SupremeCourtSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) released the statement below after the United States Supreme Court ruled that public sector employers will no longer have to pay for the workplace benefits and protections unions bargain for on their behalf.

“Today’s Supreme Court ruling was a direct attack on the ability of teachers, firefighters and police officers to collectively bargain for fair wages and safe working environments. It is a truly disappointing decision meant to help corporate interests at the expense of working men and women.

“Now, more than ever, I remain committed in my steadfast support of organized labor. Despite this unfortunate setback, together, we can still join with organized labor to fight for fair wages and safe working environments for middle-class workers.”

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Category: News

05252018CM0300SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) passed legislation through the Illinois Senate to ensure that victims’ voices are heard during plea agreements, in juvenile cases or when the defendant is found not guilty due to insanity.  

The proposal came from the Illinois Attorney General’s office, who believes courts do not consistently allow crime victims to testify.

“The victims affected by these criminals deserve to have their voices heard during the sentencing process,” Holmes said. “As the affected party, we need to ensure their opinions are not silenced.”

Currently, victims and prosecutors are not given notice of status hearings where information is provided to the court. As a result, they may not be prepared to proceed in a way that adequately protects the victims’ rights.

Holmes’ proposal, House Bill 5573, passed the Illinois Senate with a vote of 49-0. It has now passed both chambers of the General Assembly and will head to the governor’s desk for consideration.

Category: New Releases

elephantSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) advanced legislation to ban sales on ivory through the Illinois Senate earlier today.

“This is a meaningful step that will help stop the brutal, illegal poaching of elephants abroad,” Holmes said. “It’s our responsibility to protect these magnificent animals before it’s too late.”

According to the World Wildlife Foundation, tens of thousands of elephants are killed every year for their ivory tusks. In the 1980s, it is estimated nearly 100,000 elephants were killed each year and up to 80 percent of herds were lost in some areas.

Holmes’ proposal, House Bill 4843, charges individuals caught selling ivory with a Class A misdemeanor and fine of up to $1000.

“Decades of reckless poaching nearly wiped out these animals,” Holmes said. “Over time, these types of responsible, common sense measures will help bring them back from the brink of extinction.”

Guns and knives that are older than 100 years and less than 20 percent ivory are exempt from the ban. Musical instruments older than 1975 and made from less than 20 percent ivory are also exempt from the ban. If signed into law, Illinois will join California, Hawaii, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Washington in banning the sale of ivory.

Holmes’ proposal passed the Illinois Senate with a vote of 49-0. It has now passed both chambers of the General Assembly.

Category: New Releases

05222018CM0408SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) passed a proposal through the Illinois Senate to create the Broadband Advisory Council to study expanding broadband access in Illinois.

“Just like electricity and running water, having access to broadband is a critical tool for creating growth in communities and businesses,” Holmes said. “As a state, we need to ensure we are exploring all opportunities available to extend this critical resource to every corner of our state.”

To ensure the needs of a wide variety of citizens are heard, the council will have representatives from electric cooperatives, municipalities, public housing authorizes, the Community College Board, the Board of Higher Education, the Department of Aging, the Department of Healthcare and Family Services , AARP and several other organizations that represent a wide scope of interests.

The council is charged with several tasks, including:
•    Exploring ways to expand access to broadband
•    Identifying and eliminating barriers to broadband
•    Determining  if broadband companies are discriminating against low-income areas
•    Exploring the potential for increased use of broadband for the purposes of education and career readiness
•    Determining the potential benefits from increased broadband service that would allow seniors to live in their own homes longer

“Broadband is a vital resource our entire lives, from our children who are preparing for the workforce to our senior citizens who are trying to maintain comfortable lives in their own homes,” Holmes said. “I look forward to utilizing the findings of this council to best serve the citizens of our state.”

Holmes’ proposal, House Bill 5752, passed the Illinois Senate today with a vote of 57-0. It has now passed both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly.

Category: New Releases

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