Public Act 095-0833
Public Act 0833 95TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY
|Public Act 095-0833
||LRB095 15572 RCE 43401 b
AN ACT concerning people living in poverty.
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
This Act may be cited as the
Commission on the Elimination of Poverty Act.
It is the goal of the
State of Illinois that all people be free from poverty.
The preamble to the Constitution of the State of Illinois
states that the elimination of poverty and inequality are among
the core goals of our State government. The Illinois Human
Rights Act states that the public policy of the State of
Illinois is "to promote the public health, welfare and safety
by protecting the interest of all people in Illinois in
maintaining personal dignity, in realizing their full
productive capacities, and in furthering their interests,
rights and privileges as citizens of this State". The State of
Illinois is a party to all international human rights treaties
signed and ratified by the United States.
Illinois is one of the wealthiest states in the United
States, yet it has one of the highest rates of poverty and
extreme poverty in the Midwest. The poverty level in 2007 was
$20,620 or less per year for a family of 4 and $10,310 or less
per year for a family of 4 in extreme poverty. In 2006 just
under 1,400,000 people residing in Illinois were living in
poverty and over 687,000 people residing in Illinois were
living in extreme poverty. There are people living in extreme
poverty in every Illinois county.
Full participation in civic life cannot be achieved without
those things that protect and preserve human dignity and make
for a healthy life, including adequate nutrition and housing,
meaningful work, safe communities, health care, and education.
Illinois has no comprehensive plan for the elimination of
Commission on the Elimination of Poverty.
Commission on the Elimination of Poverty is created. The
purpose of the Commission is to comprehensively address poverty
in Illinois consistent with international human rights
standards. The initial goal of the Commission is to develop a
poverty elimination strategic plan to reduce extreme poverty in
Illinois by 50% or more by 2015. In developing the overall
strategic plan, and in working toward the goal of reducing
extreme poverty in Illinois by at least 50% by 2015, the
Commission shall address, at a minimum, all of the following:
(1) Access to safe, decent and affordable housing.
(2) Access to adequate food and nutrition.
(3) Access to affordable and quality health care.
(4) Equal access to quality education and training.
(5) Dependable and affordable transportation.
(6) Access to quality and affordable child care.
(7) Opportunities to engage in meaningful and sustainable
work that pays a living wage.
(8) The availability of adequate income supports.
The strategic plan shall include specific policy and fiscal
recommendations and a timeline for each stage of implementation
for each recommendation. For each recommendation, the
Commission shall identify in measurable terms the actual or
potential impact. The Commission may review and may make
comments and recommendations on existing or proposed programs,
policies, administrative rules, and statutes that have an
impact on poverty in Illinois and, in particular, people living
in extreme poverty.
The Commission on the Elimination of
Poverty shall be composed of no more than 26 voting members
including 2 members of the Illinois House of Representatives,
one appointed by the Speaker of the House and one appointed by
the House Minority Leader; 2 members of the Illinois Senate,
one appointed by the Senate President and one appointed by the
Senate Minority Leader; one representative of the Office of the
Governor appointed by the Governor; one representative of the
Office of the Lieutenant Governor appointed by the Lieutenant
Governor; and 20 public members, 4 of whom shall be appointed
by the Governor, 4 of whom shall be appointed by the Speaker of
the House, 4 of whom shall be appointed by the House Minority
Leader, 4 of whom shall be appointed by the Senate President,
and 4 of whom shall be appointed by the Senate Minority Leader.
It shall be determined by lot who will appoint which public
members of the Commission. The public members shall include a
representative of a service-based human rights organization; 2
representatives from anti-poverty organizations, including one
that focuses on rural poverty; 2 individuals who have
experienced extreme poverty; a representative of an
organization that advocates for health care access,
affordability and availability; a representative of an
organization that advocates for persons with mental illness; a
representative of an organization that advocates for children
and youth; a representative of an organization that advocates
for quality and equality in education; a representative of an
organization that advocates for people who are homeless; a
representative of a statewide anti-hunger organization; a
person with a disability; a representative of an organization
that advocates for persons with disabilities; a representative
of an organization that advocates for immigrants; a
representative of a statewide faith-based organization that
provides direct social services in Illinois; a representative
of an organization that advocates for economic security for
women; a representative of an organization that advocates for
older adults; a representative of a labor organization that
represents primarily low and middle-income wage earners; a
representative of a municipal or county government; and a
representative of township government. The appointed members
shall reflect the racial, gender, and geographic diversity of
the State and shall include representation from regions of the
State experiencing the highest rates of extreme poverty.
The following officials shall serve as ex-officio members:
the Secretary of Human Services or his or her designee; the
Director of Corrections or his or her designee; the Director of
Healthcare and Family Services or his or her designee; the
Director of Human Rights or his or her designee; the Director
of Children and Family Services or his or her designee; the
Director of Commerce and Economic Opportunity or his or her
designee; the State Superintendent of Education or his or her
designee; the Director of Aging or his or her designee; the
Director of Public Health or his or her designee; and the
Director of Employment Security or his or her designee. The
State Workforce Investment Board, the African-American Family
Commission, and the Latino Family Commission shall each
designate a liaison to serve ex-officio on the Commission.
Members shall serve without compensation, but, subject to
the availability of funds, public members may be reimbursed for
reasonable and necessary travel expenses connected to
Commission members shall be appointed within 60 days after
the effective date of this Act. The Commission shall hold its
initial meeting within 30 days after at least 50% of the
members have been appointed.
The representative of the Office of the Governor and the
representative of a service-based human rights organization
shall serve as co-chairs of the Commission.
At the first meeting of the Commission, the members shall
select a 7-person Steering Committee that includes the
The Commission may establish committees that address
specific issues or populations and may appoint individuals with
relevant expertise who are not appointed members of the
Commission to serve on committees as needed.
Under the leadership of the Office of the Governor, subject
to appropriation, the Department of Human Services shall
provide administrative support to the Commission.
The full Commission shall
meet at least annually. The Steering Committee shall meet at
least quarterly. In addition, it may hold up to 4 public
hearings to assist in the development of the strategic plan.
The Commission shall also consider written comments for the
purpose of developing the strategic plan.
The Commission shall issue an interim report on its
activities and recommendations to the constitutional officers
and to the General Assembly on or before March 1, 2009. The
strategic plan shall be adopted by the Commission not later
than January 1, 2010 and sent to the constitutional officers
and to the General Assembly. Following the adoption of the
strategic plan, the Commission shall continue to meet and issue
annual reports by March 1st of each year on the implementation
of the strategic plan.
The Commission shall hold at least one public hearing prior
to the issuance of each annual report.
This Act takes effect upon
Effective Date: 8/15/2008