2017 Legislative Roundup

IABG advocates for policies that close the racial wealth gap, expand savings opportunities, and protects Illinoisans from predatory financial products and practices. Illinois’ regular legislative session ended on May 31, and we saw progress on many of our policy priorities.

IABG Priorities

HB3691 – Universal Children’s Savings Accounts: HB3691 automatically opens a 529 college savings account for every child born in Illinois. While the legislation passed out of both chambers with bipartisan support, it is still waiting for a concurrence vote in the House. Illinois families are more than ready for this important program, so we are hopeful that it will pass when the legislature reconvenes. Read more.

SB1246 – Protect Savings from Debt Collection: Protects 529 college savings accounts and ABLE accounts from debt collection attempts. The bill faced opposition and was unable to move this session. We will be working to advance the bill in the fall or in the next legislative session.

HB3177 – Driver’s License Suspension Reform: Prohibits driver’s license suspension for non-moving violations. The bill garnered much interest and support, but faced significant opposition. We will be working with the Chicago Jobs Council over the summer to move the legislation forward.

Legislation we Supported

SB1351 – Student Loan Borrower Bill of Rights: SB1351 establishes important protections for student loan borrowers, regulates student loan servicers in Illinois, and creates a Student Loan Ombusdman. The bill passed out of both chambers and is headed to the Governor.

HB3142 – Ban the Box in Higher Education: Prohibits Illinois higher education institutions from asking about an applicant’s criminal record in the admissions process. The legislation passed through the House, but faced opposition in the Senate. We will work with other advocates to help advance this issue in the coming months.

HB302 – Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits: HB302 protects consumers by helping ensure that life insurance benefits are paid in the event that a policyholder dies. The bill passed out of both chambers and is on its way to the Governor.

We also supported a number of other consumer protections bills, including bills addressing court fines & fees, discrimination in car insurance rates, and forced arbitration. These bills faced significant opposition and did not move forward. We are committed to working with our partners to advance strong consumer protections in the coming months and years.

Heartland Alliance Priorities

IABG is a project of Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights. Our policy team at Heartland Alliance championed a number of bills that affect low-income Illinoisans, including:

HB3211 – Addressing College Hunger: HB3211 seeks to address a growing concern about hunger on college campuses. The bill takes advantage of flexibility offered by the federal program to extend SNAP eligibility to community college students enrolled in career and technical education certificate or degree programs. It also establishes a process by which the Illinois Student Assistance Commission identifies and notifies students who may be eligible for SNAP at colleges and universities throughout the state. The bill passed both Houses and is headed to the Governor’s desk.

HB2373 – Expanding Sealing Eligibility: HB2373 will significantly expand the number of offenses that are eligible to be sealed under Illinois law, helping people with criminal records avoid barriers to opportunity. The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk for signature.

The Budget Impasse

We are now entering our third year without a state budget. Once again, elected officials failed to pass a budget before the end of the legislative session.

We continue to participate in the Responsible Budget Coalition, calling for a fully-funded, responsible budget with adequate revenue. Read more about the devastating consequences of the budget impasse.

Thank You

A huge thanks to all of the members of the IABG coalition and to many partners who supported our legislative priorities this year, including COFI and POWER-PAC, EverThrive Illinois, Illinois Action for Children, the Ounce, Shriver Center, Illinois PIRG, and the Woodstock Institute.

Stay tuned for more information about how to help us advance many of these priorities in the summer and fall.

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