Biss05232017EVANSTON – State Senator Daniel Biss expressed frustration today after the governor vetoed a bill meant to protect the labor rights of all graduate assistants.

“I’m disappointed by the veto, but not at all surprised,” said Biss (D – Evanston). “Since he took office, Gov. Rauner has continually shown that he is not a friend to working class people, and this veto is nothing more than another entry on a long list of his attacks on labor rights.”

Under current law, the definition of educational employee excludes those classified as “students.” The legislation, Senate Bill 2546, removes graduate assistants who primarily perform duties in research or duties that a pre-professional from the “student” classification. This entitles them to receive full rights and remedies as other educational employees in the state, including the right to collectively bargain for better working conditions.

“Graduate assistants perform a very important duty, both to their university and to society, but they often have unfair working conditions since they’re not classified as employees,” Biss said. “They deserve to have the same rights as other educational employees, and I am proud to be the one fighting for those rights.”

Biss plans to file a motion to override the veto in the fall.

Category: Press Releases


SPRINGFIELD – A bill requiring ride-share drivers to provide more personal information for background checks became law today.

The new law, sponsored by State Senator Daniel Biss (D-Evanston), requires all individuals who are applying to be a driver for a ride-sharing service to provide their full legal name, social security number, and date of birth.

“People who use ride-sharing services as a method of transportation deserve to know who’s driving the car they’re getting into,” said Biss.  “By requiring drivers to provide more than just basic information, ride-sharing companies are now held to the same standard that other licensed transportation services have been held to for years.”

Previously, prospective drivers only had to provide their address, age, driver’s license number, motor vehicle registration and automobile insurance liability.

The genesis of the bill was an incident in Biss’s district, when a ride-share driver was arrested for a suspected DUI with a passenger in their car.  The driver had been under court supervision for a previous DUI.

House Bill 4416 passed the Senate and the House with bipartisan support, and is effective immediately.

Category: Press Releases


SPRINGFIELD – A bill sponsored by State Senator Daniel Biss easing the financial burden on people who grew up in youth care was signed into law today.

“Those who grew up in youth care already face many obstacles and burdens in their journey to being self-sufficient adults, so easing some of the pressure involved with obtaining their personal information is the least we can do,” said Biss, an Evanston Democrat.

Currently, the fee for accessing birth records from the Department of Public Health ranges from $10 - $15. The new law allows for young adults who can verify they were once in youth care to have these fees waived until they reach 27 years of age.

House Bill 4909 passed both houses of the General Assembly with no opposition, and is effective immediately.

Category: Press Releases

Tyshiana Jackson was Senator Biss' shadow this week during the Department of Children and Family Services' Shadow Day event. DCFS helps young people better understand citizenship, advocacy, and government with a day of shadowing lawmakers in Springfield. You can find out more about the program and apply for it here.


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