More Illinois Disability Advocacy Action Opportunities!
Access Living friends and allies,
Following on our earlier email on accessible voting in Illinois, we’d like to share several more opportunities for disability action today. Our state legislature’s spring session will be wrapping up by midnight on Friday, so it is a very busy week as our lawmakers work not only to pass their bills but also to pass a final state budget package. Check out the selected opportunities below.
Legislative Accessibility Act:
SB 180, the Legislative Accessibility Act, has passed the full Senate and House committee. We hope that it will be called for a floor vote this week for final passage. You can help by emailing your state reps at this link!
Increasing Availability of Home Modifications Supports:
As many of you know, Access Living and our disability/veterans colleagues have been working to ask for $7.5 million in funding for a home modifications program to address gaps in services across the state. Our primary method of action has been through HB 1587. The process has shifted and we are now asking for the funds to be included in budget implementation (known to legislative wonks as the BIMP). Please help us fight for this funding by sending an email to your legislators at this link.
Expanding Income Tax Relief:
The current state Earned Income Credit (EIC) offers income tax relief to most workers earning less than $56,000 per year and would total up to $1,200 in a tax return. SB 3774/HB 4920 would expand Illinois’ EIC to include 1.2 million Illinoisans who are currently ineligible for the refund-namely, childless workers aged 18-24 and over age 65, as well as immigrants who file taxes with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). It would also create a statewide Child Tax Credit of at least $600 for parents or legal guardians of children under 17. Finally, over three years, it would increase the credit amount from the current 18% match of the federal EITC to 25%, offering hundreds of dollars more each year to families who need it. Learn more at this link.
Access Living is a member of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR, which has worked hard to advance this legislation. We believe this legislation would help qualified workers with disabilities gain more economic security, particularly in light of the extra costs that disabled people have just to deal with disability-related expenses. It would also help those with ITINs who pay taxes, but don’t benefit from tax credits.
Improving Access to Healthcare for Undocumented Immigrants:
As we know, healthcare is (or ought to be) a human right. Illinois has already expanded Medicaid to undocumented seniors age 65 and up. The State is also working to expand the same benefits to undocumented persons age 55 and up (undocumented children are already covered under children’s Medicaid). Access Living is a part of the Healthy Illinois coalition, which continues to advocate through HB 4437, which would establish Illinois Medicaid coverage for undocumented persons ages 19-54, as well as for the addition of home and community based support services.
We need your help to remind our state legislators to support HB 4437, as well as home and community based services for undocumented people! Please use this quick link to email your state legislators.
Please share this alert widely with fellow advocates. Let’s go Illinois!