Welcome to Lutheran Advocacy—Illinois, a justice ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the three ELCA synods in Illinois and Lutheran Social Services of Illinois.
January has been a busy month! The 97th General Assembly ended on January 8, 2013, with the passage of SB 957, the Highway Safety legislation to license and insure all immigrant drivers in Illinois. Senate Bill 957 will allow unlicensed immigrant drivers to obtain Temporary Visitor Driver’s Licenses (TVDLs). The Governor signed the bill into law on January 25, and it will go into effect on November 27, 2013. This law will allow undocumented motorists to apply for Temporary Visitor Driver’s Licenses (TVDLs). Applicants will need to prove they have lived in Illinois for one year, provide a valid passport or consular identification document, maintain insurance on their vehicles and pass all relevant written, vision and road tests.
For the details on the bill, see “What the new driver’s license law means - SB 957.”
On January 9, the 98th General Assembly was sworn in and is well under way! The following are key issues that didn’t pass in the last assembly that need your action now:
The expansion of “Medicaid, Senate Bill 26: A New Medicaid Opportunity for Illinois,” would allow for 342,000 low-income adults in Illinois to be newly eligible for and enrolled in Medicaid over the next four years. Coverage for those who enroll would start on January 1, 2014. Enrollment begins in October 2013.
Please call your legislators and ask them to support the passage of SB 26. Click here to find your legislator’s contact information.
House Bill 149 will grant the Department of Human Services the $12 million needed to properly fund Mental Health Services. Without $12 million for mental health, families and children throughout Illinois will experience reduced access to treatment.
Call your representative and ask him or her to support HB 149. Click here for more information.
We are working with Raise Illinois, a grassroots campaign to increase Illinois' minimum wage from the current $8.25 per hour to $10.65 an hour by 2014. Raise Illinois is a coalition made up of community, business, faith and labor organizations along with minimum wage workers and supporters that are committed to fighting for a raise in the minimum wage in Illinois.
House Bill 5723 would expand sealing of records to include additional non-violent Class 4, 3, and 2 felonies. The most common offenses included would be forgery, retail theft, and possession with intent.
Call or email your state senator and representative, and ask them to vote for HB 5723 if it is called during the veto session go to click here to find your representative
Since the health care reform law passed in 2010, supportive Illinois organizations have been promoting its implementation at the federal and state levels. The success of the law depends heavily on Medicaid, a joint federal-state health benefits program, to reach the goal of near-universal health care.
The health care reform law extends Medicaid to anyone who earns up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, which is $15,415 this year.
In Illinois alone, 600,000 low-income, highly vulnerable, uninsured people would gain Medicaid coverage. The Illinois General Assembly must pass legislation immediately to extend Medicaid to these newly eligible individuals.
The federal dollars will help support cash-strapped state agencies by paying for services for the new expansion group, which currently are paid for by state or local funds.
Tell you legislators to support Medicaid expansion – House Bill 6253! Click here to take action
For more information on these and other public policy issues, please contact, Jennifer DeLeon, Director of Lutheran Advocacy Illinois at 847-390-1428 or Jennifer.Deleon@lssi.org.