The Majority Report 02/04/19 - Continuing the fight for $15 minimum wage


Lightford continues fight for $15 minimum wage

Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford

Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford is tackling Illinois' minimum wage as a priority to start the spring legislative session. Senate Bill 1 is currently being negotiated, with the goal of raising the minimum wage in Illinois to $15 per hour.

Senators discussed the proposal last week, including the need for raising the minimum wage, as well as pay for tip workers, the youth subminimum wage and support for small businesses.

“I am looking at our working families with the damage the past four years have done still in mind,” Lightford (D-Maywood) said. “They have waited for a raise for much too long, and it is time for people working full time to bring home a paycheck that allows them to provide for themselves and their families.”

Lightford is responsible for the 2003 and 2006 laws that gradually increased the minimum wage from $5.15 to the current $8.25 per hour.



Property tax relief coming to suburban homeowners

Sen. Napoleon Harris

South suburban homeowners and small businesses will see smaller property tax bills under a new state grant program for school districts in high-tax areas.

The Property Tax Relief Grant was included in the historic school funding reform law that has already provided millions of dollars in new state funds to school districts that need it the most. In the first year of the program, public schools in the 15th Senate District will see $8.4 million in property tax relief.

“One of the biggest hurdles to funding our schools is a lack of property wealth paired with high property taxes in the South Suburbs,” State Senator Napoleon Harris (D-Harvey) said. “This new program can help us solve that problem and bring more resources to our local schools and economic growth to our community.”

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Manar proposes campus for downtown Springfield

Sen. Andy Manar

Southern Illinois University could establish a presence in downtown Springfield under a plan introduced in the legislature today by State Senator Andy Manar.

Manar’s plan (Senate Bill 179) would set aside $50 million in state capital funds for a grant to SIU for costs associated with the construction of a campus and public policy center. The site would have to be within 1 mile of the SIU School of Medicine at 801 N. Rutledge St.

“There is enormous potential in the idea of SIU placing a public policy center steps from the Capitol,” said Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat and chairman of a key Senate budget committee. “Coupled with a law school or something associated with the medical school, I think SIU could have a significant and lasting impact on downtown Springfield and the capital city at large.”

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Castro seeks to add women to executive boards

Sen. Cristina Castro

Illinois could see more women in the boardroom under a new proposal introduced by State Senator Cristina Castro.

Senate Bill 76 would require every publicly held domestic or foreign corporation whose executive offices are in Illinois to have a minimum of one woman on its board of directors.

“Having a diverse board is good for business,” said Castro, an Elgin Democrat. “Women are largely underrepresented in the boardroom and it’s time for that to change.”

Read more.





In case you missed it


State Senator Scott Bennett, Champaign: Senator emphasizes seriousness of measles case | WCIA

State Senator Bill Cunningham, Chicago: School districts awarded property tax relief grants | Patch

State Senator Don Harmon, Oak Park: Opioid patients can now try medical cannabis instead | News 25

State Senator Linda Holmes, Aurora: Area women in Springfield focus on mentoring, leadership | Chicago Tribune

State Senator Heather Steans, Chicago: Lawmakers give insight into recreational cannabis plan | Northern Public Radio


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