May 2017

Illinois General Assembly Take Steps to Correct Misguided, Dangerous Rauner Overtime Policy by Passing HB 3376

Advocates, people with disabilities, and caregivers now call on Rauner to change course

Springfield – Following is a statement on behalf of Access Living, Caring Across Generations, and SEIU Healthcare Illinois in response to passage of HB 3376 out of the General Assembly today:

“Today, lawmakers in the General Assembly did what Republicans on the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) refused to do: put the health and safety of people with disabilities ahead of political allegiances.

“House Bill 3376 provides reasonable caps on hours without harming consumers in the Home Services Program, protects consumer choice for 8,000 people with disabilities utilizing home care services, and protects taxpayers by ensuring that HSP consumers can continue to receive quality, affordable care in their homes instead of costly institutional care.

“We commend members of the General Assembly who supported this responsible approach to overtime hours and heard the voices of advocates, people with disabilities, and their caregivers, correcting the mistakes of the misguided Rauner policy. We call on Governor Bruce Rauner to use this opportunity to change course by signing HB 3376 without delay, thus ending this 18-month period of uncertainty, confusion, and chaos for impacted consumers and caregivers in the Home Services Program.”

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BREAKING: Senate Follows House in Passing Historic $15 Minimum Wage Bill

Truest, Best, Fastest Way to Help MILLIONS of Illinois Workers; Gov. Rauner MUST SIGN NOW

 SPRINGFIELD-Following is the statement of SEIU Healthcare Illinois President Greg Kelley following passage tonight in the Senate of Senate Bill 81, legislation to raise the minimum wage in Illinois to $15 by 2022.

 “Today, the Senate boldly joined the House in the national march to a $15 minimum wage that has its roots RIGHT HERE in Illinois.

 ‘More than 40 percent of Illinois workers across all industries, across all age ranges and across all points of Illinois, will benefit from a wage increase, including nearly HALF of all female and African American workers and more than 60 percent of Latino workers.

 “Raising the wage IMMEDIATELY confronts so many of the problems facing our state, including the lack of proper revenue to fund needed services and education; the subsidization of corporations unwilling to pay workers a living wage; and the relocation of workers to neighboring states.

‘But raising the wage is no abstraction. While leaders in Springfield bicker, a single mother working as a hotel maid in Peoria is choosing between diapers and food. Grandmothers in Belleville are sleeping on their friends’ couches, unable to afford their own apartment while working two jobs. A home care worker in Champaign is up at night worrying about either fixing a tire or paying his rent.

“We CANNOT let our state or our country accept a low-wage economy.

“Bruce Rauner says he “wants” Illinois workers to have higher wages, even while there is NO evidence of him leading a push to raise wages at the hundreds of companies under his control over the years.

“But let’s take him at his word: Nonpartisan research shows that raising the wage is the fastest, truest and best way to immediately improve the living conditions of workers.

“Senate Bill 81 now goes to Bruce Rauner and he must sign it. Workers across the state of all incomes should now be united in their call to, “RAISE THE WAGE.””

 

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Illinois Poised To Be A Sanctuary For Immigrant Families With Passage of Trust Act

Bill awaits signature of Gov. Rauner to become law and set state apart as safe zone for immigrant families

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SPRINGFIELD–Following is the statement of SEIU Healthcare Illinois President Greg Kelley voicing support for passage of Senate Bill 31, the Trust Act, which protects law-abiding immigrant families from being targeted for deportation:

“Passage of Senate Bill 31, known as the Trust Act, moves Illinois a step closer to becoming a sanctuary where immigrants can live without fear of their families being separated or being targeted unjustly for deportation.

“We applaud members of the State Assembly for rebuffing the anti-immigration paranoia of the Trump administration that has led to numerous and unnecessary deportations, many of which have traumatized law abiding, tax paying immigrant families who have lived in the U.S. for years.

“The law prohibits profiling of immigrants who could be stopped, searched or arrested based on their citizenship status. The law also requires a court-ordered warrant to hold a person for immigration purposes, among other protections.

“What the law fails to do is prevent state agencies from participating in the establishment registries based on immigration status, ethnicity or religion, specifically a Muslim registry. We will continue to fight to prevent the establishment of such registries.

“This law will make Illinois a beacon for immigrants seeking a better life and willing to contribute to making Illinois an even better state. We encourage Gov. Rauner to sign the bill as soon as it lands on his desk.”

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Illinois Poised To Be A Sanctuary For Immigrant Families With Passage of Trust Act

Bill awaits signature of Gov. Rauner to become law and set state apart as safe zone for immigrant families

SPRINGFIELD–Following is the statement of SEIU Healthcare Illinois President Greg Kelley voicing support for passage of Senate Bill 31, the Trust Act, which protects law-abiding immigrant families from being targeted for deportation:

“Passage of Senate Bill 31, known as the Trust Act, moves Illinois a step closer to becoming a sanctuary where immigrants can live without fear of their families being separated or being targeted unjustly for deportation.

