• Lightford minimum wage increase now under effect

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  • House approves minimum wage increase cosponsored by Sandoval

    sandoval 021519SPRINGFIELD – Legislation cosponsored by State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago) to increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour passed the Illinois House of Representatives, marking a major win in the fight to ensure Illinois workers are guaranteed a fair wage.

    “As legislators, we are committed to guaranteeing a living wage and protecting the dignity of workers,” Sandoval said. “I’m glad to see that the House followed our lead in approving this historic legislation recognizing the benefits this bill will bring to working class families in Illinois.”

    Senate Bill 1 would gradually increase the minimum wage in Illinois to $15 an hour by 2025. The step-by-step rollout of the increase is designed to allow businesses to adjust to the law and adapt accordingly. The first increase will take effect on Jan. 1, 2020 and set the minimum wage at $9.25.

    Illinois’ minimum wage has been $8.25 an hour since 2010.

    Senate Bill 1 now awaits the governor’s signature.

  • Villivalam commends House approval of minimum wage increase

    villivalam 021519SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois House today approved a measure that will gradually increase the minimum wage in Illinois to $15 an hour.

    “I’m thankful that the House followed the Senate's lead in moving this vital legislation forward," said Villivalam (D-Chicago). "This legislation will provide working people with a sense of dignity, fairness, and stability in everyday life. Furthermore, it will allow working families to spend money on things they need, which results in a boost to our local economies."

    This legislation is the result of the hard work and collaboration of a wide range of stakeholders. It includes tax credits for small businesses while putting 1.4 million workers on a path to a living wage. Labor organizations and business groups, such the Illinois Restaurant Association, are in support.

    Senate Bill 1 will be phased in over six years to provide businesses time to adapt to a new minimum wage in Illinois.

    SB 1 will raise the minimum wage to:

    •             $9.25 per hour from Jan. 1, 2020, to June 30, 2020
    •             $10 per hour from July 1, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2020
    •             $11 per hour from Jan. 1, 2021, to Dec. 31, 2021
    •             $12 per hour from Jan. 1, 2022, to Dec. 31, 2022
    •             $13 per hour from Jan. 1, 2023, to Dec. 31, 2023
    •             $14 per hour from Jan. 1, 2024, to Dec. 31, 2024
    •             $15 per hour on and after Jan. 1, 2025

    The bill now goes to the governor’s desk to be signed.

  • Lightford: Illinois workers are one step closer to a raise as House approves minimum wage increase

    lightford 201519SPRINGFIELD – Minimum-wage earners statewide could soon see a pay increase under a proposal approved by the House on Thursday that raises the minimum wage to $15 by January 2025. Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) negotiated the measure that would give hardworking families a much-needed raise.

    “We’re one step closer to bringing stability to a population that was neglected during the previous administration,” Lightford said. “As basic needs become increasingly more expensive, we have a responsibility to ensure working people are being compensated for being the force that keeps business moving.”

  • Senate Democrats advance $15 minimum wage plan

     Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford joins with her colleagues after passing a minimum wage increase in the Illinois Senate.

    Senate Democrats voted to raise wages for more than 1 million working Illinois families today by voting to raise the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025.

    If passed by the House and signed by Governor JB Pritzker, it would represent the first minimum wage increase in Illinois in a decade.

    “The people who keep businesses going deserve a salary that allows them to take care of their financial responsibilities, whether that is taking care of a family, paying off student loans or simply covering their basic needs,” sponsor Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford said.

    Under the proposal, the state’s minimum hourly wage of $8.25 would increase incrementally to $15 per hour between now and 2025. The legislation, Senate Bill 1, also offsets the wage increase by providing a tax refund for businesses that employ fewer than 50 workers.

    There is ample public support for a minimum wage increase in Illinois. In 2014, voters were asked if they support an increase; 67 percent of them supported the non-binding question. Voter support was again overwhelming in 2018 for a similar referendum.

    The Senate approved the measure today in a 39-18 vote. The House must take it up before the legislation can go to the governor’s desk for approval.

    Senator Democrats reacted to today's vote with the following statements:

    Senator Christopher Belt (D-Cahokia):

    “Raising the minimum wage to $15 will help our workers better support our economy. We cannot expect workers or individuals who have to pay back student loans to be able to afford the cost of living when they only make $8.25."

    Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign):

    “Since the day I was sworn in to the Senate, I have pledged to do all I can to help make lives easier for families across Champaign and Vermilion Counties. By increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 for the majority of workers, we are achieving the goal of lifting working families up to improve their quality of life.

    “Workers with full-time jobs should never be forced to live in poverty. Minimum wage workers are employed in many of the service jobs that are vital to the care of the most vulnerable and in jobs that serve the public. They deserve a fair wage that respects the work they do in service to others.

    “Putting the minimum wage on a clear and responsible path toward $15 an hour will provide Illinois’ hardest workers with dignity, fairness and stability.”

    Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake):

    “The minimum wage should be a living wage. Any individual who works full time should be able to provide for their family without having to rely on government assistance. This move is long overdue. Raising the minimum wage will lift up Illinois families and provide stability for Illinois workers.”

    Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin):

    “In the past, individuals could work 40 hours a week on the minimum wage and meet their financial responsibilities. Now, that kind of income barely covers basic needs, especially those who provide for an entire family. The gradual increase will allow for businesses to adapt to the new law. We’re committed to making sure local economies adapt to a new wage structure that will ultimately save money for all taxpayers, as fewer working families have to rely on government services to survive.”

    Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago):

    “A working family should not need to be on food stamps in order to survive. Economists argue that by the measure of Americans' productivity – their output and real accomplishments while at work – the minimum wage should now be more than $19 per hour. To afford the average rent on a two-bedroom apartment in Illinois requires a wage of nearly $21 per hour. This is just a step toward achieving sustainability for Illinois families that doesn’t come at the expense of taxpayers.”

    Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park):

    “For far too long nearly 38,000 of our military veterans in Illinois who make the minimum wage were unable to keep a roof over their family’s head and food on the table without government assistance. Implementing a fair wage will allow these hardworking heroes to live a life full of dignity, fairness and stability.”

    Senator Bill Cunningham (D-18th District):

    “Working mothers and fathers in Illinois should not be forced to work multiple jobs just to provide the bare minimum their families need to get by. A living wage is not a privilege, but a basic human right and we must ensure every Illinois worker has access to this right.

    “This legislation will help bring stability to families who are struggling to make ends meet. Illinois workers have long deserved a raise and I am proud to support the measure that will bring it to them.”

    Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview):

    “Wages have been stagnant for nearly a decade, but the cost of living certainly has not, and minimum wage workers have struggled to keep up. This has been going on for far too long, and I’m proud to have helped the Senate pass this important legislation that will help so many people throughout the state.”

    Senator Ann Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights):

    “I believe Springfield should work for working families, and we can start by investing in people who work the hardest but earn the least. A significant increase in the minimum wage is long overdue in Illinois, and I am pleased to support this effort on behalf of working people.

    “I am proud to have represented the will of voters today by supporting this important bill."

    Assistant Majority Leader Don Harmon (D-Oak Park):

    “Working wages have not kept up with inflation over the past several decades. The ‘American dream’ of being able to provide for a family by working 40 hours a week is not a reality with the current minimum wage.

    “I am proud that Illinois is now a leader in ensuring the hard-working families in our state earn a living wage.”

    Senator Napoleon Harris (D-Harvey):

    “The minimum wage has remained stagnant for the past decade. Meanwhile, the cost of basic necessities has continued to increase. I’m glad we were able to move a step closer to helping working families meet their needs."

    Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park):

    "The passage of this historic measure is long overdue. Over the past decade, workers have not seen a change in the minimum wage, but they have seen an increase in the cost of living.

    "My district voted in 2014 to increase the minimum wage and I heard them. I also heard those that work in industries like home health care and those with developmental disabilities. They have tough jobs and deserve to get paid a fair working wage. But it is important to take into consideration how employers and businesses implement the wage increase."

    Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago):

    “We have talked long enough about putting Illinois on a responsible path to $15 minimum wage and today is the first step along that path. This will allow millions of workers in our state to provide for themselves and their families.

    “We’re giving working families the raise and providing the stability they deserve. This puts us on the right trajectory to helping people in our state move their lives forward.”

    Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights):

    “Every Senator in this body represents constituents in our districts who wake up every morning when it is still dark outside and go to work. They work all day and string together hourly jobs just to make ends meet. Then they get up and do it all over again. They don’t have a lobbyist to fight for their behalf – they only have us.

    “Today is our day to lift up millions of working Illinoisans who despite their hard work, still live every day in poverty.”

    Senator Emil Jones III (D-Chicago):

    “Increasing the minimum wage is something we have been waiting to do for years. Personally, I’ve been eager to see the minimum wage increase again since coming to the Senate in 2009.

    “Lawmakers voted to increase the minimum wage a couple of years ago, but Gov. Rauner vetoed the plan, hindering people from getting a more suitable living wage faster. This time around I believe workers will finally get the wages they deserve.”

    Assistant Majority Leader Terry Link (D-Indian Creek):

    “Working families haven’t seen a raise in Illinois since 2010, while costs for housing, child care and food have only continued to increase. The compromise plan I supported today gradually increases wages while providing a key tax refund for small businesses. For thousands of Illinois families struggling to get by, this increase will provide more security and stability in their everyday lives.”

    Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago):

    “This raise for the hard-working people of our state is long overdue. It is unacceptable for someone who works full-time to struggle to pay for food and housing costs. I am glad we finally took a step towards making sure our working families receive a living wage.”

    Senator Pat McGuire (D-Crest Hill):

    “Fair pay for hard work is the American way. A higher minimum wage will boost families and the Illinois economy.”

    Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago):

    “Taxpayers are supplementing low wages with public money in the form of food stamps, Medicaid and housing assistance, all at the expense of the dignity of people who work 40 hours a week and still need such help. A full-time job deserves a living wage. These incremental increases to the minimum wage bring us closer to sustainability for workers while giving businesses time to adjust to the new levels.”

    Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago):

    “Working people deserve this raise. They have been hit by increasing housing costs, rising costs for college and other basic necessities. Today, we voted for working families who despite working full time still struggle to make ends meet.”

    Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago):

    “Wages have remained unchanged for years despite worker productivity being at an all-time high. It has been too long since the working class people of our state have received just compensation for the labor they provide. I'd like to thank Senate  Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford for her years of hard work on this extremely important issue, and I'm honored to have voted for the bill that finally let her achieve her goal.

    “This would never have been possible without the efforts of great organizations like the Fight for Fifteen movement. I want to personally thank them for their diligent work in organization and outreach that helped to finally deliver the relief that struggling working class families have desperately needed for the past 30 or 40 years.”

    Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago):

    “The opportunity to earn a fair wage and provide for your family is a right, not a privilege. This wage increase will provide stability to struggling families in Illinois and help them lift themselves out of poverty.

    “The men and women of Illinois who work tirelessly to provide for their families are long overdue for a pay increase. It’s absurd that in spite of the rising cost of living, this is the first time we have increased the minimum wage in almost a decade. As members of the General Assembly, it is our duty to protect the dignity and rights of our workers.”

    Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago):

    “Raising the minimum wage throughout the state is crucial to help struggling, working families in Illinois. This effort was unfortunately blocked by the past administration, but the time is now to provide Illinoisans across our state with a fair wage and provide them the stability they deserve.

    “I was proud to stand with my colleagues to pass this historic legislation and help improve the lives of hard-working individuals throughout the state. I know this plan will help working families by bridging the pay gap for seniors, women and minorities across our state.”

    Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago):

    “Raising the minimum wage in Illinois is a long overdue step that will help restore dignity to working families who are currently struggling to make ends meet, as wages are failing to keep up with the cost of living.

    “Additionally, the current, insufficient minimum wage disproportionately impacts groups like women, minorities and senior citizens. Raising the minimum wage is an important component in closing the wage gap.”

    Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago):

    "After years of stagnant wages, it’s time for hardworking Illinoisans to finally get a raise. Raising the minimum wage will help lift families out of poverty and it will have the biggest impact on black, Latino and female workers. I’m proud to support this important effort to help reduce poverty and get us one step closer to closing the income inequality gap.”

