03122019CM0960SPRINGFIELD – To address the teacher shortage in Illinois, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are pushing to raise the mandated minimum salary for full-time educators to $40,000 per academic year.

This legislation, co-sponsored by State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon), could raise the minimum for the first time since 1980. Current law has allowed teachers to be paid a minimum of $10,000 for the last 38 years.

“To encourage the highest quantity of young, qualified teachers to stay and educate in Illinois, we must provide them with a respectable starting wage,” Crowe said. “By raising the minimum salary, we’ll be attracting educators to begin their professional careers within our state.”

The House of Representatives passed similar legislation, House Bill 2078, earlier this week.

The bill would gradually increase the minimum full-time teacher salary over a period of four years beginning with the 2020-2021 school year. The rates would be:

  • •$32,076 for the 2020-2021 school year;
  • •$34,576 for the 2021-2022 school year;
  • •$37,076 for the 2022-2023 school year; and
  • •$40,000 for the 2023-2024 school year.

Senate Bill 10 passed the Senate 45-11 and is scheduled for consideration in the House.

Category: Press Releases

04102019CM1756SPRINGFIELD – Distracted drivers who cause a fatal accident and flee the scene face tougher penalties under legislation by State Senator Rachelle Crowe.

Crowe, a Democrat from Glen Carbon, is pushing to add an aggravating factor to sentencing considerations for those who flee after causing a fatal crash because they were under the influence of alcohol or drugs or were distracted by a cell phone or other device.

“Distracted driving is an epidemic that grows statewide every day,” Crowe said. “This reckless behavior will not be tolerated, and those who do commit such a careless act must be punished properly.” 

This measure stems from a 2015 incident in Madison County—in which a man failed to report a fatal crash. Police learned of the crash hours later, and it was established in court the man had been texting while driving.

Current law calls for sentences for failing to report a death to range from probation to four to 15 years in prison at 50-percent of time required to be served. This change in the law would rectify the current law’s opportunity for those charged to not face consequences for their actions.

Senator Crowe and the Madison County’s State’s Attorney’s Office joined forces to craft this legislation to ensure justice for victims and their loved ones.

“This is a matter of life or death, and our office sees the devastation these families experience when justice isn’t served to drivers who refuse to report crashes,” Crystal Uhe, First Assistant State’s Attorney, said. “Adding an aggravated factor to sentencing is a step we hope to discourage this cowardice behavior.”

Aggravating factors can influence a court’s decision to include an imprisoning sentence or increase the chance for a more severe sentence.

Senate Bill 1750 was approved by the Senate Wednesday and will now be considered by the House.

Category: Press Releases

04042019CM0766SPRINGFIELD – Non-traditional students seeking vocational training would be eligible for a new scholarship program under legislation co-sponsored by State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon).

“Public education encourages growth for local economic developments and job markets,” Crowe said. “Our state should be incentivizing trade school for students who want different opportunities for their futures.”

The legislation establishes an Adult Vocational Community College Scholarship Program, run by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission. To be eligible, a student must be over the age of 30 and unemployed but actively searching for work.

The scholarship would be enough to cover the cost of tuition and fees to attend the community college without exceeding $2,000 per recipient per academic year.

Senate Bill 1167 passed the Senate today and will go for further consideration in the House.

Category: Press Releases

03282019CM0397SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) adopted legislation in the Senate today urging Illinois to adopt “buy Illinois” and “buy America” steel policies.

Senate Resolution 84 recognizes the importance of the steel industry and the jobs it supports in Illinois. This legislation is an effort by Crowe to highlight her region’s vital contributions to the nation’s steel production.

“Our local communities have been hurt by the shift to using steel from overseas sources,” said Crowe. “Illinois has an abundance of resources to contribute to the nation’s need for steel, so let’s make use of them.”

In Illinois, the steel industry employs more than 9,000 workers and supports about 64,000 jobs. Production has steadily declined over the years because of imported steel.

“Our steel mills have been threatened for years, costing jobs and deficits to our economy,” said Dan Simmons, president of United Steelworkers Local 1899 in Granite City. “I’m pleased our lawmakers and the state are taking initiatives to protect the industry.”

Pictured from left to right: Jason Fernandez, State Senator Rachelle Crowe, Craig McKey and Dan Simmons – the gentlemen are some representatives of the steel industry in the 56th District

Category: Press Releases

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