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Salary history, teacher wage bills to come back next year

SPRINGFIELD — During the first week of the Illinois General Assembly’s veto session, lawmakers voted to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s vetoes or amendatory vetoes on dozens of bills.

At least two high-profile bills didn’t get override votes the first week: a bill to set a new minimum salary for Illinois school teachers and legislation to prohibit employers from asking for a salary history from job applicants.

Lawmakers can no longer take action on those bills during the remainder of the veto session, which wraps up next week. Here’s what’s in store for them as Democratic Gov.-elect JB Pritzker prepares to take office next year.

Minimum teacher salary

Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, said he’s not giving up on the idea of increasing the minimum salary that every school district in the state will have to pay their teachers.

“There have been ongoing conversations that haven’t stopped since going back to May when we passed the bill,” Manar said. “Those are going to continue. I would expect to re-file, if not a bill that’s exactly the same, something that’s very similar to what was filed and already passed in the General Assembly.”

The bill that already passed, Senate Bill 2892, gradually raises the minimum salary for teachers to $40,000 starting with the 2022-2023 school year. The current minimum salary for teachers is $9,000, a level set in law 38 years ago.

The bill set a minimum salary for teachers at $32,076 for the 2019-2020 school year. The delayed start of the bill was intended to give school districts time to adjust their budgets to accommodate the higher wage. Manar said that since a new law couldn’t be adopted until next year, he is open to discussing a further extension in the start date for raising the wage.

The bill also called for the minimum wage to be increased each year after reaching the $40,000 threshold to account for inflation.

The bill passed with bipartisan support in both the House and Senate. In the Senate, it got 37 “yes” votes, enough to override a veto. In the House, though, it only got 65 “yes” votes, significantly short of what is needed for an override.

And veto the bill outright is exactly what Rauner did. In his veto message, Rauner said the bill would amount to a “significant unfunded mandate” on school districts and take away local control over salaries. He said that alternatives like pay-for-performance and pay incentives for teachers with prior work experience could increase teacher compensation while preserving local control.

Manar said he’s heard concerns from superintendents about the potential cost.

“They are also at the same time concerned with the crisis of having a teacher shortage in the state,” Manar said.

Manar believes that setting a higher minimum teacher salary will entice more students into the profession.

Manar also said the costs of a higher minimum salary can be offset by the increased funding districts are receiving from the new school aid formula. The formula directs more state money to the neediest districts, the same ones that could face financial pressures from higher teacher salaries.

“I’m simply saying let’s not dismiss the idea that teachers have to be paid well,” Manar said. “Let’s not dismiss the idea that we have to find a reasonable way to pay for it. Let’s try to bring everyone together to get this accomplished.”

Salary history

Twice lawmakers approved a bill that prohibits employers from asking the salary history of an applicant. Twice Rauner used his amendatory veto powers to make changes to it.

Both times, there were not enough votes in the legislature to override Rauner’s changes, but neither did supporters want to accept his changes. Consequently, the bills died.

Rep. Anna Moeller, D-Elgin, said she’s probably going to try again, only this time with someone in the Governor’s Mansion who supports the idea.

“I think we’ll still have substantial support for it; it won’t need as many (votes) to override,” Moeller said.

The bill got 87 “yes” votes in the House, but squeaked by in the Senate with just 31 “yes” votes, just one more than the minimum needed to pass it.

Supporters said the idea was a way to combat gender pay inequality. Women often are paid less than their male counterparts, and allowing an employer to ask for a wage history is seen as a way to perpetuate that wage gap.

Rauner said he agreed that gender pay inequality is an issue that needs to be addressed but said a better way to do it was the way Massachusetts did it. He rewrote the Illinois bill to reflect that.

However, Moeller said she thinks the changes diluted the effectiveness of the bill as Illinois lawmakers wrote it and also weakened existing pay equity laws in the state.

“We don’t want to weaken what we’ve got; we want to strengthen what we’ve got,” she said.

She said supporters want to work with the business community to come to a compromise, but efforts have failed so far.

The Illinois Chamber of Commerce is opposed to the bill, but is willing to talk about it.

