Text Size
Login
config

Video

  • Sen. Jacqueline Y. Collins

    Gathering to call for a comprehensive and well-funded approach to reducing gun violence, advocates spoke at a “Stop The Violence” rally in front of the state capitol Wednesday.

    State Senator Jacqueline Collins joined other officeholders that included Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton to address activists, who included anti-violence group inVEST. Advocates called for a plan funded in part by the legalization of cannabis to fund programs aimed at attacking the root causes of gun violence and reinvesting in communities long hurt by punitive public policy.

  • Sen. Julie Morrison

    SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) is raising awareness that traumatic experiences during childhood, including physical abuse, sexual assault or emotional neglect, can affect the development of a child and have a lifetime effect on the physical and mental health of a person’s life.

    In response to the growing public health concern, Morrison recently passed a resolution declaring May 15 as Trauma-Informed Awareness Day to highlight the importance of prevention and effective responses to dealing with trauma. Morrison joined with Attorney General Raoul, fellow colleagues and health advocates at a press conference in Springfield today to further highlight the issue.

  • munoz 051419SPRINGFIELD –To prevent more tragic losses of emergency responders and highway workers, Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago) announced legislation Tuesday that strengthens Scott’s Law and finds a way to end senseless roadway fatalities.

    “As a former police officer, I know the life-threatening situations facing law enforcement every day, and I’m proud this legislation will protect and serve our brave men and women in uniform,” Munoz said. “We can’t afford to lose any more lives, so I implore all drivers to slow down and move over when you see first responders on the roads.”

  • Sens. Peters, Hunter and MartinezSPRINGFIELD – Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez spoke Thursday on the need for clarity in state law regarding worker cooperatives, a model in which businesses are owned and controlled cooperatively by workers.

    “Worker cooperatives are a proven model that provide living wage jobs, especially for workers in communities of color, who often work in the low-wage economy where wage theft and discrimination are extremely common,” Martinez said.

    Martinez is sponsoring House Bill 3663, which would provide clarity of what a worker cooperative is and the benefits and rights of those that operate under its construct. It also sets guidelines for organizing and managing a worker cooperative.

  • bush 050719GRAYSLAKE – State lawmakers heard from local elected officials, educators and stakeholders on transportation and infrastructure needs in Lake County today during a Senate capital hearing.

    The hearing, hosted by State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake), marked the seventh stop on the lawmakers’ statewide tour to hear about local infrastructure concerns and discuss a potential statewide construction plan.

    “What we heard today was not a surprise to me,” Bush said. “When it comes to infrastructure, road congestion is the biggest problem in Lake County. We’ve seen a major population boom in Lake County, but our infrastructure hasn’t kept up with that growth.”

  • morrison 050319Illinois State Police Trooper Christopher Lambert was assisting in a traffic accident on the Tri-State Tollway in January when he was struck by a speeding motorist and killed. A five-year member of the State Police, Trooper Lambert was traveling home to Highland Park when the crash occurred.

    A ceremony this week at the newly finished Illinois State Police Memorial Park honored Trooper Lambert’s service to the people of Illinois.

    “Trooper Lambert’s selfless sacrifice toward ensuring the safety of Illinoisans is why we are all here today,” State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) said. “In the months and years ahead, let us never forget the thousands of Illinois State Police officers and others in law enforcement who get up every day in the service of their fellow Illinoisans.”

  • Sen. Andy Manar

    SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar on Wednesday joined a coalition of labor, higher education and health care advocates in calling for vertical construction projects to be included in a comprehensive statewide infrastructure plan.

    “Illinois needs cranes on campuses and bulldozers at building sites. Construction projects signal that Illinois is open for business,” said Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat who is leading conversations in the Senate about statewide construction priorities.

    “Highway and bridge repairs are vitally important, but any statewide infrastructure plan has to balance those priorities with our need for new schools, modern hospitals and 21st century college facilities. There has to be a healthy mix.”

    The newly formed Build Up Illinois coalition comprises groups and associations representing K-12 school districts, community colleges, universities, the Illinois hospital system, the Illinois AFL-CIO and affiliated building trades.

