Thank you for your advocacy! Your calls and emails to your legislators’ helped ensure the passage of a number of bills this past spring session. The following is summary of the bills we worked on.
Driver’s License for undocumented immigrants- It will allow undocumented motorists to apply for Temporary Visitor’s Driver’s Licenses. Applicants will need to prove they have lived in Illinois for one year, provide a valid passport or consular identification document, maintain insurance on their vehicles, and pass all relevant written, vision, and road tests.
SB 1715 – Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act—Creates some of the most stringent regulations on hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in the nation and contains comprehensive provisions to protect water quality, assure transparency, and promote public involvement. Currently there are no regulations in Illinois for fracking.
HB 2262, Eliminate the Asset Limit on TANF—Saves Illinois nearly $1 million annually, while removing a significant barrier that prevents Illinois’ families who are receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) from saving money and becoming financially independent. The “asset test” is part of the eligibility standards for TANF in Illinois, and means that a family of three cannot own more than $3,000 in saving
Health Care Justice:
SB 0026 – Extends medical assistance benefits for people between the ages of 19-65 who qualify for specified provisions of the Social Security Act who also have an income of 133% or below of the poverty level. However, if Illinois’ federal medical assistance is reduced below 90%, the eligibility of this newly created class of persons will end within three months following the month that such reduction occurs. Amendments providing to assessment of hospital providers were also made. Signed into law in July
HB0061 – Prevents the information contained in required notifications to school of HIV infected children in kindergarten through fifth grade from being recorded in the child’s permanent record. In the event this information is in the child’s permanent school record, it must be removed before the child enters the sixth grade. Additionally, instead of disclosing the identity of the child to the school district’s superintendent, the principal must only disclose that a child has been infected with HIV. Furthermore, all provisions of the AIDS Confidentiality Act apply.
HB 2675 – Provides that comprehensive sex education classes in grades 6 through 12 provide instruction on abstinence AND contraception to prevent pregnancy and STDs, including HIV/AIDs. Additionally, sex education classes should stress that abstinence from sexual intercourse is both a “responsible and positive decision” and that it is the only protection that is completely effective against pregnancy and STDs. School districts that do not currently offer sex education are not required to teach it. Additionally, this bill offers school districts the flexibility to offer curriculum that suits the need of its community. Furthermore, the bill provides that the information regarding sexual abstinence include evidence-based and medically accurate information about abstinence.
HB 1538 – Creates the Illinois Mental Health First Aid training program. This bill requires the Department of Human Services to establish and administer a training program to train certified trainers throughout Illinois to provide the people of Illinois with training on how to identify and assist someone who appears to be developing or has developed a mental health disorder, an alcohol or substance abuse disorder, or someone experiencing a mental health or substance abuse crisis. An amendment to the bill requires the Department of Human Services and other State agencies to support training grants for this program.
HB 3061-Illinois Sealing Criminal Records—Expands sealing of non-violent felony records to include Class 3 felonies so that thousands of people across our state will have the opportunity for employment, housing, and education, enabling them to put their lives back together, take care of their families, and be contributing members of their communities. Petitions to the court can be made four years after the individual’s release.
SB 1872 -Eliminate Felony Enhancement for Prostitution—Amends the sentencing provision for prostitution in the criminal code to a Class A misdemeanor and deletes the felony sentence enhancement, which is a costly and ineffective penalty that has not reduced crime . The Passage of this bill makes Illinois a national leader of legal reforms that consider prostituted people as victims of human trafficking in need of services, rather than as criminal offenders.
HB2960 – When practical, the administrator conducting the lineup shall NOT be aware of which person in the photo spread or lineup is the suspect. When it is not practical for the administrator to be unaware of the suspect, a report explaining the reason why it is not practical should be prepared before the lineup. In the event it is not practical for the person conducting the photo spread to be unaware of the suspect, the spread shall be conducted by the folder shuffle method, computer program or by some other comparable method to prevent the person conducting the procedure from knowing which photograph the eyewitness is viewing during the procedure. Furthermore, each person or photo must be presented separately and removed before the next one is shown. Additionally, if it is practical, an audio video or audio recording shall be made of the identification procedure. If not, then a detailed written report, specifically stating the reason why the recording could not be made, shall be written.
HB 2404 -Raises the age of juvenile court jurisdiction to 18, which means that 17-year-olds charged with misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies will be tried and sentenced in juvenile court rather than adult court.
The following are bills that we opposed and that did not move:
SB 2165 – Makes it a requirement for any applicant to receive benefits under the Illinois Public Aid Code, the applicant must pass a drug screen. The bill further requires that once an applicant has been deemed eligible for benefits, he/she must pass random drug tests. HB133- Ensures that a person using a LINK card is the authorized user. The proposal would require all LINK cards to display a photo of the cardholder to ensure the person presenting it at the checkout counter is the same person who is entitled to use it. The names of all secondary users will also be placed on the card. Secondary users will be required to show a valid photo id before they can use the card.