“Every time you have a new General Assembly coming in and new leadership in the governor’s office we’re always willing to take a fresh look at things and see if there is some flexibility,” said Chamber president and CEO Todd Maisch. “The reality is there are legitimate reasons to ask for someone’s wage history.”

Maisch said it is “more reasonable” to just ask for a wage history rather than use other methods to obtain the same information.

“There is a marketplace for salary,” he said. “Employers are always going to be interested to make sure that they’re putting a competitive offer on the table, but also not overpaying for a particular skill set.”

Moeller said she expects a new version of the bill next year will mirror what’s been tried before.

“We feel we have a very strong bill, a very good bill,” she said.


Contact Doug Finke:, 788-1527,



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via State News – Journal Star

November 25, 2018 at 06:34PM

House Sponsor Jonathan Carroll Votes to Support Educator Presence on State Board of Education

State Rep. Jonathan Carroll, D-Buffalo Grove, voted last week to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of a bill ensuring more educators have a seat on the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).

“One of the biggest problems in education is that policymakers write laws without teacher input,” Carroll said. “As a teacher, I believe ISBE needs to include educators on the board so teachers’ perspectives aren’t ignored.”

Carroll voted to enact House Bill 4284, which in addition to requiring the appointment of educators to ISBE, also sets the necessary qualifications for appointees. The legislation would not allow more than one member employed by the same school district to serve on ISBE. The bill received bipartisan support in the House but was blocked by Rauner’s veto. Carroll joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers to override the veto.

“The education system only works when policymakers, administrators, and teachers are all on the same page,” Carroll said. “This bill makes sure that teachers with real-world experience have a seat at the table.”

See also …

Bill Status of HB4284 — 100th General Assembly


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November 21, 2018 at 11:51AM

Bristow encourages area residents to shop local for Small Business Saturday

Bristow encourages area residents to shop local for Small Business Saturday

ALTON – As families begin shopping for the holiday season, state Rep. Monica Bristow, D-Godfrey, is encouraging area residents to support the Riverbend region’s local economy by shopping locally on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 24.

“During my time as President of the Riverbend Growth Association, I saw firsthand the meaningful influence that small businesses have in our community,” Bristow said. “Small businesses benefit our local economy and provide employment for our friends and neighbors.”

Saturday, Nov. 24 marks the 9th Annual Small Business Saturday, which was created to help small businesses compete with large retailers between the busy shopping days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Bristow is encouraging local residents to shop locally at small businesses this holiday season, as they offer unique goods for gifts, jobs for local residents, and support to local charities and organizations.

In her time as state representative, Bristow has made it a priority to make Illinois more business-friendly by cutting burdensome regulations and developing plans to encourage new businesses to start. One measure Bristow spearheaded, the Illinois Home Grown Business Opportunity Act, was recently signed into law by the governor.

“With my background in business, I made it my mission to come to Springfield and pass policies to reignite our state’s economic engines,” Bristow said. “I encourage local residents to return the enormous support small businesses provide to our community by shopping locally, not just on Small Business Saturday, but throughout the year as well.”

For more information, please contact Bristow’s full time constituent office at 618-465-5900 or

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November 21, 2018 at 10:38AM

New vote totals show Democrat pulling ahead in north suburban state rep race previously separated by 1 vote

Separated by just one vote on election night, newly added Lake County ballots give Democrat Mary Edly-Allen a 373 vote lead over Republican Helene Miller Walsh in the 51st Illinois House District.

Late-arriving mail-in ballots and provisional ballots were added to Lake County vote totals Tuesday evening, the last day for eligible votes to be counted, according to Lake County Clerk Carla Wyckoff.

She said the office waited until 5 p.m. for the last delivery of mail, which could include out-of-town ballots that would be valid if postmarked by Election Day. The district also has a single precinct in Cook County.

Uncertified results show Republican Walsh garnering a total of 25,576 votes, while her Democratic opponent Edly-Allen’s total stands at 25,949.

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via Home – Chicago Tribune

November 20, 2018 at 07:09PM

With Senate heavyweights Clayborne, Haine leaving, who fills their shoes in Springfield?

