2024 Illinois Legislative Successes


The 2024 Illinois legislative session was productive for SEIU Local 73 including passing a budget with significant funding for the work of our members, increased funding and resources for developmental disability services and direct support professionals (DSPs), and a ban on captive audience meetings.

“Our political work, funded through voluntary contributions to our political action committee, COPE, gives us the ability to achieve these legislative victories,” said Jeff Howard, SEIU Local 73 Executive Vice President, “I encourage all of our members to contribute to COPE so we can continue to win on critical legislative issues.”

Increased Funding for Direct Support Personnel

Local 73 worked with SEIU HCII and AFSCME Council 31 to pass SB3399 which creates a comprehensive approach to supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This bill includes provisions for increased funding and resources for developmental disability services and addresses workforce shortages in this sector by offering incentives and support for direct support professionals (DSPs).

Sustained the Removal of Police from Chicago Public Schools

Local 73 prevented legislation which would have undermined the CPS School Security Officers we represent. As part of a coalition of labor and community organizations, we were able to stop HB5008 which aimed to amend the Chicago Public School district article of the school code, allowing local school councils to contract with the Chicago Police Department for police officers or school resource officers on school grounds. Our union has worked diligently with the Board of Education to ensure security officers would not have to come from the Chicago Police Department.

Passed the Illinois Worker Freedom of Speech Act

Unions across Illinois worked together to pass the Illinois Worker Freedom of Speech Act (SB3649), to protect employees from unwanted political and religious speech in the workplace. Illinois is now the eighth state in the nation to pass an anti-captive audience measure.

Even in labor friendly Illinois, companies rarely bat an eye when it comes to sinking a union drive. When signed into law, the act will protect workers who choose to walk away from these meetings. It will ensure they cannot be retaliated against when they decline to participate and creates a more level playing field for both management and workers during organizing drives.

Balanced Budget for the Fifth Straight Year

As part of the Responsible Budget Coalition (RBC), SEIU Local 73 supported the revenue adjustments Governor Pritzker proposed in his February budget outline to achieve a balanced budget for the 5th consecutive fiscal year!  The budget includes significant investments in K-12 education, infrastructure projects, and human services, while also addressing the state’s bill backlog and meeting pension obligations.

Local 73 continues to work with legislative leaders to ensure Illinois stays on sound financial footing and meets the needs of its people. As part of RBC, we will examine and propose revenue generators to provide the resources necessary to meet the needs of the people of Illinois.

Protected Higher Education Workers’ Rights

Local 73 passed HB5079 which amended the State Universities Civil Service Act to ensure that nothing in the Act or any rules adopted under the Act prevents the parties to a collective bargaining agreement subject to the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act from agreeing to a provision that enhances employee rights.

Improved Resolution of Unfair Labor Practice Charges

HB 5324:

Local 73 worked with other unions to pass HB5324 which mandates that the Illinois Labor Relations Board and Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board report the number of unfair labor practice charge cases pending before it, at the end of the fiscal year.  Essentially, it sets goals for the timely processing and resolution of these charges.