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The Majority Report 12/03/18 - Senate Democrats override veto of equal pay measure


Lightford overrides Equal Pay Act veto

Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. LightfordMore than half a century since the Civil Rights Act became law, workers in the United States continue to earn different wages based on their race.

Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) is fighting for legislation that would prohibit wage discrimination against African-Americans under the Equal Pay Act. House Bill 4743 prohibits employers from paying wages to an African-American employee at a rate less than the rate paid to an employee who is not African-American for the same or substantially similar work.

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of the bill was overridden in the Senate last week.

“Gov. Rauner ignored the wage gap for African-Americans and decided he wanted to ‘All Lives Matter’ this proposal,” Lightford said. “Today, we made sure that wage equity continues to be a priority in Illinois.”



Holmes stands up for first responders

Sen. Linda Holmes

State Senator Linda Holmes ensured a series of proposals will take effect to extend to paramedics employed by local government the same rights granted to firefighters.

The measures had been vetoed by the governor, but Holmes successfully led an override of those vetoes last week.

“Just like firefighters, paramedics face life-threatening circumstances to save lives and serve our communities,” Holmes (D-Aurora) said. “We owe it to paramedics and their families to give them the same rights as firefighters for the dangerous sacrifices they are willing to make.”





Mulroe announces $20.5M project for veterans

Sen. John G. Mulroe

Funding will be released for a $20.5 million renovation project at the Chicago Veterans Home, State Senator John Mulroe announced last week.

“Caring for the men and women who fight for our freedom is a sacred duty, and we have seen what happens when we neglect it,” Mulroe (D-Chicago) said. “The improvements and equipment replacement planned as part of this $20.5 million project will ensure the Chicago Veterans Home can continue serving the people who so selflessly served their country.”

Mulroe recently visited the veterans home site to speak with the crew about the project’s status. The planned project will encompass exterior and interior renovations, including carpentry, electrical and plumbing work, with an estimated completion date of December 2019.




Hutchinson recognized as outstanding leader

Sen. Toi Hutchinson

State Senator Toi Hutchinson was named one of Governing’s outstanding leaders in state and local government for 2018.

Hutchinson, a Chicago Heights Democrat who has served in the Illinois Senate since 2009, was selected because of her bold vision for improving the lives of her constituents and working tirelessly to make that vision a reality, according to Governing’s executive editor, Zach Patton.

Also earning the recognition were Colorado State Rep. Faith Winter, Indiana State Rep. Karen Engleman and others.

Governing’s editors said Hutchinson, Engleman and Winter stand out among the vanguard of lawmakers in confronting the culture of harassment in state capitols. Together, they demonstrate the breadth of experiences that have shaped states’ responses over the past year, showing what’s possible when elected leaders start speaking out, the publication noted.

Every year since 1994, the Public Officials of the Year program has recognized leaders from state, city and county government who exemplify the ideals of public service.


Illinois at 200

Today is Illinois’ 200th birthday. To mark the countdown to today’s bicentennial, all this year the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus has published daily tributes to the people, places and events that have helped forge the state’s rich history.

From inventors and entertainers to our communities and the Capitol, Illinois has a lot to celebrate.

Last week’s bicentennial countdown featured the birth of Manny reaper inventor John Henry Manny in 1825, a discovery in Peoria in 1941 that revolutionized production of penicillin and the death of Chicago Mayor Harold Washington in 1987.

In addition, members of the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus appear in a special series of bicentennial videos about the people and places in their districts that have helped make Illinois special. Among them are videos of State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago) at the DuSable Museum of African-American History in Chicago, State Senator Cristine Castro (D-Elgin) at the Hoosier Grove Barn in Streamwood, State Senator Elgie Sims Jr. (D-Chicago) at the Pullman Porter Museum and State Senator Mattie Hunter at Wendell Phillips Academy, the first African-American high school in Chicago.

To watch all of the videos and to find all of our historical vignettes, visit I Like Illinois online, on Facebook and on Twitter. #IllinoisProud


In case you missed it


State Senator Scott Bennett, Champaign: Bands, charities mark state’s birthday | Commercial-News

State Senator Napoleon Harris III, Harvey: Senate gives first OK to local term limit changes | Neighbor News Online

State Senator Andy Manar, Bunker Hill: Salary history, teacher wage bills to return next year | JournalStar

State Senator Laura Murphy, Des Plaines: In wake of hospital shooting, a new focus on metal detector laws | Herald & Review

State Senator Heather Steans, Chicago: Illinois marks 5 years of marriage equality | Windy City Times


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