* This has been an interesting bill to watch all spring…
The House gave final sign-off Wednesday to legislation that would give pregnant employees new civil rights in the workplace.
House Bill 8 provides that pregnant women be allowed “reasonable accommodations” on the job such as longer bathroom breaks, seating and time off to recover from childbirth.
The governor has said it’s the most important bill of the year. Business groups fought it in the beginning because they usually fight more government mandates. And quite a few Republicans voted against it when the bill first came up in the House.
But after some Senate changes, the bill unanimously passed both chambers.
* This bill also received some bipartisan support…
The House passed a bill Wednesday that would strike the arrest records of kids who haven’t been convicted of a crime.
The measure passed 74-40 in the House and goes to the Senate.
“Having a single juvenile arrest can impact the ability of youth to successfully compete for education, scholarships, employment and service opportunities later in life,” said the bill’s main sponsor Rep. Arthur Turner, D-Chicago.
Senate Bill 978 would require the Illinois State Police to wipe clean the arrest record each year for those under the age of 18, so long as they weren’t convicted of a crime. However, this does not apply to youth arrested for serious felonies or for sexual crimes.
Turner said the current process to expunge a person’s arrest record is “cumbersome” in that it takes time, money and is subject to all sorts of red tape. Turner said the fact that his bill automatically wipes these records for free will give young people a “fresh start” as they apply for a job or for college.
* And in the Department of Redundancy Department…
A Senate committee has approved a November ballot question asking if Illinois voters think prescription drug coverage plans should include birth control.
Illinois already requires insurance providers that cover prescription drugs to also cover FDA-approved contraceptive drugs for women. Sen. Iris Martinez, D-Chicago, sponsored that legislation, which became law in 2003. She told Senate Executive Committee members Wednesday that the goal of the ballot question is to make the argument stronger in light of the Affordable Care Act.
Republican Sen. Matt Murphy, R-Palatine, calls it “utterly meaningless” and accused Martinez of election-year politics.