By a 34-16 vote, the Illinois Senate passed legislation Wednesday that would raise the minimum wage to $15 for home health care workers who serve people with disabilities.
The bill, SB 2931, now goes to the House for consideration.
State Sen. Michael Hastings (D-Tinley Park) and state Rep. Sonya Harper (D-Chicago) are the bill's chief sponsors in their respective chambers.
SEIU* Healthcare Illinois, the union representing home care workers in the state, said the legislation also seeks to protect health insurance and training for the caregivers.
Terri Harkin, the union's vice president, called the bill's passage in the Senate "an important victory."
"We applaud the Illinois Senate for protecting some of the state's lowest-paid workers from Bruce Rauner's vicious attacks," Harkin said. "The Senate has taken the correct stance on behalf of caregivers and people with disabilities to stop efforts that would destabilize the workforce, jeopardize the safety of people with disabilities, and cost taxpayers more in the long run.
"The passage of SB 2931 is a much-needed response to Governor Rauner's cruel and regressive efforts to freeze wages and other tactics to weaken the workforce, which are separating people with disabilities from their families and eviscerating the economic livelihoods of the majority-women caregiving workforce. We are grateful to the Senate for passing an historic $15 minimum wage for caregivers and rejecting Rauner's attacks on women, people with disabilities, and working families across Illinois."
*The SEIU Illinois Council sponsors this website.