By Rep. Elaine Nekritz, Assistant Majority Leader, Illinois House Needless to say, the last few months have been a challenge in Illinois state government. It appears that Governor Rauner has all along been pushing toward government shut down – and now he has what he wants. Before he will even consider negotiating a budget, he
On January 1st, we woke up to a new year. We also woke up to new and revised laws enacted by state lawmakers and the governor to improve our lives. Safety, convenience, transparency, health and fairness are the inspiration, and many new laws are directly inspired by constituents. Check out the top 15 new Illinois
Illinois’ Democratic organization advocates for state-wide candidates SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Democratic Women announced Thursday its candidate endorsements for the upcoming November 2014 general election. Illinois Democratic Women is a statewide grassroots organization working for more equitable representation and participation of Democrat women in all levels of the Democratic Party and government. U.S. Senate: Dick
By Rep. Elaine Nekritz, Assistant Majority Leader, Illinois House
Needless to say, the last few months have been a challenge in Illinois state government. It appears that Governor Rauner has all along been pushing toward government shut down – and now he has what he wants. Before he will even consider negotiating a budget, he has demanded that the General Assembly pass a number of the items on his “Turn Around” agenda. The policies he is pursuing will do nothing to help us balance our state budget and are, in fact, completely unrelated to the budget. This is an unprecedented and unwelcome tactic. Former Republican Governor Jim Edgar has been very public in his statements that he never held the budget hostage for non-budget matters.
The stakes are too high and the collateral damage is too painful to continue on this path. But it gets worse. The policies Governor Rauner is pursuing are very similar to those pushed by Republican governors in other states. We need look no further than our neighbor to the north, Wisconsin, to see the impact of those policies. Wisconsin is currently “enjoying” a $2.2 billion budget deficit and, since 2000, that state has experienced the largest drop in average wages of any state in the country. In Kansas, the Republican legislature is fighting with the Republican governor because the tax cuts that were designed to stimulate economic growth (sound familiar?) instead resulted in massive budget deficits. The last thing Illinois needs are policies that result in bigger budget deficits and more loss for the middle class.
I am hopeful that cooler heads will prevail and we can come together to solve our immediate problems. The Governor and the legislature will have different ideas on how to balance the budget. But with dialogue and compromise we can get there. For the good of all Illinois citizens, we must get there.
On January 1st, we woke up to a new year. We also woke up to new and revised laws enacted by state lawmakers and the governor to improve our lives. Safety, convenience, transparency, health and fairness are the inspiration, and many new laws are directly inspired by constituents. Check out the top 15 new Illinois laws for 2015 here.
Illinois’ Democratic organization advocates for state-wide candidates
SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Democratic Women announced Thursday its candidate endorsements for the upcoming November 2014 general election. Illinois Democratic Women is a statewide grassroots organization working for more equitable representation and participation of Democrat women in all levels of the Democratic Party and government.
U.S. Senate: Dick Durbin
Governor and Lt. Governor: Pat Quinn/Paul Vallas
Secretary of State: Jesse White
Attorney General: Lisa Madigan
State Treasurer: Mike Frerichs
Comptroller: Sheila Simon
“We believe IDW has endorsed candidates who best reflect Democratic principles and values. These candidates have demonstrated time and time again that their mission is to serve as public servants who strive to improve the economic and societal lives of Illinoisans,” said Pam Monetti, Co-President of Illinois Democratic Women. “We are proud to stand by the Democratic slate of statewide candidates in Illinois.”
There are 5 statewide referenda that were placed on the ballot by the Illinois Legislature. Please remember to vote for these initiatives as you cast your ballot. The League of Women Voters provides an explanation of these initiatives on their website.
PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO THE 1970 ILLINOIS CONSTITUTION
Explanation of Amendment
The proposed amendment makes changes to Section 8.1 of Article I of the Illinois Constitution, the Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights.
The proposed amendment would expand certain rights already granted to crime victims in Illinois, and give crime victims the
ability to enforce their rights in a court of law. You are asked to decide whether the proposed amendment should become part
of the Illinois Constitution.
PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO THE 1970 ILLINOIS CONSTITUTION
Explanation of Amendment
The proposed amendment adds a new section to the Suffrage and Elections Article of the Illinois Constitution. The proposed
amendment would prohibit any law that disproportionately affects the rights of eligible Illinois citizens to register to vote or cast a
ballot based on the voter’s race, color, ethnicity, status as a member of a language minority, national origin, religion, sex, sexual
orientation, or income. You are asked to decide whether the proposed amendment should become part of the Illinois
“Shall the minimum wage in Illinois for adults over the age of
18 be raised to $10 per hour by January 1, 2015?”
“Shall any health insurance plan in Illinois that provides
prescription drug coverage be required
“Should the Illinois Constitution be amended to require that
each school district receive additional revenue, based on their
number of students, from an additional 3% tax on income
greater than one million dollars?”
As a candidate for Congress, I think it is important to give a voice to those who need help our help. As a woman and a mother, I know the lack of equal pay for women as a critical issue in our community and for our nation’s economy.
This year in Illinois, women make 78 cents for each dollar a man makes for the same job. And women of color are being paid even less—African American women make 65 cents per male dollar and Hispanic women earn only 48 cents per male dollar.
But you all know that this wage gap doesn’t just impact women. It hurts families and our entire economy. Many households across our state rely on women’s salaries as all or part of the family income. Paying women less for the same jobs their male co-workers are doing hurts families’ ability to put food on the table, save for retirement, pay for health care or buy a house.
Equal Pay Day, which occurred on April 8th, signifies the day a woman’s wages would catch up to her male counterparts from last year. That is not an exaggeration–women have to work nearly 100 days more to earn the same wage. This is simply unacceptable and the lack of progress on this issue in Washington baffles me.
To start, Congress must pass the Paycheck Fairness Act to ensure women are paid equally to their male colleagues for the same work. It’s also time to raise the national minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. Here in Illinois we know that six in ten minimum wage earners are women, many of whom are head of household. And raising our minimum wage would give more than 630,000 women a raise in our state.
Families across Illinois need a strong voice to advocate for equal pay and other common-sense solutions that help strengthen families and improve our economy. That’s why I’m running for Congress.
Ann Callis, Democratic Nominee for Congress, Illinois 13th District
I am reminded daily of the importance of women’s participation in the political process. Whether it is supporting a more diverse workplace free of discrimination, funding for public schools, or U.S. involvement in international conflicts, so many issues that we confront would benefit from a diversity of viewpoints that women legislators bring to the discussion. Women are over 50% of our country’s population, yet only 19% of the U.S. Congress is female. While women have made great strides in political participation, there is still much more work to be done. Organizations that promote women’s participation, like the Illinois Democratic Women, are important advocates for working families and women across the state. I am proud to stand with you in your efforts.
Women’s rights and equality are crucial because all Americans benefit when women succeed. Women can better support their families and loved ones through equal pay for equal work. For example, currently in Illinois women make on average $12,000 less per year than their male counterparts. A household with a female wage earner then suffers a loss of $12,000 from their income, not only affecting the woman but her entire family buying power. With more access to STEM and higher education, women will contribute even more to our nation in fields like medicine, engineering and public service than they already are. With access to affordable and comprehensive healthcare, women can live without fear of devastating medical bills for their families and themselves. Put simply, when more women are involved in the policy-making process, we will have legislation that better supports women and our families.
Since taking office, I have introduced and cosponsored many bills that support hard-working women. One bill I recently introduced is the Military for Opportunities for Mothers (MOM) Act. The bill extends maternity leave for women serving in the military from 6 weeks to 12 weeks and gives military women the same access to maternity leave that civilian women and federal employees have under the Family and Medical Leave Act. I am proud of the great benefits this will bring to the heroic women serving and protecting our nation in uniform.
Thank you for all that you do. I look forward to working with you to continue to stand up for Illinois women and families. I am confident that our joint efforts will bring much needed improvements to lives all across this great nation.
- Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth
Seems as if Governor Pat Quinn doesn’t mind the nosebleed section at a White Sox game. Read more
GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner says he’s an anti-tax candidate, but hasn’t been able to explain how he’ll cut taxes and spend more on education if he inherits an already cash-strapped state government. Read more