SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – To protect essential workers and support those who have been laid off or furloughed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, state Rep. Nathan Reitz, D-Steeleville, recently supported a new law that harshens penalties for criminals that assault essential workers while also expanding access to unemployment benefits for residents currently out of work.
“Building a stronger state by supporting working families throughout Southern Illinois is a top priority of mine, including those who have been laid off and essential workers who have continued to fight on the front lines to protect our families and provide the resources we need during this crisis,” said Reitz. “This new law will protect first responders, health care employees, grocery store workers and other essential personnel by strengthening the consequences for assaulting essential workers.”
Reitz backed Senate Bill 471, legislation that passed the Illinois House and Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support and was recently signed into law. This new law increases penalties on criminals who assault essential workers and expands eligibility for unemployment benefits for workers who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic, entitling them to a larger percentage of their previous income through unemployment.
“Thousands of residents across our state are out of work through no fault of their own, so I prioritized relief for families facing financial hardship due to the pandemic,” said Reitz. “This measure will help Illinoisans struggling to make ends meet during this time by expanding unemployment benefits, putting more money in their wallets and helping them pay for things they need like groceries, medication and utility bills.”
For more information, contact Rep. Reitz’s constituent service office at 618-282-7284 or RepNReitz@gmail.com.