When the new General Assembly is sworn in January, three metro-east state senators who have served several terms won’t be there. State Sens. James Clayborne, D-Belleville, Bill Haine, D-Alton, and Kyle McCarter, R-Lebanon, all did not run for re-election in 2018.

Clayborne and Haine have decided to retire from the legislature, and McCarter decided not to run again and is awaiting confirmation by the U.S. Senate to be the next ambassador to Kenya. McCarter will be succeeded by Republican Jason Plummer.

However, in the Illinois General Assembly’s upper chamber, Clayborne, who served since 1995, and Haine, who served in the state Senate since 2002, were in leadership positions: Clayborne is the outgoing majority leader. Haine is an assistant majority leader.

State Rep. Jerry Costello II, D-Smithton, said he and state Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea, who have longer tenures in the General Assembly than the remaining metro-east legislators, would have to work to continue the metro-east’s influence in Springfield. Costello said Clayborne and Haine being in their positions helped make sure the metro-east and Southern Illinois were at the table and voices heard.

“I would tell you it would be shallow to think it would not have an effect, but it means people like myself or Jay, who’ve been around a little longer, Jay quite sometime around longer than I have, (are) going to have to make sure we step up and try to fill some of those shoes,” Costello said. “Obviously majority leader Clayborne and Senator Haine will be sorely missed. They’re terrific people who have brought a lot to the metro-east.”

Haine, who decided not to run again after being diagnosed and undergoing treatment for blood cancer, is being succeeded by Democrat Rachelle Aud Crowe. Clayborne is being replaced by Democrat Christopher Belt.

Hoffman does serve as majority conference chairman in the House, and Costello serves as the chairman of the Downstate Democratic Caucus.

“Those are some folks who were advocates for the metro-east and had the knowledge and seniority to get things done. There will be some big shoes to fill,” Hoffman said of Haine and Clayborne. “Sometimes it’s tough to replace people, but no one is irreplaceable. It’s good we’re going to have fresh ideas with some of the new people coming in, and are coming in from different walks of life.”

Hoffman a leader also makes sure other legislators who joined recently, such as state Rep. LaToya Greenwood, D-East St. Louis, state Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville and state Rep. Monica Bristow, D-Godfrey, are able to bring up concerns for their districts.

“A leader will make sure that the folks in their area that represent their area will have a voice when they’re just getting into the general assembly,” Hoffman said. “I hope I’ve been helpful to LaToya, and Katie, and now Monica, I know the same will be true for the leadership in the senate, who will make sure if there are issues that need to be addressed in a local area that they’ll help Chris (Belt) and Rachelle (Aud Crowe) address them. I know Bill and James will be helpful, even though they’re not elected, in just navigating the legislative process.”

Hoffman added the metro-east legislators will be able to accomplish more for the region as long as they continue to work together, no matter the party.

“You’re always stronger if you can have a coalition like that that can advocate for an area,” Hoffman said. “Not all places in Illinois have that. We’re lucky that we have a significant delegation.”

The state Senate also adopted resolutions honoring Haine’s and Clayborne’s retirements.

“It is a tremendous loss to the metro-east just in institutional knowledge,” said state Sen. Paul Schimpf, R-Waterloo, who succeeded Republican Sen. David Luechtefeld, R-Okawville, who chose not to run in the 2016 election.

Luechtefeld served from 1995 to 2017 and had been a deputy and assistant Republican leader.

“I respect both Senator Haine and Senator Clayborne. I like to think those that are still around have been starting to get a little more experience,” Schimpf said. “I’m hoping I could pick up some of the slack for them. I got myself appointed to JCAR, the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, that’s a tremendously important post. I have a good relationship and really all of our downstate delegation has a fairly good relationship, we all work well together. And we’ll be able to continue to lookout for the interests of the metro-east.”

Senate President John Cullerton said there will be a learning process for Crowe, Belt and Plummer as they come in.

“That exists for anyone when they first start at the capitol. What strikes me is that these senators, just like their predecessors, are grounded in the people and issues of their communities,” Cullerton said in an email.

