SPRINGFIELD – The jobs of 124 state prison nurses at risk of being outsourced by the Rauner administration would be protected under a bipartisan plan that was approved by the Illinois Senate Wednesday.
Senate Bill 19 would halt further privatization of health care and mental health services by the Illinois Department of Corrections. The legislation was approved 40-15.
Gov. Bruce Rauner has proposed laying off 124 unionized nurses employed by the Illinois Department of Corrections at 12 prisons around the state and outsourcing their positions with Wexford Health Sources, a Pennsylvania company that provides health care services nationwide.
SPRINGFIELD – Too many questions exist about Wexford Health Sources’ oversight of health care in Illinois prisons, which is reason enough for Gov. Bruce Rauner to cease efforts to outsource prison nurses to the Pennsylvania corporation, Senator Andy Manar said Tuesday.
Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat, is co-sponsoring a bipartisan plan to stop the governor from outsourcing additional medical and mental health service jobs from state prisons. Senator Sam McCann (R-Plainview) also is a co-sponsor of the plan.
PLAINFIELD — In response to the Rauner administration telling prison nurses that their jobs are being outsourced, State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) issued the following statement:
“There are 17 nurses whose jobs at Stateville Correctional Facility are going to be outsourced. With Illinois not having a budget, the last thing the Governor should be doing is creating more chaos in state government.
From a management perspective, this decision doesn’t make much sense. Outsourcing services would likely lead to less supervisory oversight and more problems in our correctional facilities. The governor has made the wrong decision.”
It was reported yesterday that Gov. Rauner sent a letter to Alice Johnson, executive director for the Illinois Nurses Association, announcing that 124 unionized nurses working in 12 Illinois prisons will be laid off effective June 15.
Des Plaines – Earlier today, Mariano’s groceries opened it’s newest location in the city of Des Plaines, creating 375 new union jobs for area residents.
State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) joined with local officials and Mariano’s President Den Rosanova to announce the opening.
The new jobs announcement is in stark contrast to the ongoing message from Governor Bruce Rauner, who continues to demand anti-worker measures that will lower wages before he will sign a state budget. His demands have led to a nearly two-year budget impasse.
“These 375 new jobs are proof that Illinois is ready and open for business,” Murphy said. “The governor’s anti-worker agenda will do nothing to create a single job in Illinois. He needs to drop his radical agenda and focus on passing a budget to create economic stability in our state.”
The new store is part of a public-private partnership with the Des Plaines Park District and Mariano’s. Mariano’s has pledged $670,000 for park improvements.
State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for a project that will bring businesses and jobs to Shorewood.
The plan, which Bertino-Tarrant pushed for, will allow for land at the northwest corner of the intersection of Routes 59 and 52 in Shorewood to be redeveloped.
“More businesses and jobs will be coming to Shorewood,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “This initiative is good for the community, and I look forward to continuing to support projects that will enhance economic development throughout my district.”
BENTON – State Senator Gary Forby (D-Benton) expressed his disappointment that the governor’s news conference in Southern Illinois today wasn’t to announce jobs for Southern Illinois. The Rauner Administration cut jobs in the region by closing the Hardin Work Camp. Bringing quality jobs to Southern Illinois has been Senator Forby’s top priority and one that he believes the governor should share.
Senator Forby released the following statement on Wednesday:
“I was hoping the governor was coming to Southern Illinois to tell us he is going to reopen the Hardin County Work Camp and help put Southern Illinois back to work. I guess not. What Southern Illinois needs is more jobs, not more Rauner news conferences. I work for the people of Southern Illinois and my biggest initiative is to bring jobs back to the region. I would think this is something the governor could get on board with.”
SPRINGFIELD — During a meeting of a key Senate budget panel Thursday, officials from the Illinois Board of Higher Education as well as several state universities testified to the dire state of higher education in Illinois.
Colleges and universities have not had state funding in place since last summer, and the governor’s proposal for the next budget year would slash funding by 22 percent compared to 2015. State Senator Pat McGuire, a member of the Senate Appropriations II Committee as well as chairman of the Higher Education Committee, echoed the concerns of those who testified.
