July 2016

In Veto of Home Care Protections, Grave Rauner Threat to Seniors Remains


44K At Risk of Forced Institutionalization by $200 Million Dismantling of Popular Community Care Program


CHICAGO–News is breaking that Bruce Rauner late Friday vetoed House Bill 4351, which protected seniors who receive home healthcare and the successful Community Care Program (CCP), which Rauner is seeking to dismantle with a $200 million cut.

Rauner’s suspect plans to create a new program to provide vital services to seniors have not been fully vetted or revealed, but already have been widely panned by advocates for seniors, including the AARP and the Alzheimer’s Association.

House Bill 4351, sponsored by Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) and Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) would have prevented Rauner from manipulating the Determination of Need (DON) Score and limiting eligibility to seniors, which Rauner attempted last year. This is in addition to a proposed $200 million cut to CCP, which, in early talks, Rauner is proposing to replace with for-profit ride sharing vouchers, food vouchers and dry-cleaning services as an untried, unproven way to eliminate the in-home caregivers represented by SEIU Healthcare Illinois.

As a result of Rauner’s risky proposals, some 44,000 seniors are at risk of forced institutionalization.

Following is the response of Rep. Greg Harris:

“Sadly this veto by Gov. Rauner is another in his ongoing campaign targeting childcare, people with disabilities and senior citizens. We should be encouraging seniors to remain in their own homes and low-cost community settings instead of driving them into more costly institutions and nursing homes.”

Said Terri Harkin, vice president of home healthcare, SEIU Healthcare Illinois:

“The only thing certain about Gov. Rauner’s plans are that he intends to cut $200 million in care for seniors. Everything else he is proposing is either untried, unproven or outright ineffective. For instance, does the governor believe that an 84-year-old with dementia is going to successfully navigate the path from a single in-home caregiver to managing multiple contracts with outside vendors she doesn’t know who she must now trust to come into her home?

“The evidence shows that Rauner’s plans will cost taxpayers more in the long run, to say nothing of the anxiety and danger it will bring to thousands of seniors. This veto was a bad idea to match his bad policy in service of nothing more than a political vendetta.”

Sen. Daniel Biss:

“Keeping seniors in their homes instead of forcing them into costlier institutions fulfills our obligations to seniors, who have contributed their whole lives to Illinois. It is a shame that in their twilight, and for reasons that have nothing to do with improving care or saving taxpayer dollars, they are forced to be used as pawns in Governor Rauner’s political games.”


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, July 29, 2016

Contact: Graeme.Zielinski@seiuhcil.org

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In Holcomb, A Recipe to Continue Pence Failure for Working Families




INDIANAPOLIS-News is breaking that the Indiana Republican State Central Committee has chosen Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb to be the party’s nominee to replace Mike Pence, who has joined Donald Trump’s ticket.

Following is the response of Yin Kyi, vice president of SEIU Healthcare Indiana:

“Whether it’s women’s rights, workers’ rights or rights for LGBTQ people, it looks like Republicans have chosen an ideologue who will continue Mike Pence’s record of failure for Indiana.

“Our economy has lagged, our infrastructure is hurting, our education is struggling and the most vulnerable have suffered under Pence and his backward legacy. And from the get-go, it looks like Holcomb has been cast in the Trump-Pence mold, where fear and hatred is considered a substitute for policies that would grow the Hoosier middle class.

“It’s time for real change in Indiana. It’s time for John Gregg.”


Media Contact: Yin.Kyi@seiuhcil.org


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Trump Co-Chair, Cabello, Partner in GOP War on Women



Cabello can drive 400 miles to cheer on Trump’s sexism, but can’t show up to vote to protect working women and their families


Machesney Park, IL – Illinois Trump for President Co-Chair, State Representative John Cabello (R-Machesney Park), is back in Illinois after his trip to Cleveland for the Republican National Convention.  The convention featured Cabello’s fellow delegates exhibiting ugly behavior toward women.

Cabello continues to stand by Trump despite the fact that Trump has said “women, you have to treat them like s***” and called women he doesn’t like “fat pigs,” “dogs,” and “disgusting animals.”  Cabello believes Trump’s behavior is not a problem, telling the Associated Press last week that “Trump has a problem only with women who would never support him in the first place.”

Cabello’s fellow delegates sold campaign buttons featuring sexist language and a Trump adviser called for Secretary Clinton to be shot.

“Cabello showed his true colors in Cleveland as he cheered on Donald Trump and the GOP’s War on Women,” said 68th District State Representative candidate Tricia Sweeney. “The Trump/Cabello agenda is wrong for Stateline families.”

It’s not just women.  It was discovered that Cabello’s fellow Trump delegate from Illinois, Lori Gayne, has a history of racist and violent behavior on Facebook.

Women in Illinois have many reasons to oppose John Cabello beyond his support for Trump.  Cabello allowed two votes to fail that would have reversed Governor Rauner’s childcare cuts to 55,000 children.  Local childcare providers are still turning kids away as a result. Cabello also skipped recent votes to preserve a quality workforce of home childcare and healthcare workers. Approximately 95% of home childcare and home healthcare workers are women.

“Cabello has no problem driving 400 miles to Cleveland to cheer on Trump’s sexism, but he can’t show up to vote to protect working women and their families,” said Sweeney.  “Cabello and Trump do not share the priorities of Stateline families.”



July 25, 2016

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With Friday Vetoes of Child Care and Home Healthcare Bills, Rauner Continues GOP War on Women and People of Color and Brings Spirit of Cleveland Home to Illinois


chi-rauner-laughing-20140827CHICAGO-News is breaking that Bruce Rauner has vetoed House Bill 5764 and Senate Bills 2536 and 2931, which protect child care and home healthcare, respectively. In so doing
he is continuing the Republican War on Women and People of Color that was on display in such relief at Donald Trump’s Cleveland convention.

Following are the responses of SEIU Healthcare Illinois President Keith Kelleher; SB 2536 sponsors Rep. Carol Ammons (D-Champaign) and Sen. Iris Martinez (D-Chicago); and SB 2931 sponsors Rep. Sonya Harper (D-Chicago) and Sen. Michael Hastings (D-Matteson).

Keith Kelleher:

“With the vetoes of legislation protecting child care and home healthcare for people with disabilities and seniors, Gov. Rauner continues the Republican war on working women, African-Americans and Latinos who depend on these programs to be in the workforce. Rauner also is forcing seniors and people with disabilities into more expensive institutionalization. As we have seen, Rauner’s draconian rules changes mean 55,000 fewer children receive child care and with his overtime policies, thousands of people with disabilities are in a nightmare period scrambling to find care. It’s up to our legislative allies now to stand up to this governor and try to repair what Rauner is ripping apart.

“What we saw at Donald Trump’s convention this week was a blur of intolerance and division. These vetoes show Bruce Rauner is bringing the spirit of Cleveland home to Illinois.”


Rep. Carol Ammons: “While other states expand child care and provide more opportunities for parents to work, Illinois under Bruce Rauner is headed in the wrong direction and in ways that disproportionately harm women, African Americans and Latinos. I hope my colleagues will join me in standing up for children and the workforce who cares for them.”

Sen. Iris Martinez: “Properly caring for the child care workforce is just one step in restoring the Child Care Assistance Program. This is an important program for employees and employers alike, and I will continue to fight to repair the damage done by Bruce Rauner, which has been part of his larger war on women and people of color.”


Rep. Sonya Harper: “The chaos that Gov. Rauner’s overtime policy has caused consumers with disabilities has put a spotlight on the stresses on the caregiving workforce and in ways that disproportionately affect women and people of color. The bill that Gov. Rauner vetoes would have strengthened and stabilized care in Illinois and it is a disappointment that Rauner has chosen instead to weaken it. I call on my colleagues to join me in standing up for vulnerable people and the people who care for them.”

Sen. Michael Hastings: “Illinois is facing a major crisis in providing care to seniors and our most vulnerable.  Governor Rauner’s veto weakens the caregiving workforce, when we should be strengthening it.   This Governor’s misplaced priorities of providing incentives to corporations, while breaking the backs of middle class Illinois citizens is not what we need.  I call on my colleagues to work together and override our Governor’s ill-advised decision.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, July 22, 2016

Contact: Graeme.Zielinski@seiuhcil.org, (312) 980-9128


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Munger Doing Rauner Bidding By Paying Wall Street Banks Before Illinois Social Service Agencies

In a remarkable display of candor, Comptroller Leslie Munger, who has described herself as Bruce Rauner’s “right hand,” acknowledged yesterday that she would make Wall Street banks a priority over the people of Illinois as she captains the “stopgap” sham that is part of the governor’s assault on the social services safety net in Illinois.

In a self-serving press conference, Munger paid lip service Thursday to payments to the social services agencies that haven’t yet closed as a result of Rauner’s manufactured budget crisis, but made clear that she would service debt to banks (while not defining exactly what she and Rauner consider “debt”).

Following is the response of James Muhammad, vice president and communications director of SEIU Healthcare Illinois, which represents more than 50,000 Illinois home healthcare and child care workers, who have seen care in Illinois diminished by the Munger/Rauner priorities that put banks first and human beings last.

“Comptroller Munger’s self-serving press conference shows that she believes bank profits are more important than the needs of everyday Illinoisans. The comptroller is supposed to be a watchdog of taxpayer resources. Instead, Munger, working as the “right hand” of Governor Bruce Rauner, has left the stopgap money payments WITHOUT any oversigh and has served as a waterbearer for Wall Street.

“A million people have been denied services as a result of the state budget impasse and thousands of social services providers have closed, never to return. Now, Munger and Rauner are coming to the rescue – but not for those suffering who need relief the most, but for the banks. Not one of Munger’s favored banks have closed during the impasse, but several nonprofits and providers of services have closed their doors, thanks to her shameful willingness to toe the Rauner line.

