SPRINGFIELD – Graduate and research assistants would have the same labor rights as other educational employees under a measure State Senator Laura Fine (D – Glenview) passed through the Senate.

“Everyone should be treated with respect in the workplace,” Fine said. “These graduate and research assistants should have the same opportunities as their educational colleagues.”

House Bill 253 removes graduate assistants whose primary duties are research or pre-professional from the “student” classification so that they can be defined as employees. Under current law, those classified as students are excluded from certain labor protections. This would entitle them to collective bargaining rights, putting them in the same position as other educational employees throughout the state.

“The right to collectively bargain for better wages and working conditions is a fundamental right of all workers,” Fine said. “I’m happy to have passed this legislation ensuring that all graduate and research assistants can maintain the dignity they deserve.”

The bill passed through the House of Representatives in March. Having now passed the Senate, it will be sent for approval by the governor.

Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD – To move more apprentices from learning to working, State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) is pushing for a plan that would factor an aspiring firefighter’s apprenticeship work into hiring considerations.

Current law gives firefighter hiring preferences to applicants who are veterans, cadets, have bachelors or associates degrees, paramedics, have been employed in related positions or who reside in the jurisdiction of the fire district. House Bill 2854 adds an additional preference toward applicants who have completed over 600 hours of fire suppression work as an apprentice.

“Many applicants have previous experience fighting fires, but they aren’t given preference in hiring,” Fine said. “This bill gives fire departments the ability to factor in that practical experience as they hire firefighters to help keep their communities as safe as possible.”

The bill was approved unanimously by the Senate. Since it was amended in the Senate, it must return to the House for concurrence before it can be sent to the governor.

Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD – A new bill sponsored by State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) would extend the statute of limitations from five years to 10 on certain types of theft, including identity theft or financial exploitation of the elderly.

House Bill 2287 gives victims of such crimes 10 years from the date the last act was committed to press charges. Crimes covered under this wider prosecution window include identity theft or financial exploitation of an elderly person or person with disabilities, or that involve theft of property exceeding $100,000 in value.

“These are serious crimes that can leave people in financial ruin for years,” Fine said. “Giving victims of crimes a bit more time to file charges allows them to have a better chance to receive the justice they deserve, especially in cases where the victim may not realize what’s happened until well after the fact.”

The legislation passed the Senate with unanimous, bipartisan support. It will be sent to the governor for approval.

Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD – A bill sponsored by State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) will provide support for people who are facing homelessness.

“Many individuals and families may be one paycheck away from homelessness, and we want to do as much as we can to prevent this traumatic experience,” Fine said. “This bill gives families who are struggling a little bit of breathing room.”

House Bill 3331 gives homeless organizations the flexibility to use the funding they already receive to better address issues. It adds the payment of rent or mortgage as a type of assistance available through the Homelessness Prevention Services Program. This will allow these organizations to help families stay in their homes so they do not find themselves in a stressful, traumatic situation.

The bill passed the Senate Human Services Committee, and will be up for consideration by the full Senate.

Category: Press Releases

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Contact Information

Springfield Office:
121C Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-2119

District Office:
1812 Waukegan Road
Suite A
Glenview, IL 60025
(847) 998-1717