Ill. unions, nonprofits want higher caregiver pay

SPRINGFIELD – Nonprofit workers, union leaders and groups representing the developmentally disabled are making a push at the Illinois state Capitol for higher caregiver wages.

What supporters are calling the "Care Campaign" will deliver 10,000 postcards to Gov. Pat Quinn's office Tuesday. They'll urge him to support legislation increasing wages for caregivers at community nonprofits supported by state funds.

Supporters say state funding hasn't kept up with inflation, resulting in low pay for workers. They say many workers take on overtime hours, work second jobs and rely on food stamps to make ends meet.

The push comes during a difficult budget year for the state. Budget experts expect Illinois to lose about $1.5 billion in revenue next year if the state's temporary income tax increase is allowed to expire as scheduled.