Committee approves Biss’ private sector retirement savings plan

State Senator Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) presents Senate Bill 2758 to the Senate Executive Committee on Thursday at the Capitol. The bill would establish Illinois Secure Choice, which would enable the 2.5 million Illinoisans not currently in a retirement plan a means to save for the future.SPRINGFIELD — Today, State Senator Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) presented legislation to address the looming retirement security crisis in the private sector, winning a Senate committee’s approval to bring the plan to a vote of the full Senate. In Illinois alone, over 2.5 million workers — more than half the private sector workforce — do not have access to a retirement savings plan through their employer.

“With private sector workers, especially low-wage workers, increasingly lacking access to retirement plans, Illinoisans face a severe and growing risk of retiring deep into poverty,” Biss said. “The Secure Choice proposal is the only solution that gives workers a safe, portable and affordable way to save and invest while placing only a minimal burden on government and businesses.”

Through Biss’ Illinois Secure Choice proposal (Senate Bill 2758), most employees who do not already have access to an employer-based plan would be given savings accounts similar to traditional IRAs. New businesses and those with fewer than 10 workers could participate voluntarily. Workers could choose how much of their paychecks to invest and could opt out at anytime. Participants would also be able to select from higher-risk and lower-risk investment options.

Unlike pension plans, Secure Choice accounts would not be funded or guaranteed by the state or employers. Pooling the individual accounts would allow for lower fees and diversified, professionally managed investments. All administrative costs would be covered by participant contributions, and businesses would not be responsible for running or funding the program.

“There is a national retirement security crisis, and more than a dozen states are currently implementing or considering a variety of solutions,” Biss said. “Illinois has an opportunity to be at the forefront of offering a low cost and innovative program that would allow our citizens to maintain dignity and quality of life after they leave the workforce.”

For more information, pdfclick here for a Secure Choice fact sheet (right-click and select "Save Target As..." to download)

Previously: Secure Choice vital for many Illinoisans retirements

Category: Press Releases

Senate Judiciary Committee approves plan to crack down on fraudulent patent claims

031914 js 0489CLSPRINGFIELD — State Senator Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) won approval from the Senate Judiciary Committee today for his proposal to crack down on “patent trolling” – the practice of extorting money from businesses by threatening to sue them for fictitious violations of patents that may have expired or may not be owned by the “trolls” at all.“

Patent trolling is lucrative because patent law is very complicated, and the businesses that are the victims of these schemes often decide it’s cheaper to settle with the scammers than to hire an expert to defend them,” Biss said. “By creating a penalty in state law for this kind of fraud, we can save Illinois businesses a great deal of time, trouble and money.”

The legislation, Senate Bill 3405, prohibits misrepresenting one’s self as the owner of a patent, seeking compensation on the basis of activities undertaken after a patent has expired, falsely claiming to have filed a patent lawsuit or using any written form of communication, including email, to falsely accuse a person or company of a patent violation with the intent of forcing a settlement. If found to be in violation of the law, patent trolls would be subject to civil penalties and/or forced to pay restitution.

Now that it has been approved by the Judiciary Committee, the legislation will proceed to a vote of the full Senate.

Category: Press Releases

Legislation passes Senate Criminal Law Committee

021814 CM 0395csSPRINGFIELD — State Senator Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) presented legislation today that would limit the circumstances under which law enforcement may use electronic location surveillance, including GPS tracking information from cell phones, in criminal investigations.

“From your phone to the GPS system built into your car, the devices you use every day can reveal a surprising amount of detailed information most of us believe should stay private,” Biss said. “The legislation I’ve introduced balances legitimate public safety needs with the basic, constitutional right not to be subjected to unreasonable searches.”

Senate Bill 2808 would allow law enforcement to obtain a tracking order — similar to a search warrant — if they can show a judge they have probable cause to believe obtaining current or future location information from an individual’s electronic device is needed to solve a crime or prevent a crime from taking place. In the absence of a tracking order, information collected through electronic surveillance would be inadmissible in court. The legislation contains exceptions for emergencies such as responding to a 911 call or locating a missing person believed to be in danger. It also clarifies that police and prosecutors may still make use of information already available to the public, such as locations posted on social media.

In 2012, cell phone carriers reported to Congress that they had responded to 1.3 million requests from law enforcement agencies for customer information during the previous year.

“The technology is new, but the principle is not: a free society needs to put strict limits on the government’s collection of information about citizens’ private lives,” Biss said.

Biss’ proposal met with the approval of the Senate Criminal Law Committee this morning and can now be voted on by the full Senate.

Category: Press Releases

120208 js 0036You may remember last November's meeting where I presented Where We Stand, a report my office prepared comparing Illinois to other states. This year, a team of phenomenal young researchers has studied transportation governance and land-use policy in Illinois, and has produced significant recommendations.

Transportation affects quality of life in some of the most delicate ways possible. It is a controlling factor in cost of living, connectedness of our communities, and -- especially -- economic opportunities for low-wage workers. It is also a difficult issue for many of us to follow closely, which has too often allowed transit agencies in our region to engage in behaviors that inappropriately diminish the quality of service while increasing costs.

That's why I'm so enthusiastic about this event. By shining a clearer light on this topic, we have a real opportunity to broadly improve quality of life in our region.

Event details

  • WHAT: Transportation Policy for a 21st Century Global Hub
  • DATE: Sunday, November 10
  • TIME: 3:00 p.m.
  • WHERE: Levy Center, 300 Dodge Avenue, Evanston, 60202

Please call my office at 847-568-1250 if you have any questions, and we look forward to seeing you on the 10th!

Category: Press Releases

Contact Me

District office:
3706 Dempster St.
Skokie, IL 60076
(847) 568-1250
(847) 568-1256 FAX

Springfield office:
417B Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-2119

Email:
biss@senatedem.illinois.gov

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