  • fair tax

    As outlined by Gov. Pritzker in his budget address this year, we have three viable options to fix our state’s finances:

    • Raise taxes by 20% on everyone. In order to raise the needed revenue to pay down our bill backlog, we would have to raise taxes on everyone by 20% within our current flat tax system.

    • Make drastic, 15% across the board cuts to state agencies. If we are not going to raise revenue, we have to cut spending in order to pay down our bill backlog. The kind of cuts necessary to save that kind of money would be devastating to public safety, public education, transportation and social services.

    • Adopt a fair tax that raises taxes on only 3% of Illinoisans – the wealthiest, most prosperous among us. Under Gov. Pritkzer’s proposal, 97% of Illinoisans would either so no change in their tax rate or would see a decrease. Those who make less would be taxes less, and vice versa. Only the top 3% of earners in Illinois would see a modest increase in their tax rate, and we would bring in the revenue necessary to pay our bills.

    Why is a fair tax necessary?

    • After years of fiscal instability and with a $3.2 billion budget deficit this year alone, Illinois must act now to shore up our finances.

    • As a state, we can’t keep shortchanging students, undermining universities, decimating social services, watching our roads and bridges crumble.

    • With a flat tax in Illinois, lower-income may pay the same rate as higher-income people, but that amount places a greater burden on them than on those making more. A fair tax with lower rates for lower incomes and higher rates for higher incomes will bring tax relief for working families and produce stable and sustainable revenues in Illinois to get the state on stable financial footing.

      • Taking into account all taxes Illinois families pay, the lowest 20% of income-earners, or those making less than $21,800 a year, pay 14.4% of their income toward taxes. The top 1%, or those earning more than $537,800, pay only 7.4% of their income toward taxes.

      • This makes Illinois one of the most regressive tax states in the country – one of the Institution on Taxation and Economic Policy’s “Terrible Ten” states.

    • A fair tax combats growing income inequality by making sure the wealthy pay their fair share. Over the past decades, nearly all the income growth has been made by the top income levels. Nationally, income inequality is the worst it’s been since 1928 – the year preceding the Great Depression. The current tax system doesn’t allow Illinois to capture that growth because the same rate applies to high- and low-income earners.

    How do we implement a fair tax?

    • Currently, the Illinois Constitution prohibits the state from imposing a graduated income tax. In order to change that, three-fifths of both the Senate and the House must pass legislation that would place a question on the November 2020 ballot asking whether voters support a fair tax.

    • In order for the Constitution to be amended, the fair tax must receive support from either 60 percent of those voting on the specific question or a majority of all those casting votes in the election.

    • This means the current legislation (SJRCA 1 – sponsored by Senator Harmon) would not automatically change the Constitution if it passes. It would simply put the question of a fair tax on the ballot, allowing voters to decide.

    How do we set the rates?

    • SJRCA 1 does not set a specific tax rate structure; it only deletes the provision in the Constitution prohibiting a graduated income tax.

    • If the amendment is adopted following the process outlined above, the General Assembly may pass legislation setting specific rates.

    • Gov. JB Pritzker has announced proposed rates. These are being discussed with members of the General Assembly as part of ongoing negotiations to introduce legislation setting rates.

    Learning about the Fair Tax Plan:

  • Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. MartinezSPRINGFIELD — Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) is continuing her work to ensure all qualified applicants are eligible for professional licenses, regardless of their citizenship status.

    “If anyone in our state wants to contribute by working hard and paying taxes, they should not be denied because of where they were born,” Martinez said. “I am glad to continue the work we started last year by expanding the ability for immigrants to apply for professional licenses.”

    Martinez passed a law last year ensuring that citizenship is not required for licenses issued by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional or State Board of Education. It also requires the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to allow an applicant to use a taxpayer identification number as an alternative to a Social Security number.

  • National Child Abuse Prevention Month Facebook ImageSPRINGFIELD – After years of working with advocates and the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) has passed a proposal reforming the confusing set of state rules governing reporting child abuse in Illinois.

