Martinez: We should be protecting benefits for child care workers, not taking them away

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

The Illinois Senate voted to override the governor’s veto of legislation that would have protected health care benefits for child care providers. Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) sponsored the measure to prevent the governor from harming the state’s child care system. “Our child care workers are some of the most important employees we have in Illinois,” Martinez said. “They care for our children, and it’s important that we invest in their success, treat them fairly and ensure they get the health care they need and deserve.”

The Illinois Department of Human Services already provides health insurance to qualified child care providers. However, Martinez sponsored her legislation because of concern that the Rauner administration wanted to eliminate health insurance for child care employees. These concerns follow the cuts the governor made last year to the state’s Child Care Assistance Program. Of the thousands of workers that would be protected under Martinez’s proposal, the majority of them are women. “Based on how the governor has acted in the past and his anti-labor positions, it’s important to have a law in place that prevents his administration from having an opportunity to take away benefits from workers,” Martinez said. Martinez’s legislation also updates training requirements for child care providers to ensure Illinois is compliant with new federal guidelines. Martinez worked on Senate Bill 2536 with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). It will now be up to the Illinois House to override the governor’s veto of Senate Bill 2536.

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