“Munger and Rauner will say that this is about our credit rating and saving taxpayers money and nothing could be done differently. But nothing could be further from the truth: They were content to sit by and pay fees and penalties and see our credit scores drop while they kept our budget hostage, all so that they could further their radical political agenda. What’s more, they continued to pay out to banks fees and penalties that had NOTHING to do with the Illinois debt, while allowing social services to wither on the vine.

“The Illinois comptroller is supposed to be a watchdog of taxpayer resources. But Munger has provided no transparency, no accountability and no plan, other than making sure that Wall Street banks line their pockets. We need a comptroller independent of the banks and independent of Rauner. In November, our members will be voting for Susana Mendoza, who provides an independent voice and will put the people of Illinois before the profits of New York corporate banks.”

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Pence’s Divisive Record Fits Him Perfectly to Trump Campaign of Hatred

Multiple sources are reporting that Donald Trump will be announcing Indiana Republican Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate Friday. Following is the response of Yin Min Kyi, Indiana director for SEIU Healthcare Indiana, the union that represents thousands of nursing assistants and home healthcare workers in Indiana.

“Mike Pence’s years as governor have been a sad mixture of failure and division, making him a perfect fit to be running mate to Donald Trump.

“As governor, Pence has focused on treating LGBT people as second-class citizens and ensuring that women don’t have access to reproductive healthcare, even while supporting laws that are driving down wages and stripping away worker protections.

“While he has focused on what divides Hoosiers, the state’s infrastructure has crumbled, it’s education system has lagged and wages and income have stagnated. No wonder Pence would be eager to drop his bid for re-election, where Hoosiers seem increasingly likely to reject him.

“Trump has run a campaign based on dividing this country on lines of religion, race, income, country of origin, gender and sexual identity. Pence has shown in Indiana that he’s up to this task.”

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The Trump/Rauner Record

Today , community leaders will gathered outside the Trump Tower at 10 a.m. to condemn the hatred and division of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, as Trump was in the city for a fundraiser. SEIU Healthcare Illinois Executive Vice President Greg Kelley was among the speakers and noted Gov. Bruce Rauner’s own campaign of division and asked Rauner .

Watch the video and see the information below to learn more about the Trump/Rauner record.


Rauner, who has pledged to support Trump, is dismissing any similarities. But his record tells a different story:


Trump became the first major-party candidate in modern history to call for a ban on immigrants based on their religion, a policy that experts agree is unconstitutional, not to say un-American. Rauner tried to get in on the scapegoating act by supporting a “despicable” ban on Syrian refugees, which likely also is unconstitutional.


Trump’s long history of mean-spirited and ugly comments about women and their appearances are the focal point of his running feud with a Fox TV news anchor. Rauner, meanwhile, was accused of intimidation and bullying behavior in his treatment of a female CEO involved in a business deal, and had virtually no women (or people of color) working at his investment house. Meanwhile, Rauner’s cuts have hurt women.


Trump has pandered to his base with a flip-flop on guns. After previously supporting commonsense gun reforms, Trump now opposes any restrictions on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. As he was pandering his way to the Republican gubernatorial nomination here in Illinois, Rauner similarly supported the ownership of the type of assault weapons that have been used in countless mass shootings, including, most recently, in San Bernardino.


While both believe they should lead governments because of their supposed success in the private sector, both Trump and Rauner were failures who cost their investors tens of millions of dollars through bankruptcies.


While the flim-flam known as “Trump U” has been in the news for preying on vulnerable people, Bruce Rauner has his own adventures with for-profit education scams.


Trump has been hostile to the workers at his various properties and currently is trying to bust the union at his Las Vegas hotel. Rauner, meanwhile, has made union-busting the centerpiece of his administration.



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Statement Condemning Congressman Joe Walsh Threats

CHICAGO-Following is the statement of SEIU Healthcare Illinois Executive Vice President Greg Kelley condemning the threats against President Obama made by former Congressman Joe Walsh:

“While the rest of the nation mourns, former Illinois Republican Congressman Joe Walsh divides, threatening President Obama in hateful speech that must be condemned.

“Walsh has a history of outright racism and his abhorrent comments were made in this context. But with America grieving the loss of the heroic Dallas police officers, as well as grappling with the senseless deaths of black men in Minnesota and Louisiana, his intolerance serves to pull us further apart instead of bringing us closer together.

“This world needs more peace. And we know that justice is a condition of peace. The peaceful “Black Lives Matter” movement, also threatened and slurred by Walsh, has used the nonviolent tools of democracy to achieve this condition.

“Our hearts are heavy this week as more people fall victim to gun violence that is churned by racism and fear. Let’s hope our leaders listen less to racist demagogues like Joe Walsh and more to leaders like President Obama, who said, in extolling the nonviolence of Gandhi, that, “We do not have to live in an idealized world to still reach for those ideals that will make it a better place.””



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