McGuire2014squareSPRINGFIELD — The governor’s veto late Monday of House Bill 580, which would provide interest arbitration for public employees who have been working without a contract for nearly a year, sets up an override battle in the Illinois House later this month. State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) issued the following statement:

“Interest arbitration is established as a fair way to settle contract disputes between Illinois units of government and their employees. State workers who toil in our prisons, aid our most vulnerable residents and perform other work many of us don’t have the heart or stomach for deserve interest arbitration. Please contact your state representative and urge him or her to support the override of HB 580.”

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042116CM1186SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Senate passed legislation today to help shore up Illinois’ desperate human services systems.

State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) voted to release more than $700 million to local government and non-profit agencies that provide services such as mental health care, drug addiction treatment and home-delivered meals for seniors. McGuire is a co-sponsor of the measure, SB 2038, which passed the Senate on a 55-0 vote.

“Tens of thousands of Will County residents who faced the loss of essential services will benefit from today’s action,” McGuire said. “Just as with recent funding for higher education, Democrats and Republicans came together. But just as with the higher education measure, this human services measure provides less than half of what the General Assembly one year ago authorized the governor to devote to helping people. We must keep working.”

Having passed both the House and Senate, SB 2038 awaits the governor’s signature.

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McGuire2014squareSPRINGFIELD — State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) joined members of the Senate Downstate Caucus on Tuesday in support of a measure that more equitably funds Illinois’ public schools.

The Downstate Caucus held a press conference to brief reporters about Senate Bill 231, sponsored by State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), which changes a nearly 20-year-old formula for how the state distributes its funding for K-12 education. A key provision of SB 231 shifts state money away from wealthier school districts — whose high property values fund a high level of per-pupil spending — to those districts with a higher proportion of low-income students.

“In Illinois, the quality of a child's education too often depends on the child's ZIP code. Senator Manar's measure would correct this,” McGuire said. “I urge the governor to re-think his opposition to SB 231. To bring back Illinois, we need to bring every child's education up to world-class level. That's morally right, economically necessary, and SB 231 is the conscientious way to do it."

Under SB 231, no district would receive less state money from 2015 levels, and many areas will see that 100 percent of its students get an increase in funding.

“Kids in Illinois cities hit hard by factories closing in the 1980s and ever since badly need a boost,” McGuire said. “This legislation helps students in Joliet, Chicago Heights, Elgin, Rockford… SB 231 will help transform Illinois’ Rust Belt into the asset we need it to be.”

SB 231 recently passed a key Senate committee and will be debated on the floor later this week.

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042116 js 0528CLState Sen. Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) today heralded passage of a measure designed to keep all Illinois public community colleges and universities open and assist low-income students. Senate Bill 2059 won overwhelming, bipartisan support in the Illinois House and Senate. The bill now goes to Gov. Bruce Rauner, who has promised to sign it.

“Democrats and Republicans today recognized everyone would lose if any of Illinois’ nine public universities and 48 public community colleges were forced to close due to the budget impasse,” McGuire said. “This unprecedented agreement among all four legislative caucuses and the governor is a big step toward ensuring Illinois higher education continues uninterrupted, benefiting students, their families, employees of public and private colleges and universities, college towns, and ultimately the future of our state.”

Senate Bill 2059 provides $74 million to community colleges, $356 million to nine public universities, and $169 million for Monetary Award Program grants to more than 128,000 low-income students.

McGuire expressed hope that passage of this emergency funding for this budget year, which began last July 1, means higher education funding for the 2017 budget year will be adequate and on-time.

“I hope all of us in Springfield learned a lesson,” McGuire said. “Stubbornness and bickering put families through hell and risk Illinois getting back to full strength. I look forward to returning to Springfield on May 2 and continuing the better way of governing we achieved passing Senate Bill 2059.”

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