Illinois’ governor says two measures lawmakers passed onto his desk could lead to cuts, or elimination of, important taxpayer-funded programs.

State Rep. Carol Ammons, D-Urbana, said the home health care measure would give workers a minimum wage of $15 an hour. The measure also mandates training and orientation, supported by the Service Employees International Union.

A similar measure for child care providers was also approved.

While supporting the measure, state Rep. Mary Flowers, D-Chicago, said it doesn’t go far enough.

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“To pay a mere $15 an hour for providers who take care of our children, as far as I’m concerned it’s not enough,” Flowers said.

State Rep. Ron Sandack, R-Downers Grove, said the measures, which would cost more than $80 million combined, fly in the face of collective bargaining.

“It mandates an hourly wage, it mandates training, it goes around the collective bargaining process and is a special set-aside,” Sandack said.

Both measures passed and will now be sent to the governor.

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s Press Secretary Catherine Kelly said taxpayers would be on the hook for nearly $87 million more in pay increases, which could lead to decreased services. Kelly said the union is trying to legislate wage increases and other items that should be part of collective bargaining.

State Rep. Mark Batinick, R-Plainfield, said it pained him to have to vote no, but that’s the condition lawmakers have put the state in.

“Every bill that seems to be coming by it’s spend, spend, spend, mandate, mandate, mandate, and I ask this body what have we done to make things better in the private sector so we can raise revenue through private sector growth?” Batinick said.

Democratic supporters of the measures say they bring stability to those workers. Workers now earn between $9 and $12 an hour.


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