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What’s going on in Springfield?

As Illinois legislators continue to create laws, build a state budget, and get everything done before April 8th, YI Midwest has been working to ensure young adults ages 18-34 are a priority for legislators.

Here’s what we’re supporting this legislative session:

Young Workers Bill of Rights (HR 639)

This economy isn’t working for us. We’re mostly employed in frontline, part-time, and essential jobs to our economy, but we’re often met with poor employment security, limited access to leave, scarce career opportunities, and more. It’s time to change the system. The Young Workers Bill of Rights (HR 639) calls for the rights of young workers needed for us to actually thrive in this economy. Tell your legislators to adopt HR 639 and join us on March 10th to stand up for young workers!

Earned Income Credit Expansion (HB 4920/SB 3774)

With stagnant wages and high inflation, we’re struggling. Illinois’ Earned Income Credit (EIC) offers income tax relief to most workers earning less than $56,000 per year–up to $1,200 in a tax return. HB 4920/SB 3774 would expand the tax credit to childless workers aged 18-24, among others. This relief would help young adults all over Illinois be able to put money back into their pockets and support local economies.

Support Student Parents (HB 4618/SB 3149)

Student parents not only juggle school but also parenthood. Yet, many student parents are not aware of the resources available to help them. HB 4618/SB 3149 requires the Illinois Student Assistance Commission and higher education institutions to continue providing information about child care assistance to students through Monetary Award Program (MAP) grant award letters, regardless of who is in charge of state agencies or institutions.

Increase Student Financial Aid

Students must be able to afford college, but many of us simply cannot. Lawmakers must add an extra $122 million to the Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants. This funding would increase access to financial aid for up to an additional 24,000 students! Tell your legislators to increase MAP funding and join us on March 9th to speak with legislators about the need for financial aid.

Fund Mental Health Supports at Colleges and Universities (HB 5424/SB 4055)

In 2019, Illinois enacted a law requiring all public colleges and universities to
improve campus mental health supports and services to meet the exponential increase in demand for help. However, legislators have yet to provide schools with the funding needed to enhance services. HB 5424/SB 4055 would provide $19 million to public colleges and universities to finally implement the 2019 law and meet student demand for mental health support. Urge your lawmakers to fund campus mental health services and be sure to join us on March 16th to share our mental health service experiences with legislators and demand change!

For more information about all of our policy priorities, check out our 2022 Policy Agenda.

Your voices really make a difference in the lawmaking process. Send the emails, make the calls, and be at the table. We’re here to help you do all of this, so make sure to join us!