Gov. J.B. Pritzker today unveiled his budget plan for the upcoming fiscal year that begins July 1, proposing a cut to the Tax Credit Scholarship program that allows low-income and working-class students to receive scholarships to Catholic and other nonpublic schools. The Catholic Conference today issued a statement in response to Pritzker's proposal.
An attempt to repeal the state's parental notice of abortion law will be made during the spring session of the Illinois Legislature. State Rep. Ana Moeller, D-Elgin, today filed House Bill 1797, which calls for lawmakers to dismantle current law requiring an adult family member to be notified when a minor girl seeks an abortion. Similar legislation was filed during the spring 2019 legislative session, when that bill passed a Senate committee but was not called for a vote on the Senate floor.
Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy, executive director of the Catholic Mobilizing Network, talks about the potential for ending the federal death penalty under President Joe Biden. Next, Anthony Holter, president of Empower Illinois, discusses the organization’s recently released annual report on the Tax Credit Scholarship program. Then, Rep. Adam Niemerg, R-Teutopolis, talks about House Bill 697, which calls for a 50% income tax credit on contributions to pregnancy resource centers. Finally, Geno Fernandez, president of the Archdiocese of Chicago’s school board, talks about the Archdiocese’s $1.4 million Gratitude Fund, which distributed bonuses to school employees as a thank-you for their efforts toward in-person learning during the pandemic.
The Catholic Conference of Illinois today joined over 100 social justice organizations and businesses in calling upon Gov. J.B. Pritzker to sign into law the Predatory Loan Prevention Act as embodied in Senate Bill 1792. The legislation caps interest rates on payday and car title loans at 36%.
Jennifer Daniels of USCCB talks about aid for Catholic schools in the recent stimulus package. Then, Justin Lombardo of the Archdiocese of Chicago discusses the documented success of Archdiocesan schools with in-person learning during the pandemic as outlined in a study published in an academic journal. Finally, Abe Scarr of Illinois PIRG discusses passage of the Predatory Loan Prevention Act during the recent lame-duck session.
Illinois lawmakers returned to Springfield for a lame-duck session driven by a Black Caucus agenda focusing on social and economic justice efforts intended to root out systemic racism following a summer of nationwide unrest after the unjust deaths of Black individuals at the hands of police. The specter of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s losing quest to win another term as speaker only added to the drama of the intense, five-and-a-half-day session, culminating in Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Westchester, winning the top House post as the first Black individual to assume the powerful role.