The following are pieces of legislation that have been identified as fitting our mission and that will be moving in the upcoming legislative session.
SJRCA 40/ HJRCA 33 Campaign to create a fair tax in IL: This bill will put a question on the ballot whether the state constitution should change to allow for a graduated income tax. This would allow for changes to the tax code that could generate significantly more revenue and minimize cuts to programs and services that support individuals experiencing poverty. The Illinois constitution mandates we have a flat tax. In order to change that we need to amend the states constitution and this is done through a ballot measure. For the amendment to the Illinois Constitution to appear on the ballot next November, 3/5 of the Illinois Senate and 3/5 of the Illinois House must, by May 4, 2014, vote in favor of putting it there. That takes 36 of 59 senators and 71 of 118 representatives. Once the issue of whether to amend the Illinois Constitution is on the ballot, it takes a majority of all voters in the November election, or 60 percent of those who vote on the amendment itself, for it to pass.
SB0068 Raising the Minimum WAGE: We are working with Raise Illinois a grassroots campaign to increase Illinois’ minimum wage from the current $8.25 per hour to $10.65 an hour by 2014. Raise Illinois is led by a coalition made up of community, business, faith and labor organizations along with minimum wage workers and supporters that are committed to fighting for a raise in the minimum wage in Illinois.
SB2400/HB2461 - Illinois Automatic IRA Act: These bill would create an Illinois Automatic IRA Program Act, a Program shall be administered by the State Treasurer. The bills allow employees of certain employers that have not offered a qualified retirement plan for 2 years to set aside a percentage of their wages to be deposited into an IRA trust fund administered by the State Treasurer's office.
SB1708 - Establishes the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights: The bill provides workplace and benefit standards for domestic workers and removes the domestic worker exclusion from the Minimum Wage Act, the Human Rights Act, the Wages of Women and Minors Act, and the One Day Rest in Seven Act.
HB3688 - Psychotropic Medication Carve Cuts: Would carve out certain psychotropic medications from the 4 RX drug limit policy of the Illinois Medicaid program.
HB1516 SA2 - Restorative Adult Dental: Would provide full restoration of restorative (e.g. filling cavities, root canals, dentures) dental services for adults in Illinois’s Medicaid Program.
SB 2862: SB 2862 appropriates $400,000 in General Revenue Funds to help attract promising students to the child welfare profession and increase retention of current child welfare staff who are seeking advanced skills. The Child Welfare Student Loan Forgiveness Act became law in 2004, to provide loan assistance to college and master degree students who seek to provide child welfare services. However, no funds have ever been appropriated to implement the act. The Child Welfare Student Loan Forgiveness program “forgives” loans taken out by students while they are in college, as long as they provide service in a child welfare program. The Child Welfare Loan Forgiveness program will not require any tuition reduction or loss of funds for any colleges or universities.
Benefits under program: Limited to a maximum of 2 academic years, Undergraduate applicant may be awarded a forgivable loan of no more than $4,000 per academic year for a maximum of 2 academic years, and Graduate applicant may be awarded a forgivable loan of no more than $8,000 per academic year for a maximum of 2 academic years
Students Receiving Loans Promise: To work for a Private Agency under DCFS contract or DCFS on a full-time basis, one year for each year a forgivable loan is received, to begin working within one year following completion of the degree program, and agree to repay the loan plus interest if they fail to work for the Private Agency or DCFS
HB 8: HB 8 is a measured approach that prevents employers from pushing pregnant workers out of their Jobs. It promotes workplace fairness for pregnant workers by requiring employers to make reasonable accommodations for conditions related to pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions unless the employer can demonstrate that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the ordinary operation of the employer’s business—just as employers do for limitations caused by other conditions. It is modeled after the Americans with Disabilities Act, and analogous state law, with which employers are well-versed. It is about treating pregnant workers the same as other workers who are similar in their ability or inability to work—not about “special treatment” or “extra” benefits. It does not require employers to create new jobs or fire, transfer an employee with more seniority, or promote an unqualified employee.
SB 1342 Mandatory Sentencing: SB 1342 would strip judges of their discretion in sentencing persons convicted of gun possession. Regardless of the criminal intent of the defendant or circumstances surrounding the case, judges would be required to impose “mandatory minimum sentences” on such defendants. Judges should be permitted to render sentences that they deem appropriate given the facts of each case before them. Unfortunately, SB 1342 deprives judges of that fundamental duty and necessary safeguard for our criminal justice system. We heartily support all efforts to reduce gun violence and crime in our communities. However, SB 1342 will do neither. In fact, it could likely exacerbate the issue of violence and mass incarceration decimating our communities.
HB 2378: Allow the lowest level, misdemeanor offenses to be eligible for sealing and give hard working, law abiding men and women who can demonstrate they have turned their lives around an opportunity to provide for themselves and their families.Hundreds of thousands of men and women in Illinois are being denied access to decent employment and housing because of old, minor, low level offenses on their record –misdemeanors like simple battery (not domestic) and assault. By allowing these low level misdemeanors to become eligible for sealing, HB 2378 promotes self sufficiency by allowing men and women to be considered for employment and housing they are otherwise denied simply because of past mistakes. It also makes Illinois safer because access to employment lowers recidivism, thereby saving Illinois millions in corrections costs.