silverstein israel boycottSPRINGFIELD–A bipartisan measure sponsored by State Senator Ira Silverstein (D–Chicago) to guide state pensions systems in not investing in companies that boycott Israel was signed today by the governor.

“Corporations have the right to boycott Israel but the state has the right to reject investing in corporations who choose that position. Our nation’s relationship with Israel must guide our state’s investment policies,” Silverstein said.

Senate Bill 1761 establishes the Illinois Investment Policy Board to be made up of appointees from Gov. Rauner’s office and the state employee pension systems; board members would not be paid. A list of companies openly boycotting Israel or those friendly with Iran, Sudan or other anti-Semitic entities would be maintained to advise investment policy.

Senate Bill 1761 was approved in the Senate in April and the House in May with broad bipartisan support in both chambers.

Category: News

Silverstein 052313br0137SPRINGFIELD–A plan sponsored by State Senator Ira Silverstein (D–Chicago) to ban powdered alcohol in Illinois was signed into law by the governor yesterday. Senate Bill 67 also sets penalties for its sale.

Powdered alcohol or “Palcohol” is a product not yet for sale but expected to be dangerous, particularly for minors. Alaska, Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, South Carolina and Vermont have already banned Palcohol or are considering legislation to ban it.

“The ease of concealing a lightweight, 1-ounce packet for minors to carry in situations where alcohol abuse or poisoning is predictable or liquid alcohol is prohibited is a risk we can avoid,” Silverstein said.

Powdered alcohol is any crystal substance of powder containing alcohol. It may be dissolved in water or other liquids or sprinkled on food. It could be eaten or snorted without mixing.

Violating this law would result in a Class A misdemeanor for a first offense and a Class 4 felony for a second or subsequent offense.

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York) is pursuing a federal ban, saying, “Underage alcohol abuse is a growing epidemic with tragic consequences and powdered alcohol could exacerbate this.”

Category: News

silverstein samaritan mapSPRINGFIELD – In March, State Senator Ira Silverstein (D–Chicago) proposed Senate Bill 1498, which would include members of the Volunteer Medical Reserve Corps, a federal organization, into the Good Samaritan Act. Tuesday, Governor Rauner signed the bill into law.

“These individuals are willing to administer medical services free of any charges or fees; they should not have to worry about civil liabilities in response to the care they give,” Silverstein said. “We can’t punish these folks who are offering their time purely for the benefit of others.”

The Good Samaritan Act provides that medical or health care professionals who administer treatment, diagnosis, advice or services as part of a free medical clinic will be not be liable for civil damages as a result of their treatment.

Under Silverstein’s measure, volunteers with the Volunteer Medical Reserve Corps will be included into the definition of health professionals that would be exempt from civil charges. The Volunteer Medical Reserve Corps is a national network of local groups of over 200,000 volunteers that focuses on helping their local communities remain healthy and prepared for responding to emergencies.

Category: News

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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