Illinois Governor Pat Quinn held his State of the State address last week in Springfield. Among the variety of issues he brought up was his interest in raising the minimum wage from the current $8.25 an hour to $10.00. This would increase the annual salary of a full-time worker from $17,000 to $20,800.
This was followed by President Obama supporting a raise in the minimum wage on the federal level during his State of the Union address on Tuesday. Raise Illinois released a statement of President Obama's support of Minimum Wage during his speech, and encouraged Illinois residents to support a raise to minimum wage as well.
Heartland Alliance's Policy & Advocacy Team member, Kim Drew, was quoted for the article stating, "“If the federal minimum wage had kept pace with inflation over the last 40 years, it would be over $10 per hour today. The President’s support of a higher federal minimum wage with a cost of living increase is a good first step in helping minimum and low wage workers make ends meet and earn a livable wage.”
- Quinn Proposes Raising Minimum Wage, Brian Kramer, KSDK News, 2/6/2013
- Raise Illinois Statement on President Obama's Support of Minimum Wage Increase, Mike Frosolone & Elizabeth Parisian, Raise Illinois, 2/13/2013
The Medicaid Expansion Bill, SB26, has passed through committee in the Illinois Senate. Our own Policy and Advocacy team member was quoted for an article highlighting the movement of the bill. If passed, SB26 will provide Medicaid coverage for an additional 342,000 low-income Illinois residents currently without insurance coverage. The bill will likely be called for a vote on the senate floor in late February.
- Medicaid Expansion Bill Picks Up Steam, Public News Service, 2/13/2013
The Illinois Senate passed SB10, the Same-Sex Marriage bill on Valentines Day. The bill had bipartisan support, including Republican Senator Jason Barickman from Champaign who spoke on the floor about his support for the bill due to an amendment that will prevent churches from being obligated to perform same-sex marriages. If the bill passes through the Illinois House of Representatives, Illinois will be the 10th state in the United States to allow same-sex marriage.
- Senate Approves Same-Sex Marriage On Valentines Day, Mike Riopell, The Daily Herald, 2/14/2013
Illinois is the third state approved to partner with the Federal Government to receive conditional approval to run a state-based health insurance exchange. The Federal Government has been encouraging states to partner with interested states that would like to create their own exchange but would like the support of the Feds. The announcement came days before the deadline for states to apply to participate in the model that begins in 2014.
- Illinois is 3rd State Approved to Partner with Feds, Kaiser Health News, 2/14/2013