* Tim Kirsininkas at Capitol News Illinois…
The Illinois House Human Services Committee advanced two bills Tuesday, one allowing special needs students to stay with a school program past their 22nd birthday and another allowing the use of certain federal nutrition benefits to purchase feminine hygiene products.
House Bill 40, introduced by Rep. Frances Hurley, D-Chicago, would allow special needs students to receive special education services through the end of the school year that they turn 22 years of age.
Under current state statute, special needs students can be removed from special education programs as soon as they hit their 22nd birthday. Hurley said the bill would be key to beginning to increase equity for special needs students that can already be left behind by a state system not properly equipped to support them.
“I don’t think they should be punished for their birthdate,” Hurley said.
* Raymon Troncoso at Capitol News Illinois…
Legislation backed by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group would require farming equipment manufacturers to make software required for repairs available to consumers for purchase.
House Bill 3061, introduced as the “Digital Right to Repair Act” in February by Democratic Rep. Michelle Mussman of Schaumburg, would mandate that manufacturers, by 2022, provide farmers with the same diagnostic materials available to official repair providers. It would also require the manufacturers to make parts necessary for repair, including software, available for purchase.
The legislation comes after the release of a report by the U.S. PIRG that alleges farmers are unable to sufficiently repair tractors purchased from John Deere and other manufacturers because they withhold the software necessary to do so.
“The Association of Equipment Manufacturers, of which John Deere is a prominent member, promised that by 2021, they would give farmers the necessary tools to fix their machinery. However, Deere has fallen short of that commitment, so farmers – and all Americans, who rely on them to produce food – are worse off,” U.S. PIRG Education Fund Right to Repair Advocate Kevin O’Reilly said in a release announcing the report.
* Bill becomes law, law implemented by rule…
The state is no longer charging interest on late child support payments that are made through the Department of Healthcare and Family Services unless it’s ordered by a court, and all of the outstanding interest charges that those parents owed have been zeroed out.
A spokesman for the agency said in an email that the total accrued interest penalties that were eliminated amounted to just over $2.7 billion.
DHFS made that announcement Monday, saying those interest charges fell disproportionately on low-income families and people of color. […]
Illinois had been one of only 15 states that automatically charged interest on late child support payments. But, in a bill passed last May and signed by Gov. JB Pritzker into law in August, the automatic interest penalty was repealed and DHFS was given authority to adopt administrative rules to determine how, and if, it would charge and enforce interest penalties.