  • Lightford continues the fight for $15

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  • Manar’s historic school funding legislation signed into law

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  • Senate President Cullerton responds to education funding reform passage

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  • Manar encouraged by leaders’ progress on school funding reform talks

    ManarPanaStudents350SPRINGFIELD – Senator Andy Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat and the Senate sponsor of the school funding reform legislation under negotiation by legislative leaders, issued the following statement this evening:

    “I am encouraged that the legislative leaders appear to have reached an agreement in concept on school funding reform. As many have reiterated time and again for years on end, the inequities that deepen with each passing day in our public schools are a horrible stain on our great state. The status quo is unjust and immoral. Our goal is simple: create a system that is both adequate and equitable for all children. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get this job done.”

  • Senate overrides governor's veto of Senate Bill 1

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  • Raoul: Governor’s plan continues system of winners and losers

    Sen. Kwame RaoulSPRINGFIELD —  State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) issued the following statement after voting to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1, an evidence-based school funding reform measure:

    “Gov. Rauner’s changes to Senate Bill 1 continue a system in which there are clear winners and losers in education.

    The governor’s plan would take nearly $500 million away from the hundreds of thousands of students in Chicago Public Schools who deserve the same chance at a quality education as every other child in the state.

    I voted to uphold Senate Bill 1 today because it is the only plan that ensures fair funding for all Illinois students and takes steps to end the apartheid in our education system.”

  • Harmon: Governor’s school funding plan is short-sighted

    Sen. Don HarmonSPRINGFIELD – Senator Don Harmon, an Oak Park Democrat and president pro tempore of the Illinois Senate, issued the following statement today after voting to override the governor’s amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1, which creates evidence-based school funding reform:

    “I voted today to uphold Senate Bill 1, a tested, evidence-based plan that will fix our state’s broken education funding formula, not temporarily patch it.

    The governor’s plan is short-sighted. It may promise low-income districts money in the short term, but it hides provisions that would gravely injure them in the long run, like tying funding to enrollment and counting TIF district wealth as property value.”

  • Martinez: Governor’s plan makes school funding inequity worse

    Sen. Iris Y. MartinezSPRINGFIELD — Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago 20th) released the following statement after voting to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1, legislation reforming Illinois’ worst-in-the nation school funding formula:

    “I voted to uphold Senate Bill 1 today because the nearly 400,000 students in Chicago deserve a quality education just as much as every other student in the state.

    “Our current school funding system disproportionately harms minority and low-income students. The governor’s plan does nothing to fix that. In fact, it makes the situation worse by taking nearly $500 million from Chicago Public Schools.

    The governor’s plan pits Chicago against the rest of the state to score political points. Our children are not political pawns, and we must support the only plan that ensures a fair and equitable education for all students.”

  • Manar: Governor still has opportunity to help all schools and be part of history

    manar 081317 1SPRINGFIELD – Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), the chief Senate sponsor of Senate Bill 1, school funding reform legislation, issued the following statement ahead of today’s expected vote in the Illinois Senate to override the governor’s veto of the measure:

    “Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have continued to work toward a compromise since Gov. Rauner took the short-sighted step of vetoing Senate Bill 1 and attaching provisions that would make collateral damage of hundreds of central and southern Illinois school districts.

  • Manar: Rauner ‘education plan’ fails 406K Illinois children, perpetuates winners and losers

    manar fix 051717Analysis confirms Rauner plan will perpetuate system of winners and losers

    SPRINGFIELD – Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) issued the following statement regarding the release of the state’s analysis of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s suggested changes to Senate Bill 1:

    “Gov. Rauner's numbers clearly show that his plan to fund schools is a failure. Everything you need to know about it can be found in the headline of his press release: that it would send money to almost every school district in Illinois. In fact, 406,000 Illinois children statewide would receive less money under the Rauner plan.

  • Manar, Hoffman, Greenwood, Local Superintendents Speak Out Against Rauner’s Veto of School Funding Reform

    Sen. Andy ManarBELLEVILLE – State Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, and state Reps. Jay Hoffman, D-Belleville and LaToya Greenwood, D-East St. Louis, joined local school superintendents and community leaders to discuss the devastating consequences that the governor’s veto of education funding reform would have on schools in the Metro-East.

    “The governor’s amendatory veto doubles-down on the inequitable, unfair funding formula that has shortchanged downstate schools for years,” Hoffman said. “Under the governor’s proposal the wealthiest communities in the state continue to game the system while districts downstate lose even more resources. Senate Bill 1 fixes our broken system and provides $18 million in additional funds to Metro-East schools.”

