Hutchinson passes plan to support after-school programsSPRINGFIELD – Since Illinois’ budget impasse began more than eight months ago, more than 1,500 youth across the state have been kicked out of after-school programs that previously received funding from the Teen REACH program. Teen REACH provides grants to support local communities’ after-school programs that serve at-risk youth age 6 to 17.

“Study after study highlights the direct link between investing in after-school programs and higher levels of student success and lower rates of crime,” State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) said. “This is especially true in some of our most impoverished neighborhoods and communities.”

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Hutchinson brings attention to Pay Equity DayFor 20 years, Pay Equity Day has highlighted the disparity in workplace earnings between men and women. The day, held this year on April 12, represents the extra days a full-time working woman would have to work just to make the same as a man in the previous year.

State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) passed a resolution in the Senate today highlighting the issue.

“If women earned the exact same amount as our male counterparts, we would be able to afford seven additional months of mortgage and utility payments or afford nearly two years’ worth of food in one’s lifetime.”

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Illinois would become sixth state with paid sick time under proposalSPRINGFIELD – Nearly 45 percent of private sector workers in Illinois do not receive a single paid sick day. For these workers, it can only take one life event, whether it be a car accident, a sick child or a family emergency, to cause long-term financial pain and in some cases even job loss.

In response to this reality, State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) passed a proposal out of the Senate Executive Committee this afternoon that would make Illinois the sixth state in the nation to require some form of paid sick time.

“Far too many Illinois workers are living paycheck to paycheck unable to afford taking just one day off,” State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) said. “We’re an outlier when you look at every other industrialized country in the world.”

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Hutchinson honored with YMCA Legislative Champion AwardSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) was honored with the 2016 Legislative Champion Award from the Illinois State Alliance of YMCAs this morning at an event in Springfield.

“I am humbled to be receiving the 2016 Legislative Champion Award from an organization dedicated to the issues facing the children of Illinois,” Hutchinson said. “YMCAs serve our communities by providing vital child care programs, after-school services and athletic opportunities to thousands of children. At a time of drastic cuts to our social safety net, the work done by YMCAs is more important than ever.”

The Illinois State Alliance of YMCAs represents 46 centers throughout the state, serving more than one million children and adults in more than 120 communities.

“We are so fortunate to have a legislator like Senator Hutchinson fighting for our state's children and families,” DaWana Williamson with the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago said. “Her unrelenting leadership and advocacy for quality and accessible youth programs has been instrumental in making sure organizations like the YMCA are able to partner with schools, juvenile detention facilities, government agencies and churches to reach and serve our state's most at-risk youth.”

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