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(305 ILCS 70/95-502)
Strategic plan to address poverty and economic insecurity.
(a) Plan required. No later than November 30, 2021, the Commission shall develop and adopt a strategic plan to address poverty and economic insecurity in this State.
(b) Goals. The goals of the strategic plan shall be to:
(1) Ensure that State programs and services targeting
poverty and economic insecurity reflect the goal of helping individuals and families rise above poverty and achieve long-term economic stability rather than simply providing relief from deprivation.
(2) Eliminate disparate rates of poverty, deep
poverty, child poverty, and intergenerational poverty based on race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation or identity, English language proficiency, ability, and geographic location in a rural, urban, or suburban area.
(3) Reduce deep poverty in this State by 50% by 2026.
(4) Eliminate child poverty in this State by 2031.
(5) Eliminate all poverty in this State by 2036.
(c) Plan development. In developing the strategic plan, the Commission shall:
(1) Collaborate with the workgroup, including sharing
data and information identified under paragraphs (1) and (3) of subsection (a) of Section 303 and analyses of that data and information.
(2) Review each program and service provided by the
State that targets poverty and economic insecurity for purposes of:
(i) determining which programs and services are
the most effective and of the highest importance in reducing poverty and economic insecurity in this State; and
(ii) providing an analysis of unmet needs, if
any, among individuals, children, and families in deep poverty and intergenerational poverty for each program and service identified under subparagraph (i).
(3) Study the feasibility of using public or private
partnerships and social impact bonds, to improve innovation and cost-effectiveness in the development of programs and delivery of services that advance the goals of the strategic plan.
(4) Hold at least 6 public hearings in different
geographic regions of this State, including areas that have disparate rates of poverty and that have historically experienced economic insecurity, to collect information, take testimony, and solicit input and feedback from interested parties, including members of the public who have personal experiences with State programs and services targeting economic insecurity, poverty, deep poverty, child poverty, and intergenerational poverty and make the information publicly available.
(5) To request and receive from a State agency or
local governmental agency information relating to poverty in this State, including all of the following:
(d) Subject areas. The strategic plan shall address all of the following:
(1) Access to safe 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) Equal access to affordable, quality
post-secondary education options.
(6) Dependable and affordable transportation.
(7) Access to quality and affordable child care.
(8) Opportunities to engage in meaningful and
sustainable work that pays a living wage and barriers to those opportunities experienced by low-income individuals in poverty.
(9) Equal access to justice through a fair system of
criminal justice that does not, in effect, criminalize poverty.
(10) The availability of adequate income supports.
(11) Retirement security.
(e) Plan content. The strategic plan shall, at a minimum, contain policy and fiscal recommendations relating to all of the following:
(1) Developing fact-based measures to evaluate the
long-term effectiveness of existing and proposed programs and services targeting poverty and economic insecurity.
(2) Increasing enrollment in programs and services
targeting poverty and economic insecurity by reducing the complexity and difficulty of enrollment in order to maximize program effectiveness and increase positive outcomes.
(3) Increasing the reach of programs and services
targeting poverty and economic insecurity by ensuring that State agencies have adequate resources to maximize the public awareness of the programs and services, especially in historically disenfranchised communities.
(4) Reducing the negative impacts of asset limits for
eligibility on the effectiveness of State programs targeting poverty and economic insecurity by ensuring that eligibility limits do not:
(i) create gaps in necessary service and benefit
delivery or restrict access to benefits as individuals and families attempt to transition off assistance programs; or
(ii) prevent beneficiaries from improving
long-term outcomes and achieving long-term economic independence from the program.
(5) Improving the ability of community-based
organizations to participate in the development and implementation of State programs designed to address economic insecurity and poverty.
(6) Improving the ability of individuals living in
poverty, low-income individuals, and unemployed individuals to access critical job training and skills upgrade programs and find quality jobs that help children and families become economically secure and rise above poverty.
(7) Improving communication and collaboration between
State agencies and local governments on programs targeting poverty and economic insecurity.
(8) Creating efficiencies in the administration and
coordination of programs and services targeting poverty and economic insecurity.
(9) Connecting low-income children, disconnected
youth, and families of those children and youth to education, job training, and jobs in the communities in which those children and youth live.
(10) Ensuring that the State's services and benefits
programs, emergency programs, discretionary economic programs, and other policies are sufficiently funded to enable the State to mount effective responses to economic downturns and increases in economic insecurity and poverty rates.
(11) Creating one or more State poverty measures.
(12) Developing and implementing programs and
policies that use the two-generation approach.
(13) Using public or private partnerships and social
impact bonds to improve innovation and cost-effectiveness in the development of programs and delivery of services that advance the goals of the strategic plan.
(14) Identifying best practices for collecting data
relevant to all of the following:
(i) Reducing economic insecurity and poverty.
(ii) Reducing the racial, ethnic, age, gender,
sexual orientation, and sexual identity-based disparities in the rates of economic insecurity and poverty.
(iii) Adequately measuring the effectiveness,
efficiency, and impact of programs on the outcomes for individuals, families, and communities who receive benefits and services.
(iv) Streamlining enrollment and eligibility for
(v) Improving long-term outcomes for individuals
who are enrolled in service and benefit programs.
(vi) Reducing reliance on public programs.
(vii) Improving connections to work.
(viii) Improving economic security.
(ix) Improving retirement security.
(x) Improving the State's understanding of the
impact of extreme weather and natural disasters on economically vulnerable communities and improving those communities' resilience to and recovery from extreme weather and natural disasters.
(xi) Improving access to living-wage employment.
(xii) Improving access to employment-based
(f) Other information. In addition to the plan content required under subsection (e), the strategic plan shall contain all of the following:
(1) A suggested timeline for the stages of
implementation of the recommendations in the plan.
(2) Short-term, intermediate-term, and long-term
benchmarks to measure the State's progress toward meeting the goals of the strategic plan.
(3) A summary of the review and analysis conducted by
the Commission under paragraph (1) of subsection (c).
(g) Impact of recommendations. For each recommendation in the plan, the Commission shall identify in measurable terms the actual or potential impact the recommendation will have on poverty and economic insecurity in this State.
(Source: P.A. 101-636, eff. 6-10-20.)