A crime wave has been sweeping Illinois, with surveys of low-wage workers in the Chicago area showing an average of 146,300 cases of wage theft each week -- resulting in about $7.3 million each week in unpaid wages, or $380 million stolen from workers each year. In order to crack down on this criminal wage theft, the Illinois General Assembly on May 3 nearly unanimously (56-0 in the Senate and 112-1 in the House) passed SB 3568, which will strengthen the state’s ability to enforce violations of the Wage Payment and Collection Act.
Despite confronting a $2.8
billion deficit and 9.5
percent unemployment rate, Washington state lawmakers
were able to score key progressive victories this year. Although tax
and budget issues were undoubtedly the predominant legislative focus,
elected officials made significant strides on several issues during both
the regular and special
session, including, children's health, workers' rights,
weatherization, and providing initial foundation for the implementation
of federal health care reform.