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It’s just a bill

Tuesday, Mar 21, 2023 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Illinois Manufacturers’ Association…

WHO:
Sarah Hartwick, Executive Director, Illinois Manufacturers’ Association Education Foundation
Rev. Courtney Carson, Assistant Vice President of External Affairs, Richland Community College
Sen. Don DeWitte
Rep. Amy Elik
Rep. Suzanne Ness
Rep. Katie Stuart
Rep. Travis Weaver

WHAT:
The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association (IMA) Education Foundation will call for passage of several bills designed to build a workforce of the future by increasing education opportunities and removing barriers that prevent students from exploring jobs in the manufacturing industry.

Nationally, there are nearly 800,000 open jobs in the manufacturing industry, including tens of thousands of available jobs in Illinois. The IMA Education Foundation is dedicated to working with employers, educators, and lawmakers to enact policies that help attract, retain, and grow a skilled workforce. These efforts are vital to ensuring Illinois can continue to experience strong economic growth in the coming decade as more and more baby boomers are expected to exit the job market and companies will seek to fill the resulting knowledge and experience gaps.

WHEN:
Wednesday, March 22
10:30 a.m.

* HB361 is currently on Second Reading. Block Club Chicago

The Illinois Work Without Fear Act — House Bill 361 — would fill gaps in Illinois employment law to ensure companies can be punished if they retaliate against workers by calling immigration officials or making other immigration-related threats when the workers report violations, state leaders and policy experts said.

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul and state Rep. Lilian Jiménez were joined by members of workers rights’ groups Arise Chicago, Raise the Floor Alliance and United Workers Center to announce the bill Monday morning. […]

Raoul’s office has investigated unsafe working conditions during the pandemic, but many employees were fearful of speaking to authorities due to potential retaliation, he said.

“To encourage people to stand up, we need to ensure they will not be punished for doing so,” Raoul said.

* Capitol News Illinois

Lawmakers are considering a bill that would treat ride-share companies such as Uber and Lyft as “common carriers,” opening them up to the same level of liability as other forms of public
transportation.

House Bill 2231 passed on the House floor this week with a 73-36 vote. The bill now awaits consideration in the Senate.

The common carrier status is defined as a “standard of care” under which passengers surrender their safety to certain modes of transportation. Currently in Illinois, this includes taxicabs, railways and elevators, among others. […]

“One of the reasons these entities have been so successful has been costs aren’t as great as they are with other entities,” Rep. Patrick Windhorst, R-Metropolis, said during the House debate. “So by increasing regulations or burdens on business then we may drive them out or make them less successful.”

* Pastor Walter P. Turner, III of New Spiritual Light MB Church…

Dear Illinois General Assembly Member:
RE: House Bill 2231

As leaders representing communities throughout Illinois, we are writing to express our concerns about the impact House Bill 2231 could have on our neighborhoods. As written, the current bill will hurt Black & Hispanic residents who rely on Uber and Lyft for both income and reliable transportation.

By making Illinois the only State in the nation to treat Transportation Network Companies / Transportation Network Providers (“TNCs”) as common carriers, the legislature would drastically increase insurance costs, likely making it difficult for many in our communities to afford rides. Worse yet - the increased costs wouldn’t go to drivers, who would see decreased demand, forcing many of the tens and thousands of residents who use these platforms to earn money to find other work. With far fewer drivers, and unaffordable rides, TNC’s will end up serving only areas of our state that can regularly afford rides.

Importantly, if passed, the bill would likely require rideshare drivers to get fingerprinted in order to work with Uber or Lyft - the only state in the country that would have such a requirement. Unfortunately, the FBI’s national fingerprint database lacks complete information, and is biased against Black & Hispanic Americans. When someone is arrested police take their fingerprints and submit them to the FBI. However, more than half of the submitted records do not reflect whether someone was even charged much less convicted for the alleged offense. Since Black & Hispanic Americans are wrongly arrested at disproportionate levels they’re overly represented in the database, and hence are unfairly impacted.

A report from the National Employment Law Project found that, “[N]early half of FBI background checks fail to include information on the outcome of a case after an arrest— fundamental information such as whether a charge was dismissed. These inaccurate and incomplete records seriously prejudice the employment prospects of an estimated 600,000 workers every year.”1 Thousands of residents could lose access to work overnight for crimes they didn’t commit. It’s why civil rights and law enforcement experts alike agree that fingerprint background checks should not be used for employment.

