SPRINGFIELD- State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) released the statement below after a series of initially bipartisan bills that would have resulted in a balanced budget failed to advance through the Illinois Senate.

“For months, our caucus has been negotiating with Senate Republicans toward a balanced, bipartisan budget. Unfortunately, recent actions this week prove the Senate Republicans are refusing to compromise as they failed to support the bills in the Grand Bargain.   

“This budget package included money-saving reforms and $3.8 billion in cuts, largely proposed by the Republicans. It would have provided vital funding for universities and community colleges, services for those with developmental disabilities and given stability to the state’s business community. This was a step to a balanced budget for the state.

“Each day we are without a budget the state goes $11 million more into debt. Universities will continue to layoff staff and hike tuition rates. Services for those with disabilities will continue to shut down and the instability prevents job growth. It’s time for the Senate Republicans to drop the partisan games and come back to the negotiating table.”

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042216 js 0182SPRINGFIELD- Group home workers who care for Illinois residents with developmental disabilities are among the lowest paid workers in the nation, and the agencies are facing employee vacancy rates of nearly 25 percent.  

This week, the Illinois Senate passed Senate Bill 955 that should help solve these problems. Senate Bill 955, supported by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines), raises the wages of these workers to $15 an hour.

“Increasing wages of workers that care for the most vulnerable citizens with disabilities is a win for everyone,” Murphy said. “Workers receive a living wage. Employers can attract qualified employees to fill vacancies and patients receive better care.”

Currently, the starting wage for workers is only $9.30 per hour, leading to high turnover rates and making it difficult to attract qualified applicants.

“These workers cook, clean and care for the residents of the group homes. They deserve a living wage to provide for their own families,” Murphy said.

The legislation passed the Senate with a bipartisan vote of 36-20 and will now head to the Illinois House for consideration.

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murphySPRINGFIELD- This week, the Illinois Senate failed to garner bipartisan support for the remaining proposals in the bipartisan Grand Bargain compromise package they have been negotiating for weeks. State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) issued the statement below following the votes.

“For months, Republican Senators have asked for additional time to continue working on non-budget items. For months, universities have slashed their budgets and services for our most vulnerable citizens have been decimated while we continued to negotiate.

“There are less than three weeks left. Even the members of the governor’s own party didn’t support the reforms he has been demanding.

“It’s past time for Governor Rauner to drop his political agenda his own party can’t even support and get to work on a budget that protects Illinois families.”

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