Senate passes key collective bargaining measureSPRINGFIELD – The Senate took action today on a key collective bargaining measure, passing a proposal that would mandate arbitration and prohibit strikes and lockouts if an agreement cannot be reached between the governor and Illinois’ largest public-sector union.

State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights), a co-sponsor of the proposal, released the following statement after voting in favor of the measure:

“The plan I supported today establishes guidelines for compromise – the same guidelines used by unions in the private sector when an agreement cannot be reached. Illinois is in the midst of a historic budget impasse that is causing our social safety net to fall apart before our eyes. The last thing this state needs is a labor stoppage for the thousands of workers who keep Illinois going.”

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Hutchinson supports MAP veto overrideSPRINGFIELD – A funding proposal for the Monetary Assistance Program (MAP) is headed to the House after the Senate voted today to override Governor Rauner’s veto of the plan.

State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights), a co-sponsor of the MAP funding proposal, released the following statement after voting in favor of overriding Governor Rauner’s veto:   
“Throughout this entire budget impasse, innocent bystanders have been on the front lines, bearing the brunt of cuts and delays in state funding. MAP recipients, through no fault of their own, have been among the hardest hit. As a former MAP and Pell grant recipient, I know just how hard it can be to cobble together enough resources to get through a semester. I would not be who I am today or where I am today without these grants.

“I urge my House colleagues to make our students a priority and support MAP funding. We have no future in Illinois if we do not invest in education.”

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Bill now heads to the governor for his approval

Senate votes to approve MAP grant fundingSPRINGFIELD – The Senate passed a key educational proposal today that funds the Monetary Assistance Program (MAP), an educational grant that last year provided funding to more than 100,000 students. The Senate previously voted on similar legislation in August. The bill stayed in the Illinois House until this morning, when it was passed back to the Senate for final approval.

Co-sponsor Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) released the following statement after voting in favor of the measure:

“MAP enables more than 100,000 students across our state to attend college. This includes many first-generation college students, older adults returning to gain skills after raising children and thousands of working class families who otherwise wouldn't have a chance at a college education.

“These students, through no fault of their own, were stuck in the middle of Illinois' budget impasse and faced having to drop out of school entirely because of it.

“I proudly voted to support these students today, and I hope the governor agrees.”

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HutchinsonCommitteeSMState Senator Toi Hutchinson (D - Chicago Heights) released the following statement following the governor's State of the State address:

We are quickly approaching our eighth month without a budget in Illinois. Without a working budget in place, there is no opportunity to invest in our schools to ensure a world-class education for our children. There is no opportunity to invest in our workforce for the companies who want to establish and grow in Illinois. We won’t be able to reduce the prison population by providing services that cut down on recidivism and keep folks off the street. We cannot do a single thing Governor Rauner laid out in his State of the State address without paying for it. 

There is no magic arithmetic we can employ or wishful thinking about a world where we don’t have to pay taxes to create that reality. It is an undeniable fact that the people who pay the highest proportion of their income to taxes, those at the bottom 20 percent of our economy, have been and are continuing to be hurt the worst as they pay for the largest tax cut in Illinois history. And how do they pay? They pay dearly in lost jobs and services, broken promises to college students, more than 30,000 children who still cannot access safe child care and preschool, seniors losing meals, the systematic dismantling of our entire safety net, and on and on and on. This is what it looks like when you lose $5 billion on the first day of the year and lack the political will to do anything about it.

The most hopeful thing I heard today from the governor is that it is time to cast aside partisan agendas and ideology so that we can solve problems. I’m waiting to the see the first demonstration of exactly that so we can end this budget impasse once and for all.

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