State of Illinois
2007 and 2008


Introduced 2/14/2008, by Sen. Michael W. Frerichs - Jacqueline Y. Collins


New Act

    Creates the Commission on the Eradication of Poverty Act. Provides for appointments and terms of members. Provides for funding through the Department of Human Rights. Requires meetings and reports. Effective immediately.

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SB2074 LRB095 15574 RCE 41573 b

1     AN ACT concerning people living in poverty.
2     Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3 represented in the General Assembly:
4     Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the
5 Commission on the Eradication of Poverty Act.
6     Section 5. Legislative Findings. It is the policy of this
7 State to eradicate poverty in Illinois.
8     Freedom from poverty is a human right. The preamble to the
9 Constitution of the State of Illinois states that the
10 elimination of poverty is one of the fundamental goals of our
11 State government. The Illinois Human Rights Act states that the
12 public policy of the State of Illinois is "to promote the
13 public health, welfare and safety by protecting the interest of
14 all people in Illinois in maintaining personal dignity, in
15 realizing their full productive capacities, and in furthering
16 their interests, rights and privileges as citizens of this
17 State". The State of Illinois is a party to all international
18 human rights treaties signed and ratified by the United States.
19     Illinois is one of the wealthiest states in the United
20 States, yet it has one of the highest rates of extreme poverty
21 in the Midwest. People living in extreme poverty have incomes
22 at or below 50% of the Federal Poverty Level or $10,310 per
23 year or lower for a family of 4 in 2007. In 2006 over 678,000



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1 people residing in Illinois were living in extreme poverty.
2 There are people living in extreme poverty in every Illinois
3 county.
4     Full participation in civic life cannot be achieved without
5 those things that protect and preserve human dignity and make
6 for a healthy life, including adequate nutrition and housing,
7 meaningful work, safe communities, health care, and education.
8     Illinois has no comprehensive plan for the elimination of
9 extreme poverty.
10     Section 10. Commission on Poverty Eradication. The
11 Commission on the Eradication of Poverty is created. The
12 purpose of the Commission is to develop a comprehensive poverty
13 eradication strategic plan for Illinois consistent with
14 international human rights standards. The initial goal of the
15 Commission is to reduce extreme poverty in Illinois by 50% or
16 more by 2015. In developing the overall strategic plan, and in
17 working toward the goal of reducing extreme poverty in Illinois
18 by 2015, the Commission shall address, at a minimum, all of the
19 following:
20     (1) Access to safe, decent and affordable housing.
21     (2) Access to adequate food and nutrition.
22     (3) Access to affordable and quality healthcare.
23     (4) Equal access to quality education and training.
24     (5) Dependable and affordable transportation.
25     (6) Access to quality and affordable child care.



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1     (7) Opportunities to engage in meaningful and sustainable
2 work that pays a living wage.
3     (8) The availability of adequate income supports.
4     The strategic plan shall include specific policy and fiscal
5 recommendations and a timeline for each stage of implementation
6 for every specific recommendation. For each specific
7 recommendation, the Commission shall identify in measurable
8 terms the actual or potential impact of each recommendation.
9 The Commission may review and may make comments and
10 recommendations on existing or proposed programs, policies,
11 administrative rules, and statutes that have an impact on
12 poverty in Illinois and, in particular, people living in
13 extreme poverty.
14     Section 15. Members; terms. The Commission on Poverty
15 Eradication shall be composed of no more than 22 voting members
16 including 2 members of the Illinois House of Representatives,
17 one appointed by the Speaker of the House and one appointed by
18 the House Minority Leader; 2 members of the Illinois Senate,
19 one appointed by the Senate President and one appointed by the
20 Senate Minority Leader; one representative of the Office of the
21 Governor appointed by the Governor; one representative of the
22 Office of the Lieutenant Governor appointed by the Lieutenant
23 Governor; and 20 public members, 5 of whom shall be appointed
24 by the Governor, 3 of whom shall be appointed by the Speaker of
25 the House, 3 of whom shall be appointed by the House Minority



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1 Leader, 3 of whom shall be appointed by the Senate President,
2 and 3 of whom shall be appointed by the Senate Minority Leader.
3 It shall be determined by lot who will select which public
4 members of the Commission. The public members shall include 2
5 representatives from anti-poverty organizations, including one
6 that focuses on rural poverty; 2 individuals who have
7 experienced extreme poverty; a representative of an
8 organization that advocates for affordable housing; a
9 representative of an organization that advocates for
10 healthcare access, affordability and availability; an advocate
11 for persons with mental illness; an advocate for children and
12 youth; a representative of an organization that advocates for
13 equality and quality in education; a representative of an
14 organization that advocates people who are homeless; a
15 representative of a statewide anti-hunger organization; a
16 person with a disability; an advocate for persons with
17 disabilities; a representative of a statewide faith-based
18 organization that provides direct social services in Illinois
19 communities; a representative of a statewide organization that
20 advocates for children; a representative of an organization
21 that advocates for economic security for women; a
22 representative of an organization that advocates for older
23 adults; a representative of an organization that advocates for
24 employers; a representative of a labor organization that
25 represents primarily low and middle-income wage earners; a
26 representative of municipal or county government; and a



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1 representative of township government. The appointed members
2 shall reflect the racial, gender, and geographic diversity of
3 the State.
4     The following officials shall serve as ex-officio
5 non-voting members: the Secretary of Human Services or his or
6 her designee; the Director of Corrections or his or her
7 designee; the Director of Healthcare and Family Services or his
8 or her designee; the Director of Human Rights or his or her
9 designee; the Director of Children and Family Services or his
10 or her designee; the Director of Commerce and Economic
11 Opportunity or his or her designee; the State Superintendent of
12 Education or his or her designee; the Director of Aging or his
13 or her designee; the Director of Public Health or his or her
14 designee; and the Director of Employment Security or his or her
15 designee. The State Workforce Investment Act Board, the
16 African-American Family Commission, and the Latino Family
17 Commission shall each designate a liaison to serve ex-officio
18 on the Commission.
19     Public members shall serve 3-year terms, except for the
20 initial appointments. Six initial public members shall be
21 appointed to 1-year terms, 6 initial public members shall be
22 appointed to 2-year terms, and 6 initial public members shall
23 be appointed to 3-year terms, as determined by lot.
24     Members shall serve without compensation, but, subject to
25 the availability of funds, may be reimbursed for reasonable and
26 necessary travel expenses.



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1     Commission members shall be appointed within 60 days after
2 the effective date of this Act. The Commission shall hold its
3 initial meeting within 30 days after at least 50% of the voting
4 members have been appointed.
5     The Department of Human Rights shall provide
6 administrative support to the Commission.
7     Section 20. Funding. The Commission on the Eradication of
8 Poverty may be funded through a specific appropriation to the
9 Department of Human Rights.
10     Section 25. Meetings; reports. The Commission shall meet at
11 least quarterly. In addition, it may hold up to 4 public
12 hearings each year to assist in the development of the
13 strategic plan. The Commission shall also consider written
14 comments for the purpose of developing the strategic plan.
15     The Commission shall issue an interim report on its
16 activities and recommendations on March 1, 2009. The strategic
17 plan shall be sent to the all constitutional officers and
18 members of the General Assembly. The strategic plan shall be
19 adopted not later than January 1, 2010. Following the adoption
20 of the strategic plan, the Commission shall continue to meet
21 and issue annual reports by March 1st of each year on the
22 implementation of the strategic plan.
23     The Commission shall hold at least one public hearing prior
24 to the issuance of annual report.



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1     Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
2 becoming law.