2022 Spring Legislative Summary

2022 Spring Legislative Summary

STATE BUDGET
Flush with federal assistance and higher than expected tax collections (fueled by high inflation), the state budget for fiscal year 2023 will come in around $47 billion, featuring an 8% increase for state operations, temporary tax cuts and debt payments.

$1.8 billion in tax cuts
– The state will send individual-filing taxpayers a check for $50 and joint filers $100. Each dependent child will generate another $100 check;
– $300 property tax rebates for homeowners;
– Suspends the grocery tax for one year;
– Back-to-School sales tax holiday;
– 6-month freeze on the inflation-adjusted increase in the Motor Fuel Tax paid (2.2 cents per gallon) paid for with a 12-month diversion from the Leaking Underground Storage Tank Fund; and
– Expands the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) from 18 to 20 percent. Also, young adults (ages 18-24), seniors (65 years old or older), and persons who have Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) instead of Social Security numbers will be eligible for the state EITC.

$1.5 billion for savings and debt payment
– $1 billion to the Rainy Day Fund; and
– $500 million into pension fund debt.

$ 200 million for “public safety initiatives”

$20 million for the Illinois Nonprofit Security Grant Program
– Under this program, nonprofits, including churches, can apply for state grants for needed security measures.

CCI ISSUES

Invest in Kids Act

House Bill 4126 (Tarver (D) – Chicago and Cunningham (D) – Chicago) – This legislation creates a “super-priority” status for current scholarship recipients and allows for awarding partial scholarships for qualifying families whose income exceeds 185% of federal poverty level. The provisions of the bill are relatively minor improvements to the program, but this work is accomplishing the additional goal of engaging our grassroots and building more support in the General Assembly. As evidence of the successful strategy, the bill passed the House and Senate on unanimous roll calls. The bill will soon be sent to the Governor.

We were also able to make some technical corrections, ensuring all areas of statute agree on the program’s current January 1, 2025 sunset date, in the Budget Implementation Bill.

Catholics for Life

House Bill 4221 (Cassidy (D) – Chicago) – This legislation seeks to target Crisis Pregnancy Centers with burdensome promotional mandates that would infringe on their operations and free speech rights. It also seeks to impose an individual right to civil action that would threaten the Centers viability. CCI opposed this legislation, and it did not move forward.

House Bill 4247 (Hernandez (D) – Chicago) – This legislation requires public universities to make emergency contraception available through on-campus vending machines. These drugs are already available over-the-counter and in university health centers. CCI opposed this legislation. The bill passed the House on March 3, 2022 by a vote of 62-38-2, but was not taken up by the Senate.

Conversion Therapy

House Bill 5162 (Yingling (D) – Round Lake Beach) – This bill would have prohibited organizations, including religious organizations, from receiving any state funding if they are practicing “conversion therapy.” CCI opposed this legislation because “conversion therapy” is not defined in the legislation. The bill passed the House but did not move in the Senate as of the end of this session.

Immigration

Senate Bill 3144 (Villanueva (D) – Chicago) – This bill will create a state task force to explore how to provide universal legal representation to immigrants facing deportation. CCI supported this bill, which passed both chambers and will be sent to the Governor.

House Bill 4343 (Gillespie (D) – Arlington Heights) – Among the provisions in this bill is the expansion of state medical coverage to low-income noncitizens ages 42 to 54. Under past legislative efforts, low-income noncitizens 55 years old or older are already eligible for state medical coverage. This bill passed both chambers and will be sent to the Governor.

Prison & Jail Ministry

House Bill 3465 (Lilly (D) – Oak Park) – This legislation calls on each institution or facility of the Illinois Department of Corrections to hire a reentry specialist to assist persons with reentry back to their communities. CCI supported this bill, which passed both chambers and will be sent to the Governor.

Cemeteries

House Bill 4552 (Cassidy (D) – Chicago) – This bill would allow for natural organic reduction of human remains (“human composting”) in Illinois. CCI opposed this bill, which passed a House committee but did not move forward as of the end of this session.

