2020 Legislation Proposed

HB4888 – Drug Take-Back Act

Keeping unused or expired medication can be very dangerous to children and teens—in 2019 alone, Illinois saw 1,896 deaths from opioid overdoses. Flushing medication down the toilet creates a hazard in our drinking water and damages aquatic wildlife.  HB4888 creates new systems of drug collection, including more drop-off points in every county in Illinois, making it more convenient for Illinoisans to dispose of unused or expired medication in a free, healthy, and environmentally conscious way.

HB4278 – Senior Property Tax Freeze

Currently, Illinois offers a senior citizens assessment freeze homestead exemption for seniors making $65,000 per year or less.  Rising property taxes and costs of living, including healthcare, force many seniors to make difficult economic decisions.  HB4278 raises the income cap to $75,000, protecting more seniors and their homes.

HB4978 – Close Higher Education Loophole

Last year, 82,000 students in Illinois were denied student financial aid (MAP grants) due to a lack of funding, despite qualifying for that aid.  It has been reported that wealthy parents are exploiting a complicated legal loophole involving legal guardianship to secure that funding, taking away a truly needy student’s chance to go to college.  HB4978 prohibits the misuse of legal guardianship for the purposes of obtaining state or federal student financial aid to ensure that student financial aid goes where it belongs.

HB5170 – Liability Insurance for Firearms

HB5170 requires firearm owners to carry liability insurance, which shifts the responsibility and cost of firearm accidents away from victims.  As with automobile liability insurance, firearm liability insurance creates a system in which victims can meaningfully seek compensation for loss.  HB5170 does not allow insurance to cover costs associated with criminal prosecution or deliberate criminal acts.

HB4823 – Small Business Tax Credit

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy in Illinois, employing over 2.4 million people.  HB4823 would provide a $5,000 tax credit to businesses with less than 50 employees for creating new full-time jobs.  These tax credits are forecasted to be offset in the first four years by creating new economic activity and growth in Illinois.

HB5169 – Polystyrene Ban

Polystyrene, also known as Styrofoam, is essentially nonbiodegradable, contributing to the worldwide plastic pollution crisis for hundreds of years to come.  Decades of producing rapidly-increasing amounts of disposable plastic goods has overwhelmed our ability to manage the waste generated.  HB5169 bans the sale and distribution of disposable polystyrene food containers by stores to cut down on the immense amount of waste produced every year.

HB4147 – Long-Term Care Insurance Rate Review

The high cost of assisted living, nursing home care, and home care make long-term care insurance a necessity for many families. However, long-term care insurance consumers have seen premiums skyrocket anywhere from 25 percent to 100 percent. HB4147 is an important first step in reining in exorbitant rate hikes and making long-term care insurance more affordable.

HB5654 – Inclusive Birth Certificate

For many transgender and nonbinary people, amending a birth certificate to accurately reflect gender identity is an important step required to change many other forms of identification and legal documents.  HB5654 provides that the State Registrar of Vital Records must establish a new birth certificate when the office receives a request from an individual seeking to change their sex designation.

HB5502 – Immigration Right to Counsel

Immigration law, unlike criminal law, does not provide for an attorney if the defendant cannot afford or cannot access one.  HB5502 creates the Right to Counsel in Immigration Proceedings Act and establishes a task force to investigate the implementation of universal representation for individuals in immigration removal proceedings.

HB4516 – Know Your Rights Posting

Regardless of immigration status, the U.S. Constitution provides all people with basic rights, including due process and equal protection. Immigrants are often unaware of their rights and lack the information necessary to assert those rights. HB4516 requires the Department of Human Services to conduct a public information campaign to educate immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers, and other noncitizens residing in Illinois of their rights under the U.S. Constitution and Illinois laws.

HB 4791 – Protections for Abused, Abandoned or Neglected Immigrant Youth

Current Illinois law arbitrarily denies access to this visa after someone has turned 18, cutting victimized young people off from the help they desperately need.  HB4791 empowers Illinois courts, giving them the necessary jurisdiction to rule on cases involving people between 18-21 years old.

HB4824 – VTC Testimony for at-risk Immigrants

People with undocumented status can be hesitant to report domestic abuse and other crimes for fear of deportation, leaving them vulnerable to abuse and victimization.  HB4824 allows for testimony via two-way audiovisual communication (including closed circuit television and computerized video conferencing) in cases where a witness may be subject to deportation by appearing in court.