in 2017.

    The Senate voted 36 to 19 to override the governor’s veto of Senate Bill 2332.

  • harmon 041118SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) issued the following statement after the Senate voted to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of legislation raising the age to legally buy tobacco products to 21:

    “We took a step today that we know, based on evidence from other states and communities in our own states, will reduce the rates of smoking among high school students.

    “The dangers of cigarettes have been well-known for decades, and teens are even more at risk with the increasing popularity of vaping products.

    “This is legislation that could prevent teenagers and young adults from ever picking up a cigarette, which could literally save their lives.”

  • morrison 042518

    SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) led the Senate today in overriding Gov. Rauner’s veto of a proposal to increase the age to legally buy tobacco products in Illinois to 21.

    “Raising the age has been proven to eliminate the availability of tobacco for teens that are 14, 15, 16 and 17 years old,” Morrison said. “Since most current smokers started when they were teens, it is vital we work to cut off that supply and prevent the development of a deadly, lifetime habit.”

    Morrison introduced Senate Bill 2332 in January and teamed with health care advocates and local Lake County students to increase support among lawmakers for the proposal. After passing the Senate in April, the measure passed the House in May but was vetoed by Gov. Rauner in August. 

    “With the rise of easily concealable and fruit and candy flavored tobacco products, Tobacco 21 is important now more than ever—protecting children, reducing smoking rates, saving lives, and reducing healthcare costs,” said Kathy Drea, vice president of advocacy for the American Lung Association.

    A key benefit to raising the age is documented decreases in the number of high schoolers who smoke. In Chicago, authorities recorded a drop from 13.6 percent in 2011 to 6 percent in 2017. Raising the age was cited as a key component of the decrease.

    Illinois would join six other states that have raised the age to purchase tobacco, including California, Oregon, Hawaii, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Maine. In Illinois, more than 20 municipalities have raised the age, including Highland Park, Buffalo Grove, Evanston and downstate Peoria.

    Today’s override passed on a 36-19 vote and now heads to the Illinois House for consideration.

  • Sen. Cristina CastroSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Cristina Castro met with colleagues today urging for an override of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of a bill she sponsored to address Illinois’ gender wage gap in Illinois and protect working women.

    Had it become law, House Bill 4163 would have banned employers from asking prospective new employees about their salary history. This would ensure wages were based on experience rather than the employee’s history.

    “It’s a vicious cycle,” said Castro, an Elgin Democrat. “If a woman is unfairly paid a lower wage at one job, and that unfair wage can be used to determine her wage at her next job, then she might never be able to earn the wage she is duly deserved.”

  • Sen. Kwame Raoul

    SPRINGFIELD —  The Senate voted today to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of legislation sponsored by State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) that gives the Attorney General greater ability to enforce employment laws.

    Currently, the Attorney General can file suit under the state’s employment laws with a referral from the Department of Labor. This legislation removes that requirement and empowers the Attorney General to bring suits related to violations of laws like the Prevailing Wage Act, the Minimum Wage Act and the Day and Temporary Labor Services Act.

    “We know there are workers who are getting their hard-earned wages taken from them by employers and having their rights violated in other ways,” Raoul said. “Valid claims should not get lost in bureaucratic red tape. It makes no sense to have laws on the book to protect workers if we don’t enforce them.

  • Manar 013118 sb444SPRINGFIELD – Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) issued the following statement regarding the Senate’s vote to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s erroneous veto of Senate Bill 444:

    "The Senate's override vote helps to correct a poor governing decision that so far has delayed execution of the new school funding formula by nearly three months. I look forward to the House taking the same course of action so that we can put this sorry situation behind us and allow the Illinois State Board of Education to move forward with its work. Schools and communities all over the state are anxious for this to be ironed out once and for all."

  • lightford 040417SPRINGFIELD- Cursive handwriting will remain a subject in Illinois public schools thanks to the Senate’s action in overriding a veto of a measure that requires public elementary schools to offer at least one unit of instruction in the subject. 

    Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) led the initiative, noting it promotes the practical and fundamental values cursive writing has in education.

    “Cursive writing is a skill children will need throughout their lives,” Lightford said. “You cannot write a check, sign legal documents or even read our Constitution without an understanding of cursive writing.”