04192018CM0615The graduate students who help run their universities and colleges would be treated as employees worthy of all associated protections under a plan by State Senator Daniel Biss that passed the Senate today.

Under current law, grad students who fulfill obligations such as acting as teaching assistants or other departmental employees are regarded as merely students at their respective schools. Under this plan, the same Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act provisions which allow worker protections for university employees – including collective bargaining – would also apply to grad students who are employed by the university.

The legislation is SB 2546. It passed the Senate and goes to the House for consideration.

Category: Press Releases

01312018CM2078Internet service providers who do business with the state of Illinois would be required to abide by the same net neutrality rules now imperiled by recent federal action under a plan by State Senator Daniel Biss.

A majority of Americans expressed their support for the rules, now in the midst of being repealed, which mandate that an internet service provider such as Comcast or AT&T must treat all web traffic equally. Without such rules, other countries have seen providers charge more for better service while using certain online applications like Netflix or YouTube. The legislation would prohibit the state from doing business with entities who employ such tactics.

The legislation is Senate Bill 2975. It is scheduled for consideration in the Illinois Senate.

Category: Press Releases

01302018CM0599The sub-minimum wages that workers with disabilities are paid for performing the same jobs as other employees would be prohibited under a plan introduced by State Senator Daniel Biss.

Under current law, employers are allowed to pay lower wages to workers with disabilities. This means that many receive pay below the minimum wage of $8.25 per hour.

The measure is Senate Bill 201. It awaits consideration in the Senate.

Category: Press Releases

Dbiss05102017A measure that would bring fairness to Illinois’ income tax system, close the wealth divide and help to resolve the state’s budget crisis passed in the Senate this week.

Senate Bill 1719, sponsored by Senator Daniel Biss (D-Evanston), would close the carried interest loophole that enables ultra-wealthy hedge fund and private equity managers to avoid paying millions of dollars in Illinois taxes.

“Wealthy hedge fund managers are exploiting an archaic tax loophole and profiting off the backs of Illinois taxpayers,” Biss said. “We have a corrupt tax system in which ordinary people aren’t receiving the government services they help to pay for because the state is broke, in part because of a tax loophole that helps the rich get richer.”

The legislation would establish a 20 percent privilege tax on a former of compensation known as carried interest beginning July 1, 2017. The tax is on the fees earned from the investment strategy of the investment manager, not on the investment itself.

Estimates are that the legislation annually could generate between $473 million and $1.7 billion for the state.

Amisha Patel, executive director of Grassroots Collaborative, a Chicago-based organization, commended Biss and the Illinois Senate for passing the legislation.

“This is great news for Illinois residents who have been languishing under an extended budget impasse,” Patel said. “Illinois needs new revenue. Senate Bill 1719 generates significant revenue, raising it from those who have profited for years off a rigged tax system, instead of asking for more sacrifices from our most vulnerable residents.”

Biss said this is just another step toward correcting inequities that are baked into Illinois’ tax system.

“There is no reason for the State of Illinois to aid billionaires in finding ways to shelter their income,” he said. “Everyone should have to pay their fair share of income taxes. And if lawmakers in Congress won’t help us right this wrong, we’ll have to do it ourselves.”

Category: Press Releases

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