silverstein palc passes SenateSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Ira Silverstein (D–Chicago) joined other members of the Illinois Senate in unveiling an economic agenda putting middle-class families first. The announcement comes in response to stalled negotiations with Governor Rauner over the budget passed by the General Assembly.

“When I talk to people in my district, they worry about being able to afford college for their children, while corporations and CEOs keep making higher profits with no consequences,” State Senator Ira Silverstein (D–Chicago) said. “It is time to improve the quality of life and increase opportunities for middle-class families who have been and should remain the heart of our state’s economic future.”

The agenda unveiled Sunday contains five key provisions:

  • Tuition Tax Credit. Qualified parents or students who are Illinois residents can claim a tax credit for higher education expenses incurred at any qualified public or private university, community college, vocational school, or other postsecondary educational institution located in Illinois.

  • Minimum wage. Increases the state minimum wage to $9.00 on July 1, 2015 and by $0.50 each year thereafter until the minimum wage reaches $11.00 on July 1, 2019. Provides a three-year tax credit for employers with less than 50 employees.

  • Illinois College Promise Program. Covers tuition and mandatory fees for up to two years at any of the state’s 48 community colleges so long as the student continues to meet all applicable eligibility requirements.

  • Healthy Workplace Act. Guarantees up to seven paid days of sick time to full and part time employees. Sick time would accrue at a rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked. Employees would not be able to take sick time for the first 120 days of employment.

  • Corporate loopholes. Ends a variety of corporate tax breaks including corporations ability to automatically receive a tax breaks for production outside of Illinois. Closing these loopholes will bring the state $334 million.

“This agenda provides some relief for working families while asking for a little shared sacrifice from corporations,” Senator Silverstein said.

The new provisions come as Gov. Rauner has threatened to shut down state government and all state services if lawmakers don’t reduce worker protections, make it harder to sue corporations that make dangerous products and slash billions of dollars in services to at-risk children and seniors.

Senator Silverstein will join many other Senate Democrats in co-sponsoring the economic agenda, which has been filed at the Capitol today. The proposals could be in final form for possible votes should lawmakers be called back into session this summer.

Category: News

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