Illinois Senate

The Illinois State Senate has approved a bill that would raise the wages of workers caring for people with developmental disabilities.  

The provision would raise these health-care providers' pay to $15 per hour, currently at slightly above minimum wage. Sen. Sam McCann, R-Jacksonville, believes the measure is needed to keep good workers. 

Senate Democrats attempted a series of test votes on items in the so-called “grand bargain;” but Republicans refused to go along, saying more negotiation is needed to reach a deal they can support.

Senate President John Cullerton says his Democrats have gone as far as they can go in meeting Gov. Bruce Rauner’s non-budget demands and charged that Rauner and his team “don’t know how to govern.”

Brian Mackey/NPR Illinois

The Illinois budget stalemate has held up compensation for people who’ve been unjustly imprisoned. But a bipartisan group of state senators took a step toward fixing that Thursday.

James Kluppelberg spent nearly 25 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. But freedom presented its own challenges.

Illinois Democrats want to stop Gov. Bruce Rauner from further changing the way the state manages Medicaid, one of its most expensive programs.

State Sen. Dave Koehler of Peoria previously supported allowing outside companies and hospitals to run portions of the healthcare system for low-income people. But he says the companies are falling short, and the governor's proposal would increase their reach.

A measure in the Illinois Senate aims to reduce the number of veteran suicides.

It's a response to a recent study that found nearly 22 veterans kill themselves every day in the U.S.  The bill would address specific problems that could add to a service member's stress. Sen. Paul Schimpf says this includes better state Department of Veterans Affairs assistance with mental health issues.

"There is a stigma in the veterans community ... saying that it's a sign of weakness to seek help," Schimpf said.

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