One Year Update - Democratic Party of Illinois Accomplishments Since Nov 2022 Election Since last November Illinois Democrats have: *Passed a fifth consecutive balanced budget *Passed first of its kind legislation to ban book bans in Illinois *Passed a nation-leading assault weapons ban *Held gun manufacturers accountable for reckless advertising, allowing those affected by gun violence to take civil action *Guaranteed paid leave for all workers *Limited the cost of a 30-day supply of insulin to $35 for eligible individuals *Cracked down on “crisis pregnancy centers” which use deceptive practices to pressure women out of accessing abortion or other legitimate reproductive health care *Required any company selling accident or health insurance in Illinois to cover abortion medication *Prevented users of automated license plate readers from sharing data with other states to enforce abortion bans *Expanded access to emergency contraceptives at a reduced cost in public colleges at on-campus “wellness kiosks” *....and more!
JOBS: President Biden’s Infrastructure Bill, passed by the Democratic Controlled Congress in 2022: To date, $5.2 billion in bipartisan infrastructure law funding has been announced for Illinois with 100 specific projects identified for the funding. In 2022-23 alone, Illinois received more than $3.4billion for transportation to invest in roads, bridges, public transit, ports and airports and over $288 million for clean water projects. Approximately 391,700 households across the state are receiving affordable internet due to the bipartisan infrastructure law. By reaching communities across the state – including rural communities and historically underserved populations – the law makes critical investments that will improve the lives for Illinoisans. For details go to:
RIGHTS and PRIVACY: Democrats Protect Reproductive Rights and Privacy in Illinois In January 2023 Governor JB Pritzker signed HB4664, a reproductive rights and gender affirming care omnibus bill that protects health care providers and their patients from legal attacks by neighboring states and expands health care access and options across the state. The bill takes historic action to protect Illinois providers and their patients, thousands of whom have travelled to Illinois to access essential reproductive health care now banned in their home states. “Here in Illinois, we hold certain ideals: abortion is health care. A medical decision should be made between a patient and their doctor — no one else," said Governor JB Pritzker. "Last summer, when Roe v. Wade was overturned, I made a promise that Illinois would remain a beacon of hope and an island for reproductive justice for all who seek it. This bill fulfills that promise."
SAFETY: The Protect Illinois Communities Act (formally known as Public Act 102–1116) is an assault weapons ban signed into Illinois law on January 10, 2023, by Governor JB Pritzker. The Act bans the sale and distribution of assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, and switches in Illinois. On August 11, 2023, the Illinois Supreme Court upheld the law, stating that it is constitutional and does not "deny equal protection nor constitute special legislation".
CLIMATE ACTION: “Climate action has brought investment and jobs to Illinois” Chicago Tribune 8/24/23 – One year after a major federal climate bill was passed (by President Biden and the Democratic controlled Congress in 2022) Illinois is making progress in the battle against climate change thanks to an influx of clean energy investments. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) signed into law August 2022, combined with Illinois state clean energy programs, unleashed a stream of clean energy projects from Illinois companies. Illinois added 3,773 clean energy jobs over the past year, bringing the Illinois total to 126,806 clean energy jobs, a 3.1% increase in a year. Deerfield’s LanzaJet is tapping the IRA’s tax credits and aviation grants to make sustainable, ethanol-based, aviation fuel to lower carbon emissions and create jobs….Manner Polymers announced in June 2023 a $54 million investment in Mount Vernon to manufacture materials for use in electric vehicles and solar panels… TCCI Manufacturing in Decatur broke ground on a $45 million project to support EV manufacturing research and worker training….Verde Energy Efficiency Experts in Chicago will use IRA funding to accelerate decarbonizing older Illinois buildings with very high efficiency HVAC systems to reduce energy consumption in commercial buildings by 50%.
LIVING WAGE: Democrats Increase Minimum Wage There have been five increases in the state minimum wage since Governor JB Pritzker signed historic legislation in 2019 that establishes a schedule of wage increases, putting Illinois on the path to a $15 an hour minimum wage by 2025. Prior to the first of these minimum wage increases in 2020, the last time workers in Illinois received an increase in the minimum wage was more than a decade ago in 2010. "Illinois workers deserve a minimum wage that keeps up with the rising costs of living," said Governor JB Pritzker. "That is why, during my first year as Governor, we raised the minimum wage with a gradual ramp to $15 an hour." Starting January 1, 2024, workers will see an increase of $1 per hour from $13 to $14. The minimum wage for tipped workers will rise to $8.40 per hour and youth workers (under 18) working fewer than 650 hours per calendar year will see their hourly wage increase to $12 per hour.
CLIMATE ACTION: Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities The Biden-Harris Administration, through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is investing an additional $325 million for 71 projects under the second funding pool of the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities effort, bringing the total investment from both funding pools to over $3.1 billion for 141 selected projects. There was high demand for this funding opportunity across agriculture and forestry. The Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities projects across both funding pools will deliver important impacts for farmers, ranchers, foresters, and communities nationwide. More than 60,000 farms are reached, encompassing more than 25 million acres of working land engaged in climate-smart production practices, like cover crops, no-till and nutrient management, as well as pasture and forestry management. The partnerships will result in hundreds of expanded markets and revenue streams for farmers and ranchers and commodities across agriculture and forestry ranging from traditional corn to specialty crops. The positive environmental impact will result in more than 60 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent sequestered over the lives of the projects. This is equivalent to removing more than 12 million gasoline-powered passenger vehicles from the road for one year. A link is provided for more detailed information:
EDUCATION: Investing in our Schools and Colleges President Biden and Vice President Harris believe that investing in education is investing in America’s future. To ensure that every young American has the opportunity for a strong start in life, the Biden Harris administration has secured a historic $130 billion for America’s K-12 schools which they are using to hire teachers; improve student achievement, and provide mental health support; funded 14,000 additional mental health professionals to work in America’s schools; created a new program to feed low-income children during summer break; invested $39 billion in colleges and universities, including more than $25 billion to historically Black colleges and universities, Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities and Minority-Serving Institutions, which they are using to support students at risk of dropping out; and clarified how colleges and universities can continue to promote opportunity and diversity after the Supreme Court effectively ended the use of affirmative action in college admissions. For more information and details regarding how the Biden Harris Administration is addressing the concerns of young Americans refer to this link:
RESEARCH: A Decade of Illinois Migration Patterns - ILEPI Study Right-wing media has spread misinformation regarding population trends in Illinois. The Illinois Economic Policy Institute researched the subject and issued a factual report that reveals the truth. Illinois population trends are holding steady and are predictable. The report is available on line here: