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Legislative Session Made Significant Strides for Higher Education, Financial Well-Being for Young Adults

June 07, 2024
Contact: Emma Bittner
(972) 510-3395 |

 Legislative Session Made Significant Strides for Higher Education, Financial Well-Being for Young Adults

(Chicago, IL) – Last week, the 103rd General Assembly adjourned with monumental progress in policy and budget wins that is set to invest into the well being and development of young adults in Illinois.

Illinois made significant advancements in making higher education more affordable and accessible this legislative session. The Monetary Award Program (MAP) funding saw a $10 million increase, bringing the total appropriation to $711 million. While this falls short of the initial ask of a $50 million increase by advocates, this still ensures that Illinois is steadily progressing toward the state goal of a $1 billion appropriation by 2031. Additionally, the Mental Health Early Action on Campus Act (MHEACA) was allocated $13 million in the FY2025 state budget. This will continue to help fund the implementation of the MHEACA, which requires all public two- and four-year colleges and universities to provide mental health screenings and connect students with appropriate mental health resources. This can include on-campus services, referrals to local professionals, or emergency services.

The Coalition for Transforming Educational Funding has significantly progressed and outlined the necessary next steps to members of the House and Senate for how Illinois can revolutionize how the state funds its public colleges and universities. Young Invincibles worked diligently to uplift student voices throughout legislative session and during Subject Matter Hearings. Although the Equitable Funding Formula has not been finalized, Illinois has made strides to ensure that higher education will be accessible and affordable for all.

In addition to higher education, the Illinois legislature prioritized financial opportunity this session. After several years of dedicated advocacy, the Child Tax Credit has been incorporated into the FY25 budget, making Illinois the 15th state to implement such a policy. This credit will provide families $300 for each child under the age of 12 whose parents earn less than the median income, benefiting 1.4 million children, or half of all the children in the state. While this is still not the full version of the program, which would have provided credit to families with dependents until they reach the age of 18, it is still monumental to make this progress on supporting Illinois families.

Furthermore, SB 3462 which would establish the foundations for a statewide guaranteed income program, has paved the way for important conversations and opportunity for a new initiative to fill the gaps left by existing social safety net programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This legislation, while it did not pass this session, has moved Illinois closer to financial security for all families and primed opportunities for upcoming legislative sessions.

Young Invincibles celebrates the monumental strides and historic funding allocations Illinois made during this session and is committed to advocating for accessible higher education and financial security for all.

In response, Jorge Arteaga, Midwest Policy Manager at Young Invincibles said: 

“Ending the 103rd General Assembly, Young Illinoisians have something to celebrate. Dedicated investment in young adults is imperative to their success, and Illinois has ensured this is a top priority. Young Invincibles is thrilled to see several initiatives receive critical funding in the budget. While these pieces, such as MAP, the Mental Health Early Action on Campus Act, and the Child Tax Credit, did not receive the full funding and implementations initially requested, we are pleased to see Illinois, the General Assembly, and Governor Pritzker show a vested interest in the success of young adults with these allocations.

Additionally, while several pieces of legislation did not pass this session, we began a meaningful conversation around establishing an Equitable Funding Formula in higher education and a Guaranteed Income program fueled by the need for further investment into our young adults. We have made several strategic and impactful advancements this session in how we approach support for young adults and we look forward to securing these wins next year.

Governor Pritzker must sign the budget, which ensures increased MAP and campus mental health funding as well as the expanded Child Tax Credit. This funding is critical to the well-being and success of young Illinoisians. We must continue to make bold investments in our workforce and access higher education, such as finalizing the Equitable Funding Formula and passing guaranteed income legislation, to support young adults and ensure they thrive.”

In response, Margarita Arango, undergraduate student at University of Illinois Chicago said:

“As an undergraduate student at the University of Illinois at Chicago, I am so happy to see that Illinois lawmakers are investing in students and higher education by increasing MAP grants. Making college more affordable allows students to focus on their academic and professional goals, as financial stress becomes less overwhelming. When I found out I was eligible for MAP, it felt like a weight was lifted from my shoulders; it’s very exciting that more students will experience that relief.”

In response, Ayana Clark, young adult and mother of two said:

“Last year I stood in coalition with advocates across the city to say loud and clear, moms deserve this tax credit. Today I am proud to say that our friends in Springfield did more than listen, they took action. The Child Tax Credit will help thousands of single parent households like mine to afford more of life’s basic necessities and take the steps to uplift themselves out of poverty. Thank you to every person that called, testified, rallied, and most importantly voted, we owe this to you!”


Young Invincibles (YI) is a national advocacy and policy nonprofit organization focused on amplifying the voice of young people in the political process at the local, state, and federal levels. YI focuses on issues impacting young adults ages 18 to 34 in higher education, health care, economic security, and civic engagement. Our offices include Washington, D.C., California, Colorado, Illinois, New York, and Texas. For more information, please contact Emma Bittner at (972) 510-3395 or emma.bittner@younginvincible