Cullerton said Clayborne and Haine themselves may have been questioned when they first got to Springfield.

“I’ve got to believe people had the same questions when Senators Clayborne and Haine were first chosen to represent the region. History has proven the wisdom of those choices. And now, from what I know of Senators-elect Belt and Crowe, I believe the people of the region have again shown their wisdom in selecting a new generation of leaders dedicated to aggressively representing the people and interests of the metro-east.”

The Democrats, who will have a supermajority in the state Senate, plan to nominate Cullerton to be Senate president in the next General Assembly. However, other leadership positions, such as leader and assistant leaders have yet to be determined.

Greenwood said there would be another person who will help care for metro-east issues: Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker.

“What we found out during the campaign trail, is Gov.-elect Pritzker and Lt. Gov.-elect Stratton were in our metro-east area on numerous occasions,” Greenwood said. “More times than I can remember than any other administration that was looking for voters and looking for support in our area. I think that attention will not go away. I’m sure they will continue to support and be concerned about the issues that affect us.”

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November 16, 2018 at 01:46PM

Newsradio WJPF interview with Jerry Costello II

Newsradio WJPF interview with Jerry Costello II

November 15, 2018
Robert Thies

Illinois State Representative Jerry Costello II (D, 116th House District) joins The Morning Newswatch.

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via WJPF Morning Newswatch

November 15, 2018 at 09:37AM

Democrat Halpin & Republican McCombie hopeful about new dynamic in Springfield

Illinois will see a couple of big changes at the top of the state government when the next legislative year begins.

JB Pritzker’s decisive win in the governor’s race signals the state will be moving in a different direction than under outgoing Governor Bruce Rauner.

Pritzker’s win wasn’t a surprise given the polls showed him with a big lead for months.

He won by a comfortable margin of 54 percent to 39 percent. The race was called less than an hour after the polls closed.

Pritzker will enjoy strong Democratic majorities in the House and Senate to pursue his policies.

Another key win for Democrats came in the race for attorney general.

Lisa Madigan’s decision not to seek another term made it a wide open race.

Kwame Raoul kept it in the hands of Democrats, defeating Republican Erika Harold 54 percent to 43 percent.

Democrats added to their stranglehold in the general assembly.

Democrats went into the election with  a 67 to 51 majority in the House. Preliminary results pending potential runoffs show it could end up at 73 to 45 in favor the Democrats.

That would be a two-vote cushion for the 71 supermajority needed to override any veto.

Democrats in the Illinois Senate went into the midterms with a 37 to 22 advantage. That extended to a 39-20 stronghold.

It was a great night for incumbents from the greater Quad Cities area.

State Senator Neil Anderson won a second term in a very tight race against Democratic challenger Gregg Johnson. Anderson with 51 percent of the vote.

The margin of victory was a little more than 1,300 votes.

Republican Tony McCombie made it look easy by comparison, winning second term in the Illinois Statehouse with 59 percent of the vote to defeat Joan Padilla.

Democrat Mike Halpin made it look even easier, coasting to a second term representing Rock Island County in Springfield with 62 percent of the vote over Republican Glen Evans.

It all sets the stage for things to feel different in Springfield for the same people who will be representing the Quad Cities area.

Representatives Halpin and McCombie joined 4 The Record for a conversation.

New dynamic

So the Democrats in Illinois got what they wanted. That’s total control.

McCombie and Halpin talked about what they expect the dynamic to be in Springfield and if Republican voices will be shut out of the process.

They also discussed how much this changes what they do to influence the policies important to their respective districts that have a lot of common interests.

Governor stalemate over?

We saw the stalemate with Governor Bruce Rauner and the Democrats.

Former Governor Pat Quinn didn’t always see eye to eye with his fellow Democrats in the legislature. That was before their tenure. But Democrats are out of excuses.

Halpin and McCombie discussed how they expect things to work with a Governor Pritzker and the legislature dominated by Michael Madigan.

