CHICAGO-Following is the statement of SEIU Healthcare Illinois Vice President Terri Harkin after the Illinois Senate voted today to pass SB 2931, the Workforce Protection Bill for Home Healthcare Providers Serving People With Disabilities. SB 2931 would raise the wage to an historic $15/hour for the providers — the vast majority of which are women — who care for people with disabilities, as well as protect their health insurance and training. The passage of SB 2931 comes on the heels of the Senate’s vote to protect health insurance and training for the child care workforce. Both bills are part of the “Invest in Illinois” legislative package advanced by SEIU Healthcare and disability advocates to defend caregivers and those they serve from Governor Rauner’s dangerous cuts.
“This is an important victory. We applaud the Illinois Senate for protecting some of the state’s lowest-paid workers from Bruce Rauner’s vicious attacks.
“The Senate has taken the correct stance on behalf of caregivers and people with disabilities to stop efforts that would destabilize the workforce, jeopardize the safety of people with disabilities, and cost taxpayers more in the long run.
“The passage of SB 2931 is a much-needed response to Governor Rauner’s cruel and regressive efforts to freeze wages and other tactics to weaken the workforce, which are separating people with disabilities from their families and eviscerating the economic livelihoods of the majority-women caregiving workforce. We are grateful to the Senate for passing an historic $15 minimum wage for caregivers and rejecting Rauner’s attacks on women, people with disabilities, and working families across Illinois.”