    “The first step in addressing potential child abuse is the reporting of that behavior,” Morrison said. “If abuse is not being reported – or if individuals don’t know the signs of abuse or who to even report to – the entire system is in jeopardy of not working, leaving abused children in dangerous situations.”

  • villivalam 041219

  • Sen. Rachelle CroweSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) is pushing legislation for stronger sentences on those who intentionally harm a child’s physical, mental or emotional health.

    The measure creates a mid-level offense for a guardian who knowingly deprives a child of food, shelter, supervision and health care.

    “Deliberately punishing a child to the point of starvation is despicable,” Crowe said. “This legislation is critical to holding parents and guardians accountable for their actions for the well-being of the child.”

  • AlcoholSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) advanced legislation today that would set a statewide standard for alcohol delivery from retailers.

    Senate Bill 54 would allow grocery stores and other licensed retailers to deliver alcohol to the homes of consumers if certain conditions, including age verification and training, are met.

    “More and more people are ordering their groceries online,” Harmon said. “We want to keep up with this modern way of shopping and make sure that any retailers who want to provide this service to their customers are confident that they will be able to deliver anywhere in the state.”

  • Hotel EmployeeSPRINGFIELD – Legislation to improve the safety of hotel and casino employees passed the Senate today.

    “I’m proud that the first piece of legislation I filed in Springfield proactively ensures that workers at hotels and casinos are protected against sexual assault and sexual harassment,” Senator Villivalam (D-Chicago) said. “One of my top legislative priorities is furthering protections for working people in Illinois, and this bill protect some of the hardest working people in the hospitality industries.”

    Senate Bill 75 calls for hotels and casinos to ensure that a sexual harassment policy is in place to protect their employees. In addition, it requires that employees who work in closed spaces have access to a safety button or notification device that would alert security to the presence of assailants.

    Similar measures have been adopted in Chicago, Seattle, New York City, and Miami Beach. In the wake of this movement, a number of prominent hotel operators have voluntarily pledged to roll out safety buttons by 2020, including Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, and InterContinental Hotels Group.

    “No one deserves to feel unsafe in their work environment,” Villivalam said. “By following the example of some of the nation’s most populous cities, we will provide a safer and more productive workplace to those who work at these facilities. I also want to thank UNITE HERE, the Hotel and Motel Association and Caesars Entertainment for their advocacy on this legislation.”

    The legislation now moves to the House for consideration.

  • ellman 051019NAPERVILLE – Non-traditional students pursuing vocational training would be eligible for a new scholarship program under legislation from State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville).

    “Let’s encourage more students, especially later in life, to take advantage of our trade schools by taking the financial burden off of their shoulders,” Ellman said. “This scholarship gives opportunity to those who are seeking new jobs thus fueling our markets and economy.”

  • fairtax 041019 ftr

  • Sens. Elgie R. Sims Jr., Emil Jones III, Iris Y. Martinez and Kimberly A. Lightford

    SPRINGFIELD – Senate lawmakers and advocates gathered Thursday to stress the importance of getting a full and accurate count in Illinois during the 2020 Census.

    Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez spoke to the potential consequences of an undercount.

    “The census is used to determine federal funding and representation for our state,” Martinez (D-Chicago) said. “That means, if we are undercounted, we stand to lose billions in federal funding, along with two congressional seats and two Electoral College votes.”

    Martinez is the sponsor of legislation, contained in Senate Bill 1408, that would appropriate $25 million to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to provide grants to community providers and local governments for the purposes of encouraging full participation in the 2020 federal census.

  • koehler 040319SPRINGFIELD – A resolution sponsored by State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) honoring the 100 years of work done by Easterseals, America’s largest nonprofit health care organization, was adopted by the Illinois Senate today.

    “The work in the community that Easterseals does is irreplaceable,” Koehler said. “This resolution helps us honor that work and remind people of the struggles the different communities Easterseals serves are faced with every day.”

    Senate Resolution 199 declares April 3, 2019, as “Easterseals Day” in Illinois, 100 years to the day Edgar Allen founded the National Society for Crippled Children, which grew into the Easterseals.