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Labor Union Members

Illinois General Assembly Updates

from the Illinois AFL-CIO

Hazardous Materials Workforce bill to be  considered by Senate

Senator Mike Hastings (D-Frankfort) passed SB1407 through the Senate Executive Committee by a vote of 14-2. Bill Mangin, with the Heat & Frost Insulators Local 17, testified before the committee. The bill is in response to many out of state workers doing construction work in oil refineries around Illinois. The legislation would require that any construction workers in hazardous work places to be trained through a USDOL Apprenticeship program. It would also require further training through a safety program. The legislation will now be considered by the full Senate.

Construction Contractor Prompt Pay Bill goes to Senate floor

SB1636 provides protection to construction contractors and will ensure they receive their full retention payments in a timely manner, while permitting owners to retain sufficient funds to protect against any problems at the end of a project. The bill is sponsored by Sen. Mulroe (D-Chicago). In addition, this legislation will ease contractors’ cash flow burdens, encouraging new develo0pments in Illinois. It passed the Senate Judiciary Committee 7-2 this week. The bill will now go to the Senate floor.

DuPage County Passes Responsible Bidder Ordinance

A big victory for labor in DePage County occurred last Tuesday when the DuPage County board passed a responsible bidder ordinance 17-1. Many local labor members had a ahdn in the victory. DuPage County is the second largest county in the state.

Victims of Latent Disease to Have Their Day in Court

In Illinois, the Workers’ Compensation Act and the Workers’ Occupational Diseases Act have a 25-year time limit to file cases, with no recovery through the court system. SB1596 passed the House last week by a vote of 70-40-1. Senator Sims (D-Chicago) and Representative Hoffman (D-Swansea) sponsored the legislation. The bill will allow victims of exposure to toxic substances (such as asbestos, radiation, beryllium) in the workplace and who are diagnosed with latent diseases after the 25th year to pursue a case through the court system. Victims would bear the burden of providing negligence in court. The bill will now go to the Governor for consideration.

Firefighter History Bill Passed House Labor

Rep. Yednock (D-Ottawa) introduced legislation on behalf of the Associated Firefighters of Illinois. HB2215 will require individuals hired under the Illinois Municipal Code and Fire Protection District Act, as part of their training, to learn about the history of the fire service labor movement. It passed the House Labor Committee 18-7. The bill now goes to the House floor.

Salary History Bill Passes House

HB834 passed the House this week 86-28. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Moeller (D-Elgin) and Sen. Castor (D-Elgin). It goes to the Senate for consideration. The legislation would prohibit employers from asking prospective employees about their wage/salary history as a way to decide if they will hire them, or what their starting pay will be. Similar legislation (HB4163) was vetoed by Governor Rauner last year.

Chicago Teachers Union Seek Expanding Bargaining Rights

HB2275, sponsored by Rep. Conyears-Ervin (D-Chicago), seeks to give Chicago Teachers Union the right to strike over more issues – including class size, length of the school day, layoffs and outsourcing – it passed the House Labor Committee 18-8 last week. Under current law, economic issues are the only areas in which the Chicago Public Schools are compelled to negotiate with the CTU and the only areas over which teachers can strike. The issues included in HB2275 can come up in bargaining, but current law gives CPS the final say. The CTU is the only Illinois school district subject to these strike and bargaining limitations.

LIUNA Midwest Region Moves to expand Human Rights

The Laborers Midwest Region worked with Rep. Guzzardi (D-Chicago) to sponsor legislation to close a loophole in the Human Rights Act. Under current law, the Illinois Human Rights Act exempts employers with less than 15 employees from the act. HB252 requires the Human Rights Act apply to all employers who employ workers during twenty or more weeks. The bill passed the House last week 74-40. Similar legislation was vetoed by Governor Rauner last year (HB4572).

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