Noteworthy Progress

Three bills — important to PCG’s Common Good Agenda — “made it out of committee” last week in Springfield and have been “reported favorably” to the Illinois House. Now the bills can be considered by all members of the House of Representatives. Each of these bills is likely to stimulate significant debate when called for a vote. Stay tuned!

HB 5950 Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) Grant Increase increases the TANF grant by 15% ($64 more per month for a family of 3) annually until the grants reach 50% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL)and then maintains them at that level. Eighty percent of the 15% grant increase will be covered by federal matching funds in the first year.

Sponsored by Representative Will Burns, the Human Services Committee approved the bill by a vote of 4 yes, 1 no, and 2 present.

HB6088 BPA-Free Kids Act protects Illinois children’s health from toxic bisphenol-A by eliminating the chemical from 1) infant formula and baby food containers and 2) reusable plastic food containers such as baby bottles, water bottles, and sippy cups. Bisphenol-A (BPA) is an estrogen-mimicking chemical which leaches from polycarbonate containers.

Sponsored by Representative Elaine Nekritz, the Youth and Family Committee approved the bill by a vote of 4 yes, 3 no.

HB 5394 expands Sealing to Eliminate the Unintended Consequences of a Criminal Record to make all cases resulting in non-conviction eligible for sealing. Such cases include situations in which the person was acquitted, the case was reversed on appeal, the case was dismissed, or the person was found actually innocent. The bill also makes the most common excluded misdemeanors sealable, including simple battery, simple assault, solicitation of a sexual act, and solicitation of a prostitute if the individual has had no involvement with the criminal justice system for a specified number of years.

Sponsored by Representative Constance Howard, the Judiciary II Committee approved the bill by a vote of 4 yes, 3 no.

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