05162018CM0696 rSPRINGFIELD —  The Senate voted today to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of legislation sponsored by State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) that gives the Attorney General greater ability to enforce employment laws.

Currently, the Attorney General can file suit under the state’s employment laws with a referral from the Department of Labor. This legislation removes that requirement and empowers the Attorney General to bring suits related to violations of laws like the Prevailing Wage Act, the Minimum Wage Act and the Day and Temporary Labor Services Act.

“We know there are workers who are getting their hard-earned wages taken from them by employers and having their rights violated in other ways,” Raoul said. “Valid claims should not get lost in bureaucratic red tape. It makes no sense to have laws on the book to protect workers if we don’t enforce them.

Raoul worked closely with Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Belleville), who sponsored the measure in the House.

“Corporate interests that take advantage of their employees must be held accountable,” Hoffman said. “This measure will give the Attorney General’s office more tools to ensure Illinois workers have the right to a safe work environment and that they receive their rightfully owed wages.”

Senate Bill 193 also creates a task force to promote cooperation between the Attorney General and State’s Attorneys in enforcing criminal violations of employment laws. Having passed the Senate 39-15, it awaits an override motion in the Illinois House.

Raoul on floorSPRINGFIELD — State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) passed legislation today making it illegal to sell, manufacture, purchase or possess bump stocks and trigger cranks.

Bump stocks and trigger cranks are both attachments that modify firearms to fire at a faster rate, close to that of a machine gun. Twelve of the rifles recovered from a hotel room after a gunman killed 58 people and injured 546 in Las Vegas were equipped with bump stocks.

“There are a lot of passionate voices on this issue, but one thing I hope we are all passionate about as lawmakers is keeping the people of Illinois safe,” Raoul said. “This is a simple step, but one that has the potential to save lives.”  

The measure drew bipartisan support as calls continue to grow nationwide for tighter gun laws.

Senate Bill 2343 passed the Senate 38-10 and heads to the House for consideration.

04172018CM1024 rSPRINGFIELD — State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) passed legislation today that puts in place a series of reforms to the state’s workers’ compensation program.

“We refuse to participate in a race to the bottom when it comes to workers’ compensation rights,” Raoul said. “We put in place a series of extremely successful reforms several years ago. Now we need to hold insurance companies accountable and ensure they are passing on savings to employers and workers.”

The measure makes several changes to Illinois’ workers’ compensation system, including: requiring electronic billing for workers’ compensation claims, allowing first responders to receive benefits the day after their accident, creating an evidence-based prescription drug formulary and changing the way insurance companies set rates with the Illinois Department of Insurance.

Raoul worked with the Illinois Manufacturer’s Association and other stakeholders on the Senate’s overhaul of the workers’ compensation program in 2011. Since then, the state’s employers have saved more than $315 million in workers’ compensation premiums.

The measure passed today includes a provision empowering the Department of Insurance to ensure savings from these and past reforms are passed on to employers. Other key components of the measure include:

•    clarification that an American Medical Association impairment report is not required to award benefits or reach a settlement, although a report may be utilized when reaching a decision
•    penalties for unreasonable delay in authorizing medical treatment
•    classification of hip and shoulder injuries as leg and arm injuries, respectively

These reforms are the result of bipartisan, bicameral negotiations. Today’s measure is identical to legislation that passed the House and the Senate last year. Although several provisions in the legislation reflected recommendations from Gov. Bruce Rauner – including controlling money spent on prescription drugs and clarifying the use of AMA guidelines – he vetoed the measure when it reached his desk.

Senate Bill 2863 passed 34-21 and moves to the House for consideration.

raoul3132018 rSPRINGFIELD —  State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) issued the following statement today in response to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of the Gun Dealer Licensing Act:

“It’s unconscionable for the governor to take this action when gun violence continues to plague communities across our state.

“This is a personal issue for me. I have experienced gun violence just outside my front door on multiple occasions while my children were home, and I have close friends who lost children to gun violence within blocks of my home.

“We license all sorts of professions: physicians, lawyers, pharmacists – even dog groomers and barbers. It’s not an unreasonable request to license firearm dealers. The vast majority of voters support this measure on a bipartisan basis, and the governor turned his back on all of them today."

022718 KS 0853 rSPRINGFIELD —  State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) passed legislation in the Senate today that gives the Attorney General greater ability to enforce employment laws.

Currently, the Attorney General can file suit under the state’s employment laws with a referral from the Department of Labor. This legislation removes that requirement and empowers the Attorney General to bring suits related to violations of laws like the Prevailing Wage Act, the Minimum Wage Act and the Day and Temporary Labor Services Act.

“We know there are workers who are getting their hard-earned wages taken from them by employers and having their rights violated in other ways,” Raoul said. “Valid claims should not get lost in bureaucratic red tape. It makes no sense to have laws on the book to protect workers if we don’t enforce them.

Raoul worked closely with Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Belleville), who sponsored the measure in the House.

“Corporate interests that take advantage of their employees must be held accountable,” Hoffman said. “This measure will give the Attorney General’s office more tools to ensure Illinois workers have the right to a safe work environment and that they receive their rightfully owed wages.”

Senate Bill 193 also creates a task force to promote cooperation between the Attorney General and State’s Attorneys in enforcing criminal violations of employment laws. It passed the Senate 35-16 and heads to the governor’s desk.


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