“Dr. Applegate was right to describe starving Illinois higher education as ‘economic suicide,’ ” McGuire said, referring to IBHE Executive Director Dr. Jim Applegate.
SPRINGFIELD- To help promote job openings in the area, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines), has announced she will continue the “Job of the Day” program created by her predecessor.
“My top priority as a new state senator is to put people back to work. There are many local, good-paying jobs for people who are looking to find employment, but they are not always easy to find. I look forward to using my office as a resource for those looking to join our work force,” said Murphy.
Under the program, Murphy’s office will post jobs daily in the 28th District on her website (www.SenatorLauraMurphy.com), Facebook (State Senator Laura Murphy) and Twitter (@SenatorLaura).
JOLIET — State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Plainfield) partnered with the Illinois Department of Employment Security to hold a successful hiring fair this week.
“Job fairs are important for connecting employers with community members who are looking for work,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “I enjoyed meeting those who attended, and I look forward to having future events that will help people obtain employment.”
More than 50 people showed up to meet with representatives from participating businesses. The first hour of the hiring fair catered specifically to veterans.
“Our veterans have loyally served our nation, and I’m committed to doing what I can to make sure they’re employed,” Bertino-Tarrant said.
Details on Bertino-Tarrant’s upcoming events are on her website.
VILLA PARK - Walter Conrad showed up to the Odeum Expo Center on Wednesday looking for a job. By the time he left, he had three interviews lined up, including one on Thursday. “This was helpful,” said Conrad, one of hundreds who attended the job fair sponsored by State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park). “I met with a wide range of employers and even had an on-site interview.” Job seekers from across the suburbs flocked to Cullerton’s annual job fair, which this year featured more than 100 businesses ranging from the DuPage County Health Department to Google Streetview’s 360 Photo Team. “Events like this are essential to link interested businesses with qualified candidates,” Cullerton said. “Let’s put people back to work. Our economy is growing. We have Illinois businesses ready to hire.” Cullerton encourages residents unable to attend this event to reach out to his Villa Park office at (630) 903-6662 to take advantage of a variety of resources.
SPRINGFIELD — Earlier this year, Senate Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) passed legislation out of the Senate that would create a commission to help young people find jobs and lower unemployment.
Today, Martinez’s legislation was signed into law.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Illinois’ youth unemployment rate was 18.5 percent in 2012.
“I am committed to helping young people in our state who struggle to find a job,” Martinez said. “The commission will focus on bringing together experts to come up with ways to help our youth find and keep employment.”
Under HB 1490, a 17-member commission will be in charge of identifying concerns regarding the readiness and ability of young adults to find employment after their education is completed.
Members of the commission are unpaid. Each legislative leader will be able to appoint four members to the commission.
HB 1490 takes effect immediately.
"We are happy with the great turnout at our first-ever hiring fair in the 8th District," said Senator Ira I. Silverstein (D-Chicago), after 150 job seekers connected with roughly 40 employers on Thursday.
The event at West Ridge Elementary School featured a variety of positions available with several different types of employers. Held in partnership with Alderman Debra Silverstein (Chicago-50th Ward) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security, the hiring fair drew small businesses, large corporations and municipal organizations.
"Our expectations for helping Chicagoans find opportunities for employment were exceeded today," Silverstein said. "We will be assessing our results and how we can improve as we look into future events like this."
Today, State Senator Gary Forby (D-Benton) stood with a bipartisan group of legislators in support of House Joint Resolution 687, which calls on the federal government to give the state additional time to review how the Draft Stream Protection Rule would affect surface coal mines in Illinois.
The proposed rule would amend, modify or revise more than 450 provisions of the existing regulatory program. The additional time to review the over 2,000-page proposal that took six years to complete would ensure coal resources are used effectively and resourcefully.
“In my district, we are closing everything and we don’t need to lose any more jobs,” Forby said. “Coal will be here for a while because it accounts for more than 50 percent of our state’s energy. The current proposal threatens to close coal plants in Southern Illinois, while unemployment rates are already unreasonably high. It’s getting to the point that you can’t come to Southern Illinois and work. The prisons are closing, juvenile detention centers are closing."
"What are left to do? We need the additional time to make sure everything is done right to make sure we don’t lose any jobs.”