August 14, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ill.  – State Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside, issued the following statement in response to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s recent veto of Senate Bill 1, the plan to fix Illinois’ broken funding formula:

“With his veto, the governor once again showed that he does not care about the students of Illinois. The governor was on the record saying that he agreed with 90 percent of the bill, but for some reason that was not enough for him. He continues to move the goal posts and is using our students and their education as pawns in his political games. 

“Senate Bill 1 was a negotiated bill between Democrats, Republicans, school administrators and education advocates. The measure was a result of years of hard work from lawmakers from across the state to ensure that all of our children have the chance of a better future.

“Funding directed under Senate Bill 1 will go to school districts with the greatest financial need, including Chicago Public Schools, rural downstate school districts and...

July 24, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. –Committed to making Illinois a welcoming state, State Rep. Chris Welch, D-Hillside, and state Rep. Elizabeth “Lisa” Hernandez, D-Cicero, respective members of the Black and Latino Caucus, unified their fellow caucus members to pen a letter to Gov. Rauner urging him to enact immigrant protections passed by the General Assembly at the end of May. 

(Pictured: State Rep. Chris Welch and state Rep. Lisa Hernandez)

“In the era of Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions, it is crucial that we come together, and speak up for one another because an attack on one of us is an attack against all of us,” Welch said. “African-Americans and Latinos have made tremendous gains in the last few decades and we cannot let a misguided president roll-back that progress, which is why this legislation and the fact that the members who represent some of the most diverse districts in Illinois came together in solidarity for one another speaks volumes. Again, I urge Governor Rauner to make it clear t...

July 7, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside, released the following statement on his effort to pass a bipartisan, balanced budget:

“For the first time in over two years, Democrats and Republicans worked together and approved a balanced, full-year budget. The plan cuts state spending by nearly $3 billion, while protecting our seniors, supporting our most vulnerable citizens, revitalizing our violence prevention programs and funding our schools, colleges and universities.

“Though more work is required, we should acknowledge the fact members on both sides of the aisle worked together to make this a reality, while Governor Rauner did everything in his power to continue the destruction of our state. This is bi-partisan, balanced budget is a huge step in the right direction and I commend all of my colleagues who valued working to address the challenges facing Illinois over political games.

“House Democrats will continue to work with the governor to find compromise on his ag...

July 1, 2017

HILLSIDE, Ill. – To provide additional protections to students and individuals paying off their student loans, state Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside, recently supported legislation that would create a Student Loan Bill of Rights in Illinois.  

“Illinois’ college graduates on average total as much as $30,000 in student loan debt,” Welch said. “People do not go to college to earn a debt sentence only to be hampered by their payments and unable to build the future of their dreams. As chair of the House Higher Education Committee, my goal is to ease debt burdens for graduates while ensuring future students can look forward to job prospects, not the amount of debt they will owe. This measure would provide much-needed protections to those who are saddled with debt.”

Welch co-sponsored Senate Bill 1351, which in addition to establishing a Student Loan Bill of Rights, also creates a Student Loan Ombudsman within the Office of the Attorney General to assist students with any ques...

June 28, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – To ensure that all women have access to vital healthcare coverage, state Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside, is sponsoring legislation that would require insurance companies to cover breast cancer screenings done with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

“Due to the governor’s refusal to negotiate on a budget, many women across Illinois are not receiving breast-cancer screenings, putting their lives in jeopardy,” said Welch. “ Women’s health care choices should not be used as a political tool for the governor to push his non-budgetary agenda.”

Welch is sponsoring Senate Bill 314, which would require insurance companies to cover an MRI breast exam. Generally, this test is used if cancer is detected or dense breast tissue does not allow traditional tests to identify cancerous cells. Welch’s legislation will make sure that all women have access to affordable breast cancer screenings and ensure that breast cancer is caught early, which ultimately makes it easier to treat...

June 26, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – As part of his commitment to lifting up middle-class families in Illinois, state Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside, is backing a comprehensive economic reform package that lowers business taxes, provides more incentives to companies to invest and increases take home pay for workers.

“I went to Springfield to fight for the middle-class,” said Welch. “Across the state, our families and businesses need financial relief. This package would truly benefit the people and businesses that pay the majority of Illinois’ taxes and incentivize companies to stay here and create jobs.”

Welch is sponsoring House Bill 160, which has important reforms for Illinois’ middle class and small and medium sized businesses. Included in this package, Illinois workers would receive additional money by an annual increase in the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit. With more disposable income, workers and their families would be able to spend more on goods and services for themselves.

Illinois’ s...

June 26, 2017

MAYWOOD, Ill. – On Saturday, State Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside, Congressman Danny Davis, D-Chicago, Maywood Mayor Edwenna Perkins and members of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity marched on the streets of Maywood to highlight the importance of funding anti-violence and employment programs that have lost funding due to Gov. Rauner’s two-year budget impasse.

“Violence has been plaguing our communities for too long, and the governor’s unwillingness to compromise on a budget is putting people’s lives in danger,” said Welch. “That is why I started this march and a petition, so that the people of Illinois can stand up to the governor, demand him to stop campaigning and actually do the job that the people of Illinois elected him to do.”

Welch and members of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity marched in Maywood to bring attention to continued anti-violence programs and organizations that have since been under monetary constraints due to Gov. Rauner’s budget impasse. Welch is also urging...

April 14, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – In an effort to end practices of pay discrimination between male and female employees, state Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside, is sponsoring legislation to create modern equal pay policies.

“Women in Illinois are not equally compensated for the work that they do. In some cases, women earn only between 54 and 79 cents on the dollar for what men earn,” said Welch. “This cannot continue. The time for real policy change is now, and I want to tackle this issue head on. This legislation I am supporting will help accomplish that goal.”

Welch is sponsoring House Bill 2462, which strengthens state law requiring employers to pay women the same as equally qualified men doing the same job. Welch’s legislation prohibits employers from asking job applicants about their previous wages, a practice that can lock women in to lower pay for their entire careers. His measure also bars companies from requiring employees sign contracts that would prevent them from discussing their sal...

February 27, 2017

HILLSIDE, Ill. – In an effort to alleviate the burdensome tuition costs for college students across Illinois, state Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch is sponsoring legislation that would establish reimbursement grants for Illinois students at public universities.

“As Chair of the House Higher Education Committee, I see a lot of proposals that would affect a student’s ability to enroll into one of Illinois’ many public universities,” said Welch. “Constant tuition increases can prevent students from applying to state universities and colleges. It can also force them to look at colleges out of the state, and many times these students do not move back to Illinois after receiving their degree.”

Since Gov. Rauner took office, funding for state colleges and universities has been cut by almost 60 percent. Many schools have been forced to lay off staff, increase class sizes, reduce programs they offer and raise tuition rates; putting the cost on students. To help students with this new financial burden,...

February 27, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – In an effort to provide relief to immigrant students and families in Illinois, state Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Westchester, is sponsoring House Bill 426, which would establish protections for immigrants from Immigration & Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.) or agencies working with I.C.E.

“The goal of this legislation is to protect people’s rights from invasive actions by the government,” said Welch. “We must stand with those who feel that their government is not fighting for them. Illinois should be a welcoming place to those who are trying to make a better life for themselves.” 

Welch introduced House Bill 426 to create safe zones for the 2 million immigrants who currently residing in Illinois, approximately 500,000 of whom are undocumented. The safe zones defined in this proposal include: elementary and high schools, colleges and universities, health care facilities and places of worship. Under the legislation, Immigration & Customs Enforcement officials and agen...

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