The following was written by Keith Kelleher, president of SEIU* Healthcare Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Kansas.
Last week, working people won a long overdue victory when the Supreme Court decided to let stand a new federal rule that prevents homecare employers from denying their workers minimum wage or overtime pay. The decision will help bring to an end a nearly 80-year policy of discrimination against more than 2 million workers who take care of our nation's elderly and people with disabilities.
It should also serve as a wake-up-call for Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, who is trying to bully thousands of working women of color who care for our state's elderly and people with disabilities into a deal that would deny them the ability to care for their own families.
The Fair Market Rent (FMR) price for a two-bedroom unit in Illinois is $1,039, up from $977 last year. That means Illinois renters must now earn $19.98 per hour, or at least $41,567 annually, to afford a two-bedroom apartment without paying more than 30 percent of their income on housing.
Overall, Illinois has the nation's 16th most expensive two-bedroom housing wage. Nationally, the average wage necessary to afford a modest, two-bedroom rental is $20.30.