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Biss: Only a budget can stop unraveling of Illinois’ social safety net

senior home mrSen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) issued the following statement in response to news that Lutheran Social Services of Illinois is embarking on mass program closures and layoffs as a result of the state budget impasse:

“There is no long-term gain to be found in destroying Illinois’ network of human services, yet that is exactly what is happening now. This is a disaster,” said Biss, chairman of the Illinois Senate Human Services Committee.

Biss calls on governor to renegotiate state’s interest-swap deals

biss interest swapSen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) today called on Gov. Bruce Rauner to seek to renegotiate lucrative interest-rate swap deals that send $6 million in taxpayer money to big banks every month at the expense of Illinois’ poorest residents and struggling college students.

An alarming new report indicates the state of Illinois is engaging in the same kinds of interest-rate swap deals that crippled the finances of the City of Chicago and Chicago Public Schools. So-called “swap” arrangements perversely penalize the state for low interest rates caused by the global financial crisis.

Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

mlk jrThis Monday, Americans will pause to remember the tireless work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who dedicated his life to advancing civil rights and justice for African-Americans and other marginalized groups throughout the United States.

In honor of Dr. King, many Americans will take the day to volunteer in their communities. Serve Illinois, a state commission tasked with increasing volunteerism, offers information on a multitude of volunteer opportunities across the state.

This Monday, we remember the timeless words of Dr. King: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

Senators, SEIU: Rauner's first year hurts poorest, most vulnerable (VIDEO)

seiu pr martinezAs Gov. Bruce Rauner celebrates his first year in office, he should reflect on how he has failed to live up to his promise of ensuring Illinois is a compassionate and competitive state, a group of Democratic state senators and human service providers urged Wednesday.

Flanked by providers who, along with their clients, bear the brunt of Gov. Rauner’s budget impasse with the General Assembly, state senators Daniel Biss (D-Evanston), Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) and Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) called on the governor to stop holding the state’s poorest and most vulnerable residents hostage in pursuit of an anti-family, anti-worker agenda that lacks legislative support.