Catholic Conference responds to Gov. Pritzker’s proposed cut to Tax Credit Scholarship program

Catholic Conference responds to Gov. Pritzker’s proposed cut to Tax Credit Scholarship program

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 budget book notes the following:

Limit Tax Credit for Private School Scholarships 

In 2017, Illinois added an income tax credit program granting a 75 percent income tax credit to individuals and businesses that contribute to scholarship funds for private schools. The Governor is proposing to change to a 40 percent tax credit to align more closely to the marginal value of contributions at the federal level and to permit the credit even if the taxpayer claims the amount of the contribution as an itemized deduction for federal income tax purposes. This is estimated to generate an additional $14 million in income tax revenues for the general funds.

The Catholic Conference today issued the following statement as a response to Pritzker’s proposal.

The proposal by Gov. J.B. Pritzker to slash the Invest in Kids Tax Credit Scholarship program reduces the most effective state program for low-income and working-class students in Illinois. Even during the pandemic, scholarship recipients have been attending high-quality, nonpublic schools. Students at Catholic schools have been learning in-person since August and have surpassed nationally-certified benchmarks. This is the time to expand the program so that more low-income and working-class students can attain educational achievement that will lead to a successful future. 

We urge the governor to reconsider and work towards expanding educational opportunities instead of restricting them.

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Illinois' Catholic bishops urge state Senate to reject 'Reproductive Health Act'

Illinois' Catholic bishops urge state Senate to reject 'Reproductive Health Act'

Illinois’ six Catholic bishops today issued a statement urging the Illinois Senate to reject the “Reproductive Health Act.” The extreme measure that overhauls the state’s abortion laws passed the Illinois House yesterday, and is due to go before the Illinois Senate before the end of the legislative session on May 31.

Read the statement below, or here in PDF form and here in Español and here in Polskie.

Illinois’ Catholic Bishops Call on State Senate

to Reject “Reproductive Health Act”

The Illinois Constitution, like that of the United States of America on which it was modeled, promises much. It declares that among the inalienable rights of persons is the right to life and that no person, under its promised equal protection, shall be deprived of this right without due process. By passing Senate Bill 25, members of the Illinois House of Representatives have stripped all unborn human beings, even those viable outside the womb, of their right to be recognized as persons.

We appreciate the complex and difficult challenges facing women who have unplanned pregnancies or who carry babies destined to have short or difficult lives. They deserve all the support society can give them. But to deny that the lives growing within these women is anything other than human or that they would, in the vast majority of cases, develop into healthy children is simply to deny reality. If we are saying that the unwanted are not worthy of life, we are entering an ethical and moral wasteland where other human beings can be denied their due process, their human dignity and their right to life.

How do we build on that bereft moral foundation to decry random violence? How do we align that ethical framework with our rejection of the death penalty?

We urge the members of the Illinois Senate to consider carefully what message a vote for this legislation sends to our people. Upholding the right to life of unborn human beings also upholds the right to life of all people, promised in our Constitution and enshrined in our laws.

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Obispos católicos de Illinois hacen llamado al Senado Estatal

a rechazar la “Ley de salud reproductiva” 

La Constitución de Illinois, como la de Estados Unidos de América cuyo modelo siguió, promete mucho. Declara que entre los derechos inalienables de las personas está el derecho a la vida y que ninguna persona, bajo su promesa de igual protección, será privada de este derecho sin el debido proceso. Al aprobar el Proyecto de ley del senado 25, los miembros de la Cámara de Representantes de Illinois han despojado a todos los seres humanos que no han nacido, incluso a aquellos viables fuera del útero, su derecho a ser reconocidos como personas.

Entendemos los difíciles y complejos desafíos enfrentados por las mujeres que tienen embarazos no planeados o que están embarazadas con bebés destinados a tener vidas cortas o difíciles. Ellas merecen todo el apoyo que la sociedad pueda darles. Pero negar que las vidas que crecen dentro de estas mujeres es humana o que, en la gran mayoría de los casos, se desarrollarían en niños sanos, es simplemente negar la realidad. Si estamos diciendo que los no deseados no son dignos de la vida, estamos entrando en un desierto ético y moral donde otros seres humanos pueden ser negados de su debido proceso, su dignidad humana y su derecho a la vida.

¿Cómo construimos sobre esa base moral abandonada para condenar la violencia fortuita? ¿Cómo alineamos esa estructura ética con nuestro rechazo a la pena de muerte?

Urgimos a los miembros del Senado de Illinois a considerar cuidadosamente el mensaje que un voto por esta legislación envía a nuestra gente. Defender el derecho a la vida de los seres humanos que no han nacido también defiende el derecho a la vida de todas las personas, prometido en nuestra Constitución y consagrado en nuestras leyes.

