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Senators Biss, Martinez, Raoul join SEIU to invest in Illinois families

biss martinez raoulSPRINGFIELD — State senators Daniel Biss (D-Evanston), Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) and Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) announced today that they will be working with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) on a legislative agenda designed to protect children, working parents and seniors.

“At a time when working families are being attacked by the governor’s policies, it’s important to find ways to strengthen our state’s child care and home health care programs,” said Martinez, who is sponsoring Senate Bill 2536, which would safeguard existing health insurance for child care providers and ensure they receive appropriate training. Sen. Biss’s legislation, Senate Bill 2555, would increase the income eligibility threshold of the Child Care Assistance Program to 300 percent of the federal poverty level, ensuring that more children and families have access to child care.

“Affordable child care is a core underpinning of middle-class opportunity,” Biss said. “Illinois’ Child Care Assistance Program enables thousands of parents to go to work or school knowing their children are safe and cared for in healthy, stimulating environments where they can grow and learn.”

While Martinez and Biss are sponsoring initiatives to improve the state’s child care system, Raoul is fighting for wage security and health insurance for the workers caring for seniors.

Raoul’s proposal, Senate Bill 2781, protects the health insurance coverage for Community Care Program (CCP) employees and phases in a wage increase over four years for them.

CCP helps seniors be cared for in their homes instead of having to go to nursing homes.

“As we endeavor to help seniors live independently and keep them out of nursing homes whenever possible, one of the challenges we continue to face is high turnover among workers in home care,” Raoul said. “With livable wages and the added security of health benefits, more of the people who assist our senior citizens will be able to make home care a career, serving their clients for many years with compassion, dignity and pride in their work.”

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