The proposed law aims to make Uber and Lyft more like taxis. Unfortunately, taxis have a long history of ignoring our communities and discriminating against people of color and any move to recreate the taxi system is likely to recreate the same issues. Uber and Lyft are not perfect, but they’ve provided safe reliable transportation to communities left behind by taxis and mass transit. HB2231 looks to turn back the clock and leave our communities behind. I’d urge you to vote no.

* Illinois Freedom Caucus…

The Illinois Freedom Caucus is issuing the following statement on the proposals to bring Rank Choice voting to Illinois.

“One of the major issues facing our state is rank choice voting, which is a system of voting allowing voters to rank their list of candidates.

It is an expensive and impractical form of voting especially for a state the size of Illinois. Voting has always been based on the premise of ‘One Person – One Vote.’ We already have frequent voting irregularities undermining voter confidence in the safety and security of our elections. Turning our electoral process into something akin to the convoluted Hall of Fame balloting process is not the way to restore confidence in our elections.

Instead of focusing on rank choice voting, we need to prioritize restoring integrity to our elections. Elections should be free and fair. We support reforms such as measures to require the State Board of Elections to set up and maintain a system to track all mail in ballots (HB 1139), to ensure deceased individuals are removed from voter rolls (HB 1140) or to require photo IDs for voting (HB 1141). We need to be debating these reforms instead of completely upending our electoral process with rank choice voting.”

* SB1444 has been re-referred to Assignments. Press release…

To promote child care access and affordability, State Senator Mike Simmons took part in the White House State Legislative Convening on Tuesday, speaking on Illinois’ paid leave legislation and his proposed child tax credit.
 
“It was an honor to meet with White House officials and fellow Federal and State legislators today,” said Simmons (D-Chicago). “Working parents are struggling more than ever before, and it is time we find solutions at State and Federal levels to help provide families with affordable and accessible child care and services. I want the next generation of moms, dads, caretakers, aunts, uncles, grandparents and children to live dignified and abundant lives where they are not always struggling to meet the most basic expenses.”
 
During the meeting, Simmons highlighted Senate Bill 1444, which would create an Illinois Child Tax Credit for eligible low- and middle-income Illinois families. Families would receive a $700 tax credit for each child under the age of 17, benefitting joint filers earning less than $75,000 and single filers earning less than $50,000. 
 
“Children need to feel secure that their needs are being met,” said Simmons. “And every parent deserves to raise their children without chronic economic stress. I am proud of the recent steps forward Illinois has taken to support childcare access, and the proposals that are being considered this session, such as the state-level child tax credit I’ve introduced. The Biden Administration has made many important strides in passing policy that has provided families with relief, and I am honored to join the White House today for this timely discussion.” 
 
Simmons also spoke about the recent signing of the Paid Leave for All Workers Act, chief-sponsored by Illinois Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood). The Act made Illinois the third state in the U.S. to guarantee paid leave. Under the new law, employees in Illinois will be provided a minimum of 40 hours of paid leave per year that can be used for any reason. Starting on March 31, 2024, or 90 days following commencement of employment, workers can begin using their earned time off for any reason without the requirement of providing documentation to their employer.
 

* HB1374 was re-referred to Rules Committee on the 10th. Center Square

Police and firefighter shortages are an issue for many communities across Illinois. State Rep. Dave Vella, D-Rockford, told The Center Square that the workforce is aging and vacancies need to be filled.

Vella introduced House Bill 1374 to give local high school students a community college track that will lead directly to law enforcement and firefighting careers. […]

Vella’s vision is to develop a two-year community college degree that includes an internship in police work or firefighting. When the students complete the two-year associate degree, they will be prepared to take the police or the firefighter academy tests. […]

Offering a community college associate degree along with internships designed by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board is the pipeline that Vella envisions.

 

…Adding… Press release…

Leaders from the Illinois Harness Horsemen’s Association (IHHA) will testify before the Senate Executive Committee on Wednesday, March 22, 2023 at 3 PM in room 212 of the State Capitol. The subject of the Committee will be SB1732 and a portion of the law that gives Hawthorne Racetrack veto power over any entity that seeks to build a racetrack within 35 miles of the Hawthorne Racetrack in Stickney. The IHHA will testify in favor of sunsetting the 35-mile rule.

While IHHA members would be happy to race at any track owned by Hawthorne, the organization must act in the best interests of its members. Hawthorne has been slow to secure financing to develop a racino at their current racetrack during the last two years. Therefore, there is considerable concern that Hawthorne will be able to secure funding for a second racetrack and casino at the same time that they work to finance the build-out of what they call a shovel ready racino.