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Katoliccy biskupi Stanu Illinois wzywają stanowy Senat

do odrzucenia „Ustawy o zdrowiu reprodukcyjnym”

Konstytucja stanu Illinois, podobnie jak Konstytucja Stanów Zjednoczonych Ameryki, na której była wzorowana, wiele obiecuje. Deklaruje, że wśród niezbywalnych praw człowieka jest prawo do życia. Twierdzi, że żadna osoba chroniona konstytucyjną obietnicą równości nie powinna zostać pozbawiona swego prawa do ochrony bez zastosowania należnych procedur prawnych. Członkowie Izby Reprezentantów Stanu Illinois, zatwierdzając Ustawę Senatu nr 25, pozbawili wszystkie nienarodzone istoty ludzkie, nawet te zdolne do życia poza łonem matki, prawa do bycia uznanym za osobę.

Rozumiemy, jak trudne i złożone są wyzwania stojące przed kobietami doświadczającymi nieplanowanych ciąż lub przed kobietami, które otrzymują diagnozę, że życie ich nienarodzonych jeszcze dzieci będzie krótkie i ciężkie. Zasługują one na jak największe z możliwych wsparcie społeczne. Jednak zaprzeczanie, że życie poczęte w łonach tych kobietach jest czymś innym niż ludzkie, lub zapewnienie, że w ogromnej większości przypadków urodzą one zdrowe dzieci, jest po prostu zaprzeczeniem rzeczywistości. Jeśli mówimy, że niechciane dzieci nie są warte życia, wchodzimy na etyczne i moralne pustkowie, gdzie również innym ludziom można odmówić należytego procesu obrony ich ludzkiej godności i ich prawa do życia.

Jak budować na fundamencie pozbawionym zasad moralnych, jak w takiej sytuacji piętnować bezmyślne ataki przemocy? Czy te normy etyczne mogą pozostawać w zgodzie z odrzucaniem przez nas kary śmierci? 

Apelujemy do członków Senatu Illinois, aby dokładnie rozważyli, jakie przesłanie wysyłają swoim wyborcom popierając tę ustawę. Obrona prawa do życia nienarodzonych istot ludzkich jest jednocześnie wsparciem prawa do życia wszystkich ludzi, zapewnionego w naszej Konstytucji i zagwarantowanego w naszych przepisach prawnych.

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CCI issues statement on House passage of 'Reproductive Health Act'

CCI issues statement on House passage of 'Reproductive Health Act'

The Illinois House today passed the misnamed “Reproductive Health Act” on a 64-50 vote, with four lawmakers voting “present.” The measure overhauls abortion law in Illinois and is now embodied in House Floor Amendment 1 to Senate Bill 25.

The vote tally is here. The legislation now goes to the Senate for consideration.

The Catholic Conference of Illinois issued a statement after House passage, which can be read below or here in a PDF and here in Español and here in Polskie.

Catholic Conference Statement on

House Passage of “Reproductive Health Act”

The decision of the Illinois House of Representatives to take up and pass the so-called Reproductive Health Act is a grave tragedy and a collective moral failing. Illinois has previously distinguished itself by recognizing and upholding human dignity. It has welcomed and defended the rights of immigrants and refugees and eliminated the death penalty. It is therefore incomprehensible to us that the General Assembly has prioritized denying protection to the most vulnerable among us by enacting some of the most liberal abortion access laws in the nation. 

The proponents of the so-called Reproductive Health Act have portrayed it as a simple clean-up bill, taking old statutes off the books. This is false. The bill includes new provisions that render any regulation of abortion impossible, strip away standards for – and regulation of – clinics where abortions are performed, and mandate private insurance plans subject to Illinois’ authority cover abortion. 

This Act is an extreme measure, allowing for the abortion of unborn life at any stage of pregnancy and for any reason. It sends a message to everyone in our state that life is cheap. This is a truly sad day for Illinois. We will continue to make our case against such callous disregard for human life whenever it appears in society.  

