There's not much progress to report on a state budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1, but at least senators got to hear about raising the minimum wage and providing paid sick leave for people.

Another "committee of the whole" took up Tuesday afternoon, a week before the end of the current fiscal year. 

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An Illinois Chamber of Commerce lobbyist discussed the need to hire a skilled workforce. "I have clients still looking for workers interested in learning the trades," said Jay Shattuck, a lobbyist for the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. "Welders, for instance."

A 52-year-old Springfield woman, who works as a home health care aide, says she's never had a paid sick day. Gail Hamilton says the job requires a sacrifice of "time, energy, and - in some cases - their entire being to tend to the needs of a loved one, elderly, sick, or disabled person." An increase in the minimum wage passed in a non-binding referendum last year.


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