Senate Week in Review: February 5-9, 2018
Eight for '18 Legislation
As part of his “Eight for ‘18” legislative priorities, Sen. Paul Schimpf filed legislation calling for the appropriation of back pay for thousands of State of Illinois workers this week. In 2016, the Illinois Supreme Court concluded the State of Illinois has a legal obligation to pay workers for a negotiated pay raise in 2008.
Some, but not all, state employees have already received this promised compensation. Unfortunately, nearly 12,000 Department of Corrections employees—who perform some of the most dangerous jobs in Illinois—have not received this money that is owed to them. Senate Bill 2602 corrects this failure.
Sen. Schimpf also filed Senate Joint Resolution 54 to create a task force to study the Southwest Illinois Connector. The Southwest Illinois Connector is a proposed highway that would connect Carbondale with the Metro East. Sen. Schimpf believes this project is necessary to expand economic activity in the 58th Senate District.
“This task force is the best way to get all the data on the table regarding this proposal,” said Schimpf. “We need all of the information that is available to make our case for why this project is vital for economic growth.”
Other Eight for ‘18 legislation Sen. Schimpf filed this week included Senate Bill 2658, his proposal to expand educator licensing opportunities for active duty military and their spouses who are in Illinois on military orders.
On Thursday, Feb. 8, Sen. Schimpf briefed both Senate President John Cullerton and Senate Minority Leader Bill Brady on this legislation as well has his other Eight for ‘18 proposals. You can follow all of Sen. Schimpf’s legislation on ilga.gov.
The second Joint House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing on the Illinois Veterans’ Home at Quincy took place on Wednesday, Feb. 7. The committees received testimony from the American Legion, the Adams County Health Department, the Illinois Capital Development Board, and the Illinois Departments of Health and Veterans’ Affairs. During the hearing, Sen. Schimpf emphasized that lawmakers should focus on finding solutions, rather than scoring political points.
“This needs to be about making sure that we get this epidemic under control and that we implement best practices going forward as opposed to just finger pointing . . . because it’s all about taking care of the veterans,” said Schimpf.
Sen. Schimpf also had the opportunity to meet with several groups of constituents during the week. The Illinois Pork Producers Expo was in Springfield, giving Sen. Schimpf an opportunity to meet with pork producers from Monroe County and a large delegation of students from the SIUC School of Agriculture.
Sen. Schimpf also hosted three more students from Valmeyer High School as Honorary Pages on Feb. 7. Lilly Poole, Chelsea Hooker and Logan VanBritson all spent the day with Sen. Schimpf, discussing legislation and attending meetings with him.