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State’s workplace safety programs operating with vacancies, backlogs

Sen. Pat McGuireSPRINGFIELD —State Sen. Pat McGuire challenged the Illinois Department of Labor to fulfill its grave responsibility to protect Illinois workers from injury and illness on the job in a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing Wednesday.

In questioning the Illinois Department of Labor’s Acting Director Anne Hui, McGuire called attention to unfilled positions in the state’s workplace safety consultation and enforcement programs and the fact the department is on track to resolve fewer workplace safety cases this year than in past years.

McGuire received no clear answers on how the department would address shortages of field personnel whose jobs include investigating safety violations and helping employers make their workplaces safer. Under the budget proposed by the Department of Labor, a portion of a 5.6 percent increase would go toward improvements to the department’s information technology.

“I urged Acting Director Hui to give proper importance to saving the lives, limbs and lungs of Illinois public and private sector workers,” McGuire said. “God forbid that someone is injured, poisoned or killed at work because the Rauner administration chose to spend funds on IT programs rather than safe workplaces.”

Sen. Pat McGuire

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43rd District

Years served:
2012 - Present

Committee assignments: Environment and Conservation; Appropriations II; Higher Education (Chairperson); Revenue; Transportation; Committee of the Whole; State Government & Veterans Affairs (Vice-Chairperson).

Biography: Former teacher, school board member, Will County treasurer and Braidwood City Clerk; attended Joliet Catholic schools from first grade through college; married (Lora) with one daughter (Molly).