Horse racing is an agricultural and economic engine in Illinois that has ramifications well outside of Chicago. With the closure of Arlington Racetrack, Thoroughbred and Standardbred racehorses must share a racing calendar at Hawthorne Racecourse, the only track left in the Chicago region. The horse racing industry in Illinois desperately needs a second racetrack so that each breed can race in a dedicated space.

Because the second racetrack must be located in southern Cook County, and Hawthorne Racecourse has voiced their intention to build that racecourse, no other entity is even able to float a plan for construction without at the very least, bringing Hawthorne in as a partner. Unless a change is made, more breeding farms, training centers and jobs will be lost to other states.

       

11 Comments
  1. - Anyone Remember - Tuesday, Mar 21, 23 @ 1:19 pm:

    As long as a person has to be 21 to be a law enforcement officer, Rep. Vella’s law will work only partially … .


  2. - H-W - Tuesday, Mar 21, 23 @ 1:21 pm:

    Re: Illinois Freedom Caucus

    == We already have frequent voting irregularities undermining voter confidence in the safety and security of our elections. ==

    == We support reforms such as measures to require the State Board of Elections to set up and maintain a system to track all mail in ballots (HB 1139), to ensure deceased individuals are removed from voter rolls (HB 1140) or to require photo IDs for voting (HB 1141). ==

    Why am I reminded of Ronnie Milsap’s “Lost In The Fifties” tune when I read this?


  3. - Merica - Tuesday, Mar 21, 23 @ 1:34 pm:

    I’m not a fan of Uber/Lyft restrictions. what existed before (in chicago and downstate) was horrible. The apps are much better. If those restrictions are enacted, the cost will be passed to everyone else and there’s will be a political price.


  4. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Mar 21, 23 @ 1:38 pm:

    ==We already have frequent voting irregularities undermining voter confidence in the safety and security of our elections. ==

    No, we don’t. This is just more misinformation about voting


  5. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 21, 23 @ 1:44 pm:

    ===If those restrictions are enacted, the cost will be passed to everyone else===

    Taxis are already covered.


  6. - thisjustinagain - Tuesday, Mar 21, 23 @ 1:51 pm:

    To the manufacturing pathway bill: The bigger (if not biggest) issue facing manufacturing is that people push college above anything else on children, many of which actually have no interest in going for the traditional 4-year degree. Time to stop treating getting hands dirty as something beneath others, whether in manufacturing or trades. But the endless push for college by parents and school counselors just fills the pipeline. Even my failing high school district has finally admitted there’s life without college, going with a slogan of “enlistment, enrollment, employment”.
    (Full Disclosure) I am a college grad; 2 years junior college for an AAS; decades later online for a B.S.) And I worked mostly blue collar over the years, but got hands-on-dirty doing light maintenance for my junior college. I literally kept the lights on and air filters for the buildings changed.


  7. - Steve Rogers - Tuesday, Mar 21, 23 @ 1:54 pm:

    “We already have frequent voting irregularities undermining voter confidence in the safety and security of our elections.”

    Performance politics at its finest

    But of course, look at the source.


  8. - Anyone Remember - Tuesday, Mar 21, 23 @ 1:56 pm:

    ===what existed before (in chicago and downstate) was horrible.===

    Know why those restrictions existed?


  9. - Red Ketcher - Tuesday, Mar 21, 23 @ 2:01 pm:

    Reopen Balmoral Racetrack maybe ?


  10. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Mar 21, 23 @ 2:13 pm:

    =The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association (IMA) Education Foundation will call for passage of several bills designed to build a workforce of the future by increasing education opportunities=

    I can’t wait to see this bill. I am sure it is a doozy. Just let me know what we can drop so that we can fit more requirements in.

    =The bigger (if not biggest) issue facing manufacturing is that people push college above anything else on children, many of which actually have no interest in going for the traditional 4-year degree. Time to stop treating getting hands dirty as something beneath others, whether in manufacturing or trades.=

    How many guidance meeting have you participated in. over the last 20 years? If you had, you would know that schools changed the way they do business decades ago.


  11. - Lefty Lefty - Tuesday, Mar 21, 23 @ 3:58 pm:

    “Rank Choice Voting”

    Is this like “Democrat Party”? Or do they think *ranked* choice voting has a foul smell?


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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