SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – This legislative session, state Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea, took meaningful steps to strengthen the rights of workers; assist teachers, students and veterans; and hold the line on taxes for small businesses and middle-class families.
One of Hoffman’s top legislative priorities has been protecting the rights of workers. As a culmination of those efforts, Senate Bill 1737 seeks to provide workers with new protections by establishing a mechanism of oversight within the Department of Insurance – enabling the director to assess whether workers’ compensation insurance premiums have become excessive. In addition to safeguarding workers, the savings achieved as a result of the 2011 workers’ compensation reforms would then be passed on to businesses.
“It is my ongoing priority to create jobs in Illinois while defending workers from uniformed and misguided approaches that seek to strip away their rights,” Hoffman said. “The provisions included in Senate Bill 1737 would do just that.”
Hoffman has also advanced pro-education legislation to help educators earn livable wages. House Bill 5175 was an effort led by Hoffman to require school boards to increase the minimum salary for Illinois teachers working full-time to $40,000 per year.
“We are experiencing a growing teacher shortage that is negatively impacting both teachers and students throughout the state,” Hoffman said. “To retain and attract our educators, I led an effort to raise their annual salaries because teachers and students deserve better than insufficient wages and ballooning classroom sizes.”
Continuing with his endeavors to be a champion for veterans, Hoffman introduced House Resolution 726. This proposal came in the wake of an outbreak of legionella bacteria that infiltrated the Quincy Veterans Home in 2015, claiming the lives of more than 12 veterans and infecting dozens. Specifically, the resolution urges the governor and relevant state agencies to release information relating to the outbreak at the home to address why precautions weren’t taken from the outset. Hoffman also voted for House Bill 4278, which requires Illinois veterans’ homes to notify their residents if it is discovered that a life-threatening disease has infected two or more residents at a particular home within a given month.
“The service and contributions that our veterans have devoted to our country are boundless,” Hoffman said. “To protect their interests and well-being, I’m proud to have spearheaded an effort with Republicans and Democrats to require a thorough investigation into the multiple outbreaks of legionnaire’s disease at the Quincy Veterans Home to ensure similar cases cannot surface in the future.”
Moving forward to restore the state’s financial health, Hoffman voted in favor of House Bill 5760 to prevent pay increases for public officials. Hoffman also supported House Bill 4237, shielding Illinois’ middle-class families from the negative impacts of the new federal tax hike. The bill’s two-pronged approach is made possible by allowing individuals to make contributions to public education, which can then be used as a tax write-off through a federal charitable tax deduction.
“It is beyond unreasonable to expect our state to rise out of the fog of economic uncertainty at the cost of taxpayers,” Hoffman said. “We simply cannot afford to allow advocates of the status quo to halt progress and common-sense reforms. I believe the Legislature must lead by example, and that’s why I voted for a proposal to prohibit pay raises for politicians.”
For the second time under the current administration, both Democrats and Republicans in the General Assembly joined in leading efforts to enact a bipartisan budget.
“As state Representative, I’m very conscious of the fact that the Legislature has a considerable amount of work to do in order to get our state back on track,” Hoffman said. “I’m proud of the good-faith proposals that we have passed in both chambers, which wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Republicans and Democrats. I look forward to working with both sides of the aisle in an ongoing effort to pursue our mutual goals to better serve the people of Illinois.”
Rep Jay Hoffman
261-S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-1333 FAX
312 S. High St.
Belleville, IL 62220
(618) 416-7409 FAX