Silverstein domesticSPRINGFIELD – A measure sponsored by State Senator Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) to establish provisions for overtime, wages, days off and other protections for Illinois domestic workers passed in the Senate today.

Dubbed the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights, House Bill 1288 defines what constitutes domestic work and expands rights for this class of workers from which they are now exempt. Four state laws would be amended to include domestic workers: The Minimum Wage Law, The Illinois Human Rights Act, The One Day Rest in Seven Act and The Wages of Women and Minors Act.

“Domestic workers are struggling to provide for their families and current law makes their struggle more difficult, and unfair,” said Senator Silverstein. “They play an important role in Illinois’ economy but their value has been overlooked compared to other workers. Domestic workers deserve the same rights and protections as all working people in Illinois.”

Domestic workers are defined in HB 1288 to include workers in homes performing house cleaning, caring for children, ill or older family members, laundry, cooking or other home tasks.

According to proponents who include the Sargent Shriver Center on Poverty Law, Women Employed, and labor and immigrant rights groups, 23% of domestic workers are paid below minimum wage and 58% of live-in workers are required to work during their scheduled time off.

“Their work is vital to families' homes, but they are often exploited. They continue to work because they need the money and have no recourse,” said Wendy Pollack, founder and director of the Women's Law and Policy Project at the Shriver Center.

House Bill 1288 now heads to the governor’s desk for his consideration.

Category: News

silverstein 042116SPRINGFIELD– A proposal from Senator Ira I. Silverstein (D-Chicago) to bolster higher education institutions’ options to protect students from sexual violence on campus was approved by the Senate yesterday.

Addressing rampant campus sexual assault takes stronger actions than what exists now. Sen. Silverstein’s Senate Bill 2839 amends the Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education Act. The change would clarify that sanctions for a student who violates the institution’s sexual violence policy may include suspension, expulsion, or removal of the student after complaint resolution procedures.

“Sex offenders don’t belong on our campuses – colleges and universities need broader authority to get those violators away from students who deserve greater safety,” Silverstein said. “A law like this passed in California last year and it makes sense for Illinois.”

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Category: News

silverstein iceSPRINGFIELD– It sounds like a weapon used in a James Bond film: ice missiles. But they are real, deadly and the target of a legislative proposal from Senator Ira I. Silverstein (D-Chicago) to prevent them and to penalize those who cause them. In spite of the statistics on the dangers ice missiles present to motorists, the Senate Transportation Committee did not approve the proposal.

An ice missile is a large chunk of ice or snow that flies off a large truck on the highway. Many Illinois drivers have seen this occur and may have wondered what could happen if the split-second fall of ice were to hit another vehicle.

Sen. Silverstein’s proposal, Senate Bill 634, would require a person operating a vehicle weighing more than 8,000 pounds to remove ice and snow that poses a safety threat to other vehicles and drivers. Nearly 100 deaths and thousands of accidents happen each year.

“Each year in Illinois, we are almost guaranteed several days of winter weather that create these hazardous conditions, enough to warrant a change to the state vehicle code to protect drivers from this risk,” Silverstein said. “I believe it is reasonable to ask truck drivers who use Illinois roads for commerce to make an effort to protect motorists by clearing ice and snow from their trucks. With this bill failing in committee, I fear this kind of accident may happen again."

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Category: News

silverstein campussexassaultSPRINGFIELD– Combatting the high rate of campus sexual assault requires a range of actions on the part of colleges, students and the criminal justice system. A proposal from Senator Ira I. Silverstein (D-Chicago) would reinforce the capacity of higher education institutions to protect students from sexual violence on campus.

Sen. Silverstein’s Senate Bill 2839 amends the Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education Act. The change would clarify that sanctions for a student who violates the institution’s sexual violence policy may include suspension, expulsion, or removal of the student after complaint resolution procedures.

“California lawmakers passed legislation like this last year to give colleges and universities broader authority to protect students and staff and to discipline those whose behavior puts others at risk,” Sen. Silverstein said. “Offenders have no place on our campuses and this measure adds another means for Illinois institutions to act for greater safety.”

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Category: News

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