SPRINGFIELD – Graduate and research assistants would have the same labor rights as other educational employees under a bill sponsored by State Senator Laura Fine (D – Glenview). The bill was approved today by a Senate committee.

“Graduate and research assistants are not considered employees despite performing a very important duty that benefits their university and society as a whole,” Fine said. “Allowing graduate and research assistants to collectively bargain will afford them the same dignity and respect already secured by their colleagues.”

Currently, those classified as “students” are excluded from the definition of educational employee. House Bill 253 removes graduate assistants whose primary duties are research or pre-professional from the “student” classification, therefore allowing them to be counted as employees. This in turn entitles them to the same rights and incentives as other educational employees in the state, including the right to collectively bargain for things such as better working conditions and fairer pay.

“Having a say over one’s own labor is a right that should be guaranteed to everyone,” Fine said. “I’m proud to be fighting to ensure graduate and research assistants can continue to do their important work with dignity.”

The bill passed through the Senate Labor Committee and will now receive consideration from the full Senate.

Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD –State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) voted in favor of a proposal to put the implementation of a fair tax system in Illinois on the 2020 ballot.

“I’m proud to have supported this proposal, which puts us one step closer to implementing a Fair Tax in Illinois,” Fine said. “This new tax structure is sound fiscal policy that will give us the freedom to invest in key areas across the state.”

The Fair Tax system would replace the current flat rate system, under which every taxpayer in Illinois pays the same rate regardless of income. The new Fair Tax introduces a tiered rate structure similar to the federal income tax.

Fine was one of 36 members of the Senate to vote in favor of the legislation, which will now be sent to the House. Should it pass the House, it will still face one additional hurdle: The Illinois Constitution. A flat tax rate is codified in the Constitution, and any effort to remove it requires 60 percent of Illinois voters who vote on the question to approve a Constitutional amendment in the 2020 general election.

“I’m confident that the voters of Illinois will make an educated decision on this ballot measure,” Fine said. “Taxpayers have called for a fairer tax system, and today the Senate did its part in providing them the opportunity to vote for one.”

Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD – Patients will have improved access to mental health care under a bill sponsored by State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview).

“In Illinois, 2.5 million people have a mental health condition,” Fine said. “Unfortunately, only about a third of these patients receive treatment. This legislation will improve care for people who otherwise may not have access to a psychiatrist.”

Senate Bill 2085, mandates insurance providers include a Collaborative Care Model (CoCM) in their coverage. A creates a team approach consisting of a primary care doctor, a care manager such as a nurse or social worker, and a psychiatric consultant. This approach treats common mental health issues such as depression and anxiety that often require frequent and systematic follow-ups.

The bill was approved by the Senate with unanimous bipartisan support and now heads to the House of Representatives.

Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD – Certain state employees would be required to live within the state of Illinois according to a bill sponsored by State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview).

“Since the salaries of state workers are paid by the taxpayers of Illinois, the workers should be subject to those same taxes,” Fine said. “This also ensures that every state employee has the state’s best interests in mind, since any decisions made will affect them as well.”

Senate Bill 1639 establishes a state residency requirement for state workers hired after Dec. 31, 2019. If a new hire is not a resident of the state, they will have a three month grace period to establish residency. In addition, the bill gives the Director of Central Management Services the discretion to waive the residency requirement if the employee can prove that their non-residency has a just and reasonable cause.

The bill would not affect third-party contractor employees or any employee hired before Jan. 1, 2020. It was approved by the Senate with 53 votes and will be sent to the House of Representatives.

Category: Press Releases

 

eNewsletter Signup
  1. First Name(*)
    Invalid Input
  2. Last Name(*)
    Invalid Input
  3. Email Address(*)
    Invalid Input

Contact Information

Springfield Office:
M115 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-2119

District Office:
1812 Waukegan Road
Suite A
Glenview, IL 60025
(847) 998-1717

laura@senatorfine.com