2017 Campaign Scorecard
Several important bills we advocated for were signed into law this legislative year of the 100th General Assembly Illinois:
- SB31 The Illinois Trust Act limiting local police involvement in federal immigration enforcement.
- SB1933 Automatic Voter Registration automatically registering people when they get a driver’s license or state ID unless they opt out.
- HB1785 Trans Recognition eliminating surgery requirements to change gender on identity documents.
- HB2373 Expanding Eligibility for Sealing of felony records.
- HR0234 Environmental Justice Resolution advancing an environmental justice agenda and protecting Solar for All funds from being swept.
- HB 3817 Juvenile Expungement protecting youth in the juvenile justice system with timely expungement of their records.
- SB 1353 Personal Needs Allowance doubling the monthly allowance to $60 for people living with mental illness was vetoed but effected though the Budget Implementation Bill.
- HB40 Reproductive Choice to eliminate the trigger outlawing abortion if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade.
- A full-year budget with new permanent revenue! Significantly, we have UU congregations in 8 of the 10 districts whose legislators crossed party lines to override the Governor’s veto; several of them are already working toward securing bi-partisan support for a progressive income tax, or Fair Tax. Stay tuned, as this promises to be an important issue in next year’s election for Governor – potentially in conjunction with the Poor People’s Campaign led by Rev. William Barber.
Other issues we advocated at the state level for did not do as well:
o SB81 Raising the Minimum Wage to $15 by 2022 was vetoed by the Governor.
o HB3421 Abolishing Cash Bond in Illinois stalled in committee, though Cook County Chief Judge Evans ordered judges to set monetary bonds only in amounts that people can pay.
o HB 3142 Expanding Access to Higher Education for citizens returning from incarceration passed the House but stalled in the Senate.
o HB259 Limiting Solitary Confinement passed out of committee but was not brought to the floor for a vote.
o SB1657 The Gun Licensing Act had much legislative support, but the House leadership failed to bring the bill to the floor for a vote in the fall veto session.
At the national level:
- The effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act failed.
- Travel bans limiting travel from predominantly Muslim countries were partially blocked by the courts.
- Congressmen Rodney Davis R-13th) and Daniel Lipinski (D-3rd) joined the bi-partisan Climate Solutions Caucus, which has grown from 17 to 56 members.
- DACA was rescinded but the Dream Act is now on the table.
DACA was rescinded, and now the Dream Act is on the Table
The Trump administration has announced an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, turning our nation's back on 800,000 young people who came here as children, are building lives and careers for themselves as contributing members of their communities, and are now threatened with deportation. Congress has 6 months to develop a resolution of their status.
Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) introduced the Dream Act of 2017, S. 1615, in the Senate on July 20, 2017. Congresswomen Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Florida) and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-California) introduced the Dream Act, H.R. 3440, in the House on July 26, 2017. This bipartisan, bicameral bill would provide Dreamers — young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children and have lived in the U.S. at least four years — protection from deportation and an opportunity to obtain legal status if they meet certain requirements. Urge your congressperson to sponsor legislation granting these young people a path to citizenship.
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UUANI is supported by contributions from Unitarian Universalist individuals and congregations in Illinois, and by grants from the Fund for Unitarian Universalist Social Responsibility, the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, the Chicago Area Unitarian Universalist Council, and the Illinois Environmental Council.
We are grateful for each of these forms of support!