* Mike Miletich…
Many people struggle to pay processing fees for housing applications when they have little to no income. Democratic state lawmakers want to create a special grant program to provide assistance for anyone left in that situation.
Rep. Anne Stava-Murray (D-Downers Grove) wanted to create the Emergency Solutions Grant program to help families who don’t make enough to have a place to call home. The plan could prohibit landlords, mortgage companies, and rental property owners from charging administrative fees on housing applications submitted by people using this assistance.
Assistance previously came from the Emergency Shelter Grant program which was created through the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing Act.
Property owners would still have the ability to conduct background checks on applicants. However, anyone violating this legislation could face unlawful practice charges under the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.
* Mike Miletich…
The Illinois House approved a proposal Thursday to add sexting curriculum to sex education courses in schools.
Rep. Maurice West (D-Rockford) championed this plan last year when it unanimously passed out of the House. However, it couldn’t get approval from the Senate before the COVID-19 pandemic cut session short.
His plan covers age-appropriate content for students in sixth grade through senior year of high school. The Democrat reintroduced the bill because he feels students need to understand the consequences of sending or sharing sexually explicit messages.
West’s proposal could require sex education courses to include information on the long-term social, legal, and academic consequences of sharing or forwarding suggestive photos, videos, or messages. He also noted there’s a disturbing increase in sexting online.
“60% of sextortion, as the detective told me who I had a conversation with, 60% are from individuals that they know. 40% comes from gaming, the games that they play,” West said.
* Capitol News Illinois…
Lawmakers advanced a bill Thursday to make it a felony offense if a person kills or injures a police animal while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Rep. Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, sponsored House Bill 3019, which passed with 72 votes in favor. He said it was brought to him by a state’s attorney from his district.
“We had an unfortunate circumstance of a drunk driver who hit a police safety vehicle, instantly killing a rescue canine that was within that vehicle,” Sosnowski said. “Unfortunately what came out of this was that there’s actually nothing that could be charged to that particular drunk driver if nothing else had happened.”
Newly proposed legislation intends to prevent poor dental health among Illinois youth.
State Sen. Julie Morrison, D-Lake Forest, filed Senate Bill 346.
This bill would allow preventative dental services in schools.
If passed, SB346 would let the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services implement a school-based dental program that would allow out-of-office preventative services, such as teeth cleanings.
* Center Square…
The Illinois Municipal League is working with municipal leaders across the state in a legislative platform that aims to ensure long-term funding for cities, towns and villages.
It’s called “Moving Cities Forward” and calls for initiatives that protect municipal revenues. One is the protection of the Local Government Distributive Fund, which sets aside a percentage of state income tax revenues for municipalities and other local governments. […]
Local elected officials are also asking state lawmakers to address the fiscal strain posed by downstate public safety pension funds by extending the amortization schedules, so municipalities are better equipped to meet their obligations to both public safety personnel and taxpayers.
The “Moving Cities Forward” platform also addresses the need for local governments to provide economic relief to local businesses as they work to overcome the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Cole said IML’s proposal would allow municipalities to provide grants, subsidies or loans to local businesses within Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts that have experienced business interruptions.
* Jeanne Ives…
In 2019, Illinois passed a $45 Billion Capital spending plan.
Unbeknownst to nearly everyone, the plan included $25 million to pay off up to $40,000 of other people’s student loans if they purchase a home in Illinois.
It also gives them an additional $5,000 for a down payment. It is called the SmartBuy Program.
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The state allocated up to $25 million to the program in Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s 2019 Rebuild Illinois capital plan.
To date, the agency has paid off an average of $24,100 in student loan debt.
So, expect this program to grow exponentially over the next few years unless there is significant push back on state lawmakers from Illinois voters – remember, the nature of government is to expand, not reform or contract.
Worse still, Illinois voters / taxpayers had no voice in this decision.