“We applaud members of the State Assembly for rebuffing the anti-immigration paranoia of the Trump administration that has led to numerous and unnecessary deportations, many of which have traumatized law abiding, tax paying immigrant families who have lived in the U.S. for years.

“The law prohibits profiling of immigrants who could be stopped, searched or arrested based on their citizenship status. The law also requires a court-ordered warrant to hold a person for immigration purposes, among other protections.

“What the law fails to do is prevent state agencies from participating in the establishment registries based on immigration status, ethnicity or religion, specifically a Muslim registry. We will continue to fight to prevent the establishment of such registries.

“This law will make Illinois a beacon for immigrants seeking a better life and willing to contribute to making Illinois an even better state. We encourage Gov. Rauner to sign the bill as soon as it lands on his desk.”

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Illinois Senate Takes Action to Protect 36,000 Fragile Seniors from Drastic Rauner Cuts to Home Care Services

State lawmakers lend their voice to growing chorus against $120 million cut to the successful Community Care Program

SPRINGFIELD – The following is a statement on behalf of Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans and SEIU Healthcare Illinois in response to passage of House Bill 238 out of the Illinois Senate:

“36,000 seniors, their families, and their caregivers can breathe a small sigh of relief knowing that members in both chambers of the General Assembly voted to stop Governor Rauner’s destructive path of gutting vital services provided via the Community Care Program.

“Rauner’s $120 million cut will remove trusted caregivers and replace them with a complicated and untested system of meal vouchers, Uber drivers, and a revolving door of strangers to provide a piecemeal approach to delivery of critical services. Perhaps worst of all, the 36,000 seniors whom Governor Rauner is targeting are not guaranteed to receive ANY services at all under rules submitted to the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR).

“Impacted seniors will experience reduced care – on average a 31% reduction. Those seniors who are unable or refuse to navigate this confusing system will see their independence and ability to age at home with dignity threatened, leading to premature nursing home care placement and taxpayers will be left footing the bill.

“Our coalition sincerely thanks the members of the General Assembly who voted to protect their aging constituents, especially chief sponsors Senator Daniel Biss and Representative Greg Harris. We hold out hope that Governor Rauner respects the will of Illinois’s seniors and the General Assembly. He should choose the path that guarantees the best outcomes for seniors, their families, and Illinois taxpayers by abandoning his proposed cuts.”

 

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Early Childhood Workforce Study Will Give Illinois Better Footing to Face Challenges in Care

 

HB 3167/SB 1619 Passage Deserves Praise

ILL Lobby Day 3-21-2013

SPRINGFIELD-Following is the statement of SEIU Healthcare Executive Vice President Faith Arnold following passage in the Senate of House Bill 3167/Senate Bill 1619, authorizing a study of the child care and early education workforce:

“The chronic lack of pay for the workers who care for and educate young children in Illinois is a scandal. That’s why the state took an important step forward today with the passage of legislation to authorize an early childhood workforce study.

“Some providers have decades of experience as well as accreditation and degrees, yet only average $5 per hour, when expenses are factored in. Surely, we can do better.

“Gov. Rauner has expressed a commitment to early childhood education so we will take him at his word and urge him to use the data to help to repair the damage done to the Child Care Assistance Program, as well as help create a real training and professional development framework for the child care and early education workforce.

“Illinois has a long way to go to improve the system of care, which still faces many challenges, but today’s passage of HB 3167 deserves praise, as do its committed sponsors, Rep. Julianna Stratton and Sen. Jacqueline Collins.”

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Illinois House Advances HB 1424 to Preserve the Successful Community Care Program for 36,000 Seniors

Illinois House Advances HB 1424 to Preserve the Successful Community Care Program for 36,000 Seniors Targeted for Devastating Cuts, Facing Relocation

After intense outcry during IDOA public hearings last week, the Illinois House takes action to protect elderly Illinoisans from Rauner attacks

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SPRINGFIELD – The following is a statement on behalf of AARP Illinois, Alzheimer’s Association, Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans, Caring Across Generations, and SEIU Healthcare Illinois in response to passage of House Bill 1424 in the Illinois House today:

“Members of the Illinois House who voted in support of HB 1424 today did a great service for the 36,000 seniors living in their districts and across Illinois who face preventable institutionalization and reduced care now that Governor Rauner has taken aim at their lifeline services. Their vote takes the vital step to protect care for seniors who are not enrolled in Medicaid, ensuring they continue to receive services through the highly successful Community Care Program.

