The following was released by SEIU Healthcare Illinois Indiana Missouri Kansas President Greg Kelley in response to Governor JB Pritzker’s budget address.
CHICAGO – “As a union of over 90,000 essential healthcare workers who have been serving on the frontlines for the entirety of this pandemic, we are grateful for the steps the Governor’s proposed budget would take towards fairer and more equitable revenue sources but also aware that these measures will be insufficient to fund the recovery that the working people of Illinois so desperately need.
“Our members applaud Governor Pritzker’s leadership in his support of closing corporate tax loopholes and decoupling Illinois from ill-advised Federal tax provisions. These are crucial steps in the right direction. But the devastation of this pandemic, and its disproportionate impact on Black, brown and low-income workers and their communities, call upon us to do more. Our members have faced daily risks on the job of getting sick, spreading the virus to those they care for, and also of increased economic insecurity. While rightly being celebrated by many as heroes, they have paid a high price for the essential roles they have played. And they continue to pay that price.
“We must avoid cuts to vital programs and services, as these are more desperately needed now than ever before. But more is still needed—it is time for us to make bold investments in the resources and support structures that will enable a full recovery for all of Illinois—a recovery that includes the essential workers who continue to put their lives on the line every day to provide crucial services to our state’s most vulnerable.”