  • Stadelman: Governor’s amendatory veto could hurt downstate schools

    Sen. Steve StadelmanSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) joined Rep. Litesa Wallace and local school superintendents and activists at a press conference in Loves Park on Friday.

    Stadelman said Gov. Rauner’s amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1 includes provisions that could take away funding from downstate and suburban schools. The governor’s amendatory veto counts TIF districts in a school district’s equalized assessed value and ties funding to enrollment.

    The Senate will return to Springfield on Sunday to take action on the governor’s amendatory veto. Although negotiations are ongoing, Stadelman said he feels confident the Senate can override the veto if necessary.

  • Area parents call on lawmakers to override Governor’s veto on school funding

    Sen. Andy Manar speaks about SB1

    SPRINGFIELD — Local community leaders and legislators joined together today to highlight the damage to Illinois schools that Governor Bruce Rauner’s amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1 will bring into reality. The bill vetoed by Rauner would have fixed our state’s broken education funding system. Parents from schools across Sangamon County joined in calling on local legislators to support the Evidence-Based Model for Student Success Act (otherwise known as SB1) in veto override votes.

    "Every child in Illinois deserves a high-quality education that gives them a fair shot at prosperity,” said Roy Williams Jr., Chair of the Education Task Force of the Faith Coalition for the Common Good. “Governor Rauner’s amendatory veto doesn’t fix the broken funding formula; it doubles down on a funding model that’s failing our kids. We need to begin mending our public education system, not tearing it down like the governor would with his amendatory veto."

  • Bennett, Manar, Ammons, Local Superintendents Speak Out Against Rauner’s Veto of School Funding Reform

    Senators Manar and Bennett and Rep. Carol Ammons address local superintendents

    URBANA, Ill. – State Sen. Scott Bennett, D-Champaign, State Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, and state Rep. Carol Ammons, D-Urbana, joined local school superintendents and community leaders to discuss the devastating consequences that the governor’s veto of education funding reform would have on central Illinois schools.

    “Under the amendatory veto, it’s very clear that our schools lose in central Illinois,” said Ammons. “Senate Bill 1 would have ensured that our schools would receive the amount of money they need and deserve to serve our children. Gov. Rauner’s shameful veto would cut funding to over 550 school districts, including those here in Champaign-Urbana. We should be finding ways to invest more in schools, not cutting their already limited funding.”

    Senate Bill 1, which creates an equitable school funding plan, would have fixed the state’s broken education funding system, and ensured that every school in Illinois saw increased funding. Despite his agreement with 90 percent of the legislation, Gov. Rauner issued an amendatory veto of the legislation.

    “The governor’s veto was clearly intended to hurt Chicago but caused a great deal of collateral damage to the schools of downstate Illinois,” said Bennett. “We must ensure that the formula that becomes law guarantees fair funding for schools all over Illinois.”

    Manar noted that Rauner’s introduced changes to Senate Bill 1 would punish schools for enrollment declines, thwart local economic development efforts and bar school districts from claiming voter-approved tax cap adjustments. These provisions unfairly harm downstate Illinois’ least-funded schools the most, including many here in central Illinois.

    “Rather than roll up his sleeves and work with lawmakers to solve Illinois’ school funding crisis, Gov. Rauner is pitting region against region, children against children, and education against economic development. That’s not leadership,” Manar said.

    “The governor hasn’t put forth a roadmap for success. He needs to tell us how he wants to solve this problem. He vetoed the entire state budget, and he vetoed Senate Bill 1, inserting provisions that would result in higher property taxes in the most underfunded areas of the state. He needs to get serious. We have to solve this problem, and we have a limited amount of time to do it.”

  • Manar, Gordon-Booth, Local Superintendents Speak Out Against Rauner’s Veto of School Funding Reform

    Sen. Andy ManarPEORIA – State Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Bill, and state Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth, D-Peoria, joined local school superintendents and community leaders to discuss the devastating consequences that the governor’s veto of education funding reform would have on Peoria schools.

    “The governor’s veto of an equitable education funding formula will result in local districts receiving less money, while also pitting students across the state against each other,” said state Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth. “Rather than support the model that supports every Illinois student equitably, the governor is focused on playing political games and removing the protections that would guarantee funding for school districts such as Peoria.”