Harris032219SPRINGFIELD – 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 sometimes as much as 20 percent more for their water than those in the wealthiest towns in Cook County. The disparity exists even though 80 percent of the county receives water from Lake Michigan. The situation is caused in part by the aging infrastructure of lower-income communities.

“This measure would help some of the poorest communities in Cook County by allowing them gain more streamlined access to Lake Michigan,” Harris said. “The current disparity is unjust, and I hope to see municipalities take advantage of this program.”

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 and heads to the House for consideration.

Category: News

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
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Springfield Office:
Senator 15th District
M113 Capitol
Springfield, IL 62706
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