“The fragile seniors that Rauner wants to move into his Community Reinvestment Program through a $120 million cut to the Community Care Program, would see their trusted caregivers replaced by an unproven patchwork system of Uber drivers, meal vouchers, and a revolving door of unfamiliar service providers.

“Two weeks ago, scores of advocates, elder care attorneys, impacted seniors, and their home care workers testified at IDOA public hearings against the irresponsible Rauner proposal, highlighting a multitude of inadequacies in the rules as written, and warning of premature and costly relocation of impacted seniors into nursing home care.

“We are relieved to see that while Governor Rauner and the IDOA utterly ignore concerns raised by those dedicated to serving Illinois seniors, our state representatives are taking steps to ensure those concerns do not fall on deaf ears. Our coalition now looks to the Illinois Senate to take action to shield the 36,000 seniors at risk by passing SB 399.”

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BREAKING: Historic Victory as $15 Bill Wins in House; On To Senate

2.3 MILLION Workers are Closer to a Raise 

SPRINGFIELD-Following is the statement of SEIU Healthcare Illinois President Greg Kelley following passage today in the Illinois House of Representatives of Senate Bill 81, to raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2022:

“While corporations are enjoying record profits, workers in Illinois are suffering. Today, the House of Representatives took a historic step to reversing this course and building our economy from the bottom-up, instead of placing our faith in the misguided hope that prosperity will trickle down.

“Senate Bill 81 represents a major advance for Illinois and is the answer to so many of the pressing questions facing our state. Growing inequality. Revenue problems and the related cuts to services. Population loss. The manufactured budget crisis. On behalf of our workers, I congratulate the representatives who chose to act boldly for our future.

“Opponents of raising the wage during today’s debate used the same old stale and discredited scare claims about automation and job loss. But we know, as our allies do, that nonpartisan, peer-reviewed research shows that raising the wage does NOT lead to significant relocation or unemployment. Its MAIN effect is giving workers a living wage.

“Now, as the legislative session comes to a close, we ask our allies in the Senate to pass this legislation that will help 2.3 million workers, grow our economy and give Illinois a much-needed raise.”

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Watch this video to see how we achieved this victory in the House

Learn More at www.15forIllinois.org

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Illinois House Overwhelmingly Approves HB 3376, Aiming to Reduce Risk of Institutionalization for Thousands under Rauner HSP Overtime Policy

Bill heads to Senate next, paving way to ending months of uncertainty and chaos for over 8,000 people with disabilities

SPRINGFIELD – Following is a statement on behalf of Access Living, Caring Across Generations, Illinois Network of Centers for Independent Living, and SEIU Healthcare Illinois in response to passage of HB 3376 out of the Illinois House today:

“Our coalition thanks the members of the Illinois House of Representatives that voted in support of House Bill 3376, which takes a responsible approach to overtime hours in the Illinois Home Services Program.

“The health and safety of the 30,000 people with disabilities who rely on home care services through the HSP to live independently in our communities is at stake, and HB 3376 will guarantee that those individuals will continue to see their care needs met. HB 3376 provides reasonable caps on hours, while reducing the risk of unnecessary and costly institutionalization – correcting the mistakes of the Rauner HSP Overtime Policy approved by JCAR in March.

“The bill protects people with disabilities from attempts to strip them of consumer control and choice over their care, while ensuring prudent use of taxpayer dollars through continued access to quality in-home services.

“We call on the Illinois Senate to swiftly follow suit and send this critical legislation to the Governor’s desk.”

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BREAKING: SICKENING NEW CBO SCORE SHOWS HEALTHCARE AND MEDICAID ON CHOPPING BLOCK AS RAUNER FAILS TO LEAD

CHICAGO-Following is the statement of SEIU Healthcare Illinois President Greg Kelley following release of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office score of the Republican House healthcare overhaul. The CBO report concludes that 23 million Americans will lose health insurance by 2026 if the Republican legislation becomes law:

“The new score from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released today is sickening and shows the critical danger facing Illinois from the Republican healthcare overhaul, which was created by the actions of politicians like Peter Roskam, Rodney Davis and Mike Bost, and enabled by the silence of party leaders like Bruce Rauner.

“The devastating cuts to Medicaid, both in Trump’s new budget plan AND the Republican House healthcare overhaul, have been opposed by OTHER Republican governors, but not in any meaningful way by Rauner, and these cuts will drive nearly 400,000 Illinoisans off healthcare, harming children, women, people with disabilities and seniors.

“The sickening CBO score shows that Republican politicians like Rauner are failing the leadership test and putting the health of Illinois at risk. The result to Illinois will be massive cuts to Medicaid, higher premiums, an end to pre-existing condition protections, lifetime caps and more costs to senior and rural Illinoisans and yet more harm to vulnerable populations already suffering as Rauner dismantles our social safety net.”

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