Harris032019SPRINGFIELD – To push for greater fairness and diversity in contract work, Senator Napoleon Harris (D-Harvey) proposed new legislation setting goals for larger municipalities to include minority-owned businesses.

“We need to ensure that minority-owned businesses are not being passed over as these municipalities continue to hand out millions of dollars in taxpayer money, and a good place to start is setting contracting goals,” Harris said.

The legislation would set goals for cities which receive more than $1 million in state motor fuel taxes to hire more minority-owned and -operated businesses when awarding contracts. The measure is an effort to include more minority, veteran and woman-owned businesses in local government contracting.

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Category: News

Harris030719SPRINGFIELD – Low-income Cook County communities could soon see lower drinking water rates under a measure sponsored by Senator Napoleon Harris III (D-Harvey).

According to a 2018 study conducted by the Chicago Tribune, residents in Cook County’s lowest-income communities pay more for their water, sometimes as much as 20%, than those in the wealthiest towns in Cook County. The disparity exists even though 80 percent of the county receives water from Lake Michigan.

“Where you live shouldn’t determine the cost of your drinking water,” Harris said. “It’s unfair that some of the poorest communities in my district are paying more money for water than wealthier communities in Cook County.”

Senate Bill 175 creates the Cook County Water Infrastructure Fund to be used by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to help municipalities fund infrastructure improvements to facilitate water supplies from Lake Michigan.

The proposal was approved by the Senate State Government Committee and now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

Category: News

MinWage020719SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Napoleon Harris III (D-Harvey) voted on Thursday to send a measure that would raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025.

“The minimum wage has remained stagnant for the past decade,” Harris said. “Meanwhile, the cost of basic necessities has continued to increase. I’m glad we were able to move a step closer to helping working families meet their needs.”

The measure also increases the minimum wage for individuals under the age of 18 but at a slower pace, going from $8 on Jan. 1, 2020 to $13 on Jan. 1, 2022.

Under Illinois law, workers who receive tips, like servers and delivery drivers, receive 60 percent of minimum wage and receive the rest in tips or are supplemented by their employer. That dynamic will mean the tipped wage would increase to $9 per hour by 2025.

The measure now heads to the House for consideration.

Category: News

Harris012919SPRINGFIELD – South Suburban homeowners and small businesses will see smaller property tax bills under a new state grant program for school districts in high-tax areas.

The Property Tax Relief Grant was included in the historic school funding reform law that has already provided millions of dollars in new state funds to school districts that need it the most. In the first year of the program, public schools in the 15th Senate District will see $8.4 million in property tax relief.

“One of the biggest hurdles to funding our schools is a lack of property wealth paired with high property taxes in the South Suburbs,” said State Senator Napoleon Harris (D-Harvey). “This new program can help us solve that problem and bring more resources to our local schools and economic growth to our community.”

Several local school districts will be eligible for the tax relief grant, including:
• Thornton Township High School District 205: $3,662,072.45
• Ford Heights School District 169: $216,232.14
• Bremen Community High School District 228: $3,541,127.33
• Dolton School District 148: $1,050,639.44

In order to receive the state grant, eligible school districts must submit an abatement resolution to their county clerks by March 30. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will then distribute the grants once receiving all abatement certificates.

More information on the Property Tax Relief Grant and a listing of each eligible school district can be found at www.ISBE.net/proptaxrelief.

Category: News

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Contact Info

Springfield Office:
Senator 15th District
M113 Capitol
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8066

District Office:
1350 E. Sibley Blvd., Suite 403
Dolton, IL 60419
(708) 893-0552
(708) 566-4108 FAX