Standing up and speaking out for:
Right now in Illinois, the quality of education available to our kids is directly related to where we live. We have schools in our Senate district that lack the very basics: adequate funding for teachers, books, technology, resources and supplies.
Yet Senator Sue Rezin voted for $75 million of OUR taxpayer dollars to go to private schools in the form of "scholarships." This is nothing but a tax break for Illinois' wealthiest families and corporations. In the meantime our public schools, our kids and our families do without.
The situation is absolutely unacceptable. It exacerbates education inequality by allowing wealthy children to be educated fully while the rest of us are left to just figure it out on our own!
When we take PUBLIC school funding and funnel it into private schools our kids lose out! I promise to work for fair and equal funding for all Illinois schools and not to give OUR tax money to private schools, whether you call it "scholarships" or not.
Thank God for the Affordable Care Act! I have an adult child with preexisting conditions. When he was diagnosed in 2004, I was told by the doctor to pray for universal health care. He knew this diagnosis would make my child uninsurable and label him as disabled.
That experience opened my eyes. Millions of people were being denied health care, just like my own child, for issues they had no control over.
The ACA is not perfect, but we cannot throw the baby out with the bathwater! We can work through this! Illinois can lead the way by providing a "public option" for all Illinois residents, so everyone can have the protection of excellent and affordable health care.
Work with me! We all need the security of high-quality, low-cost health care. Together we can make that happen in Illinois.
My husband worked 30 years as an IBEW operator. His paycheck and benefits provided for our family. His job kept us comfortable and secure. For Illinois families like ours, that's the most important thing - a middle class income with reliable employment and benefits. In other words, a UNION job.
In 1964, one-third of Illinois workers were union members. By 2014 that number was cut in half. As unions get squeezed out, pay rates go down. And who's feeling this decline the most? Men like my husband – working class men trying to support their families.
Strong unions are the backbone of the middle class. Unions set the wage standard. They feed the middle class. Union families spend their money where they live. They put down roots so communities can grow and flourish.
The Republican drive to push out unions is disgraceful. So-called "right to work" laws are designed to make unions weaker and keep wages low to increase profits for corporations. Shame on them all for discounting our workers in this manner!
We MUST do better! I will not turn my back on organized labor!
Wage imbalance is a real drain on our society. Instead of paying workers a better wage, most companies opt to rake in more profits. We pay more in taxes to supplement the incomes of adults working these low-wage jobs. Therefore we, the taxpayers, are subsidizing corporate welfare.
The Republicans argue that we can't afford to pay a living wage. But in states where living wage is the law, taxpayers benefit. Because their paychecks actually meet their needs, families become less reliant on social services like Medicaid, SNAP and Section 8 rent subsidies. They're willing to make more purchases and spend their dollars in the local economy.
Employers get benefits too. Companies that pay a living wage get a better workforce. Employees who are paid a living wage keep their jobs longer, take fewer sick days, have greater job performance and require less training and retraining.
It is way past time for a living wage in Illinois. Let's pay people what they are worth!