Local 4 News, your local election headquarters, is proud to present 4 The Record, a weekly news and public affairs program focused on the issues important to you.  It’s a program unlike any other here in the Quad Cities. Tune in each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. as Jim Niedelman brings you up to speed on what’s happening in the political arena, from Springfield, Des Moines, Washington, D.C. and right here at home.

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November 12, 2018 at 12:07PM

State reps Manley, Walsh, McDermed re-elected

Rep. Natalie Manley, D-Joliet, speaks to a crowd of voters Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018, during candidate forum at Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church in Joliet, Ill.

Eric Ginnard –


Rep. Natalie Manley, D-Joliet, speaks to a crowd of voters Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018, during candidate forum at Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church in Joliet, Ill.
Bruce Rauner

Joe Hosey –


Bruce Rauner
Illinois State Rep. Mark Batinick (right) speaks with more than 100 students from Plainfield Central High School on Wednesday, March 14, 2018, during a forum on school safety at Plainfield Central High School in Plainfield, Ill.

Eric Ginnard –


Illinois State Rep. Mark Batinick (right) speaks with more than 100 students from Plainfield Central High School on Wednesday, March 14, 2018, during a forum on school safety at Plainfield Central High School in Plainfield, Ill.
Rep. Larry Walsh Jr., D-Elwood, speaks to a crowd of voters Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018, during candidate forum at Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church in Joliet, Ill.

Eric Ginnard –


Rep. Larry Walsh Jr., D-Elwood, speaks to a crowd of voters Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018, during candidate forum at Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church in Joliet, Ill.

Local Illinois General Assembly incumbents appeared to have a good night in contested races.

Manley vs. Benford

Incumbent Democrat Natalie Manley defeated her Republican challenger Alyssia Benford, taking 64 percent to 36 percent of votes with 87 percent of precincts reporting for the District 98 state representative seat, according to the Associated Press.

Manley was first elected in 2012. She won her first two races by about 23-point margins and ran unopposed in 2016. Bolingbrook accountant and DuPage Township Trustee Benford ran on issues like property tax relief.

Batinick vs. Freeman

State Democrats were really hoping to pick up this 97th District seat, but they were apparently unable to this year.

If you asked Rep. Mark Batinick, one Democrat in particular wanted to knock him off. 

Batinick has been vocal in connecting Mica Freeman, a Plainfield mother and former teacher, to House Speaker Michael Madigan. Batinick narrowly defeated her, by a margin of 692 votes, according to Will and Kendall County records.

McDermed vs. Hunt

Margo McDermed won her first election in 2014 by 37 points and ran unopposed in 2016.

This year, she has touted the support of the mayors of Frankfort, New Lenox, Homer Glen and Mokena and defeated her opponent — Frankfort insurance agent Matthew Hunt.  McDermed won with 59 percent to 40 percent of votes in Will County and 55 percent to 44 percent in Cook County for the District 37 seat.

Walsh Jr. vs. Laib

Larry Walsh Jr. was also first elected in 2012, won by a comfortable margin and ran unopposed in 2016. This election was no different, with Walsh winning 73 percent to 27 percent of Will County votes in District 86. 

Walsh’s name is a known commodity in his district and he’s been a visible presence with issues important to residents, like in his native Elwood, where truck traffic has become a big issue. This year, Army Reserve veteran and Will County Sheriff’s Sgt. Rick Laib, who firmly positioned himself as a conservative alternative, challenged him.

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via The Herald-News

November 7, 2018 at 12:15AM

Moeller has decisive early lead in House District 43

Democratic incumbent Anna Moeller holds a decisive early lead in Tuesday’s election against Republican challenger Andrew Cuming.

Moller had 7,713 votes to Cuming’s 3,093 with six of 12 precincts reporting in Cook County and 12 of 54 precincts in Kane County, unofficial results showed.

The House 43rd District includes most of Elgin and portions of Barrington Hills, Carpentersville, East Dundee and South Elgin. Both live in Elgin.

Moeller, 46, is a former Elgin City Council member who was appointed to the legislature in March 2014 and elected a few months later.

Cuming, 31, manages several properties in Elgin and twice ran unsuccessfully for Elgin City Council.

Both were unopposed in their primaries.

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November 6, 2018 at 09:05PM