Return to the Latest

YI Commends Illinois’ Higher Education Investments, and Young Adult tax relief

April 14, 2022
Contact: Juan Ramiro Sarmiento
(785) 760-6567 |

YI Commends Illinois’ Higher Education Investments and Young Adult Tax Relief

(Chicago, IL) – Last Friday, the Illinois General Assembly passed a $46.5 billion state spending plan for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2022. The state budget included critical investments in higher education institutions and student financial aid that benefit low-wealth young adults and people of color. The budget also answers advocate calls to expand Illinois’ Earned Income Credit (EIC) by permanently including nearly one million Illinoisans who are currently excluded from the refund.

Higher Education and Tax Relief funding provisions include:

  • The Monetary Award Program (MAP) grant was increased by an additional $122 million for Fiscal Year 2023 as proposed in the governor’s budget request. Investing an additional $122 million in MAP will both expand support to over 24,000 more students, and also increase the maximum award amount to $8,500, covering half of tuition and fees at four-year institutions.
  • Public higher education institutions are receiving a five percent increase in operational funds.
  • The Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship received a $4.2 million investment, ensuring that young adults of color who want to teach in their communities have the resources to do so. The number of aspiring teachers able to access this financial assistance will increase by about 50 percent.
  • Expanded Earned Income Credit (EIC) to include childless workers aged 18-24 and over age 65, as well as immigrants who file taxes with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).
  • Income boost to the existing 3.6 million EIC recipients by increasing the credit amount from the current 18 percent to a 20 percent match of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
  • Cash relief for most Illinois families at the value of $50 per individual plus $100 each for up to three child dependents.

In response, Lily Rocha, Midwest Regional Director for Young Invincibles issued the following response.

“YI commends legislators on the solid economic investments in Illinois’ higher education system and tax relief for young adults included in the FY23 state budget.

Young adults (ages 18-34) in the state are facing soaring costs, wages consumed by inflation, and overall economic insecurity. Significant investments in the Monetary Award Program, the Minority Teachers of Illinois Scholarship, and operating funds for higher education institutions will provide a path toward a more stable economic future for Illinois students, particularly Black, brown, and low-income individuals. YI is continuously awed by students like Salvador and Cherise, who spoke up to educate legislators about the financial realities students face today. This work would not have been possible without their efforts, the work of many tireless advocacy organizations, the support of Governor J.B. Pritzker, and of course, legislative champions for students.

The expansion of Illinois’ Earned Income Credit (EIC) and tax relief marks another victory for young adults. Workers aged 18-24 without dependents, among others, will now be permanently eligible for this refundable credit, putting more of their own dollars back into their pockets – and their communities. The state budget will also offer cash relief for most Illinois families. Together, these relief measures will direct hundreds of dollars to each low- and middle-income Illinois family.

YI worked alongside the many organizations fighting for a better economic future as part of the Coalition to Make EIC work and supported young adults who spoke at rallies, and legislative meetings, and demanded a fairer share of the financial pie. YI is deeply thankful to the legislative leaders who have been advocating for young adults and other Illinoisans’ financial health for years.”