Willis Backs Bill to Protect Nurses from Governor’s Layoffs

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Kathleen Willis, helped to pass legislation this week that would protect Illinois nurses from planned layoffs by Governor Bruce Rauner.

“I am proud to stand with nurses in Illinois because we should be working to protect hardworking men and women and not look to privatize important services to shoddy corporations,” said Willis. “This legislation will help to protect middle-class jobs from being sold off to private corporations.”

Senate Bill 19 would prevent the governor from privatizing over 100 nursing position at the Department of Corrections, laying off the skilled men and women, and sending those jobs to a for-profit corporation with a substandard record of care and dubious history of problematic labor practices. The Rauner Administration has said the nurses currently employed by the state could be hired on by the business, but would be working for less money, severely reduced benefits and fewer hours. Advocates for the legislation argue this move clearly shows the governor’s agenda is to cut middle-class wages and boost the profits of big corporations, regardless of the cost for our families.

“We need to protect working families and the governor’s move to lay off nurses is not the right path for our state,” said Willis. “Instead of looking to sell off government assets to questionable corporations, we need to be focused on protecting and creating new jobs for working families.”

Willis is serving her third term in the Illinois General Assembly as State Representative of the 77th District, which includes O’Hare Airport and portions of Addison, Bellwood, Bensenville, Franklin Park, Maywood, Melrose Park, Northlake, Stone Park, and Wood Dale.