Springfield Update:
By Nate Sippel

Gov. Pritzker Signs $15 Minimum Wage into Law

Fulfilling his campaign promise to help put Illinois “back on the side of working people” a bill raising Illinois’ minimum wage to $15 by 2025 was signed into law by the Governor last Tuesday. “After nearly a decade of delay, I applaud the House and Senate for passing a living wage with the fierce urgency this moment requires” Governor Pritzker stated. Illinois’ current minimum wage is $8.25 and hour, and will be raised to $10 by July of 2020, and then $1 each year following.

Sterigenics is Shut Down!

On Friday, February 15th, Governor Pritzker ordered the Illinois EPA to shut down the Sterigenics facility in Willowbrook and cease the use of the chemical ethylene oxide. Continued pressure from activist groups including “Stop Sterigenics” have pushed for state and federal lawmakers to take action to close the facility immediately. Willowbrook and the surrounding areas were exposed to toxic levels of ethylene oxide in the air, leading to some of the highest cancer rates in the country.

After a motion by Sterigenics’ attorneys to reopen the facility, Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s office successfully argued that reopening would cause a continued public health crisis, and a federal judge ordered the facility reman closed.

Governor Delivers Budget Address

On Wednesday, February 20th, Governor JB Pritzker delivered his annual budget address to the Illinois General Assembly. “The budget I present to you today is an honest proposal: The costs are not hidden, the revenues I propose are not out of reach, the hole we need to fill is not ignored” the Governor said. Adding, “There’s no fantasy line item called ‘Working together or executive management.'”

The proposed budget includes restoring funding for childhood education, increasing funding to public universities, and restoring funding to vital health and human services programs.