The House was the only chamber in session this week, but that didn’t mean there wasn’t plenty of action. The focus was clearly on making good on Senate Bill 1 and getting ready for the Governor’s upcoming budget address scheduled for Feb. 20.

The House passed the $15 minimum wage bill with a veto-proof majority of 69 votes. Although only 60 votes were required, with the Governor clearly behind the measure, there was a great deal of excitement to support working-class families in Illinois. The Governor is expected to sign the bill into law in the coming days. The new plan will raise the Illinois minimum wage to $9.25 per hour from $8.25 on Jan. 1, followed by a gradual increase every year until it reaches $15 per hour in 2025. We will provide a full analysis of the Governor’s budget address in next week’s legislative update. There is much anticipation about projected revenue and the impact it will have on the state’s ability to meet its financial obligations to the evidence–based funding formula and higher education.

Minimum wage increase

SB 1 (Sen. Kimberly Lightford, D-Mayfield; Sen. Jacqueline Collins, D-Chicago; Sen. Antonio Muñoz, D-Chicago; Sen. Iris Martinez, D-Chicago; Sen. Mattie Hunter, D-Chicago; Sen. Patricia Van Pelt, D-Chicago; Sen. Robert Peters, D-Chicago; Sen. Ann Gillespie, D-Arlington Heights: Sen. Ram Villivalam, D-Chicago; Sen. Omar Aquino, D-Chicago; Sen. Martin Sandoval, D-Cicero; Sen. Terry Link, D-Waukegan; Sen. Elgie Sims, Jr., D-Chicago; Sen. Toi Hutchinson, D-Olympia Fields; Sen. Cristina Castro, D-Elgin; Sen. Emil Jones, III, D-Chicago; Sen. Christopher Belt, D-East St. Louis; Rep. Will Guzzardi, D-Chicago; Rep. Marcus Evans, Jr., D-Chicago; Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Collinsville; Rep. Delia Ramirez, D-Chicago; Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside; Rep. Jaime Andrade, Jr., D-Chicago; Rep. Aaron Ortiz, D-Chicago; Rep. Justin Slaughter, D-Chicago; Rep. Celina Villanueva, D-Summit; Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, D-Chicago; Rep. Yehiel Kalish, D-Skokie) The legislation increases the minimum wage to $9.25 per hour beginning Jan. 1, 2020. It provides for annual increases in the minimum wage culminating in a minimum wage of $15 per hour beginning Jan.1, 2025. The IEA supports this legislation. The legislation passed out of the Labor and Commerce Committee and passed both houses.

School code: Education support personnel

HB 921 (Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville; Rep. Monica Bristow, D-Alton; Rep. LaToya Greenwood, D-East St Louis) HB 921 would allow an ESP who has been RIF’d and then hired back within one year of the RIF notice, to retain all seniority rights and benefits that would have been afforded them if they had never been laid off. The IEA supports this Illinois Federation of Teachers initiative. The bill passed out of the Education Committee and now resides on the House floor.

Repeal 3 percent

HB 350 (Rep. Kathleen Willis, D-Addison; Rep. Michael Halpin, D-Rock Island; Rep. Terri Bryant, R-Murphysboro; Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville; Rep. Dave Severin, R-Benton; Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Belleville; Rep. Carol Ammons, D-Urbana; Rep. Will Guzzardi, D-Chicago; Rep. LaToya Greenwood, D-East St Louis; Rep. Monica Bristow, D-Alton; Rep. Larry Walsh, D-Joliet; Rep Jay Hoffman, D-Collinsville) Requires an employer to make an additional employer contribution for a participant whose earnings for any academic year used to determine the final rate of earnings exceed the amount of his or her earnings with the same employer for the previous academic year by more than 6 percent (instead of 3 percent).  IEA is actively working to repeal this legislation, which is hindering the ability to attract and retain quality educators in Illinois. The IEA supports this legislation. The legislation passed out of the Personnel and Pensions Committee on a vote of 6-3-1.

Important dates

A schedule for each chamber can be found on the General Assembly website.

Next week

  • The Senate and House are in session next week.
  • The Senate and House are scheduled to remain in session through May 31.