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Declaración de la Conferencia católica de Illinois

sobre la aprobación de la cámara de la “Ley de salud reproductiva”

La decisión de la Cámara de Representantes de Illinois de asumir y aprobar la llamada Ley de Salud Reproductiva es una grave tragedia y un fracaso moral colectivo.  Illinois previamente se ha distinguido a sí mismo al reconocer y mantener la dignidad humana. Ha dado la bienvenida y defendido los derechos de los inmigrantes y refugiados y eliminado la pena de muerte. Por lo tanto, es incomprensible para nosotros que la Asamblea General ha dado prioridad el negar la protección de los más vulnerables entre nosotros al promulgar una de las leyes de acceso al aborto más liberales en la nación.

Los proponentes de la llamada Ley de Salud Reproductiva la han representado como un simple proyecto de ley revisado, sacando viejos estatutos de los libros. Esto es falso. El proyecto de ley incluye nuevas disposiciones que hacen imposible cualquier regulación del aborto, quita estándares para – y regulaciones de– clínicas donde se realizan los abortos, y ordena a los planes de seguro privados sujetos a la autoridad de Illinois a cubrir el aborto.

Esta Ley es una medida extrema, permitiendo el aborto de una vida que no ha nacido en cualquier etapa del embarazo y por cualquier razón. Envía a todos en nuestro estado un mensaje de que la vida es barata. Este es un día verdaderamente triste para Illinois. Continuaremos planteando nuestro caso contra tan cruel desprecio por la vida humana cuando sea que aparezca en la sociedad.

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Oświadczenie Katolickiej Konferencji Biskupów Stanu Illinois o

przyjęciu przez Izbę Reprezentantów „Ustawy

o zdrowiu reprodukcyjnym”

Decyzja Izby Reprezentantów Illinois o przyjęciu tak zwanej „Ustawy o zdrowiu reprodukcyjnym” jest poważną tragedią i zbiorowym upadkiem moralnym. Stan Illinois w przeszłości wyróżniał się  szanowaniem godności ludzkiej i obroną człowieka. Wcześniej nasz stan z satysfakcją przyjmował i bronił też praw imigrantów i uchodźców oraz wyeliminował karę śmierci. Dlatego jest dla nas niezrozumiałe, że Zgromadzenie Ogólne za szczególnie ważne uznało odmowę ochrony najbardziej bezbronnych spośród nas i przyjęło jedno z najbardziej liberalnych praw umożliwiających aborcję w całym kraju. 

Zwolennicy tak zwanej „Ustawy o zdrowiu reprodukcyjnym” przedstawili ją po prostu jako jedną z zaległych ustaw, mówiąc, że chodzi tu o usunięcie starych przepisów z ksiąg. To kłamstwo. Ustawa zawiera nowe przepisy, które uniemożliwiają wprowadzanie jakichkolwiek regulacji odnośnie do aborcji, usuwają zasady i regulacje prawne z klinik aborcyjnych, w których dokonywana jest aborcja, jak również nakazują prywatnym programom ubezpieczeniowym podlegającym prawu  Illinois pokrywanie kosztów aborcji. 

Ustawa ta jest środkiem skrajnym, który pozwala przerwać nienarodzone życie na dowolnym etapie ciąży i to z jakiegokolwiek powodu. Wypływa z tego przesłanie dla wszystkich mieszkańców naszego stanu, że życie ludzkie jest niewiele warte. To naprawdę smutny dzień dla stanu Illinois. Będziemy kontynuować naszą walkę przeciwko tak bezwzględnemu lekceważeniu ludzkiego życia zawsze, gdy tylko pojawią się w naszym społeczeństwie jakieś niepokojące oznaki.

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CCI issues statement on Senate committee passage of SB 1594

CCI issues statement on Senate committee passage of SB 1594

The Catholic Conference today issued the following statement in response to an Illinois Senate committee giving approval to legislation that would repeal current law allowing parents to be notified when a minor seeks an abortion.

“It is truly tragic the Senate Public Health Committee today approved Senate Bill 1594, which seeks to repeal the Illinois Parental Notice of Abortion Act. Since this law went into effect, the incidence of abortions among minors has dropped 57 percent in Illinois.

“Why would anybody vote for legislation that effectively removes parents and guardians of minors from a major decision that is known to have significant physical and mental after effects?

“Current law makes it illegal for minors in Illinois to use an indoor tanning bed; buy cigarettes, alcohol or lottery tickets; or vote in an election. Are we to believe abortion is somehow less consequential than getting a tan?  

“We urge the full Senate to use reason, support parents and their daughters, and strongly reject this appalling legislation.”

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