Witness slips needed for clean air in schools, #RacismFreeSchools, child tax credit & stopping book bans

This week's General Assembly committee deadlines mean its witness slip time! This Friday is an important legislative deadline for bills to pass in committee in their chamber of origin. (Here’s a helpful graphic of the route from bill to law.)


There are thousands of bills moving (or not!) But here are some that we’re supporting that are scheduled for hearings tomorrow afternoon March 8th (and one on March 9th.)

Please file witness slips as PROPONENT for these four bills to keep them on their path to passage. Here’s detailed instructions on filing a slip.


HB 2049 Racism Free Schools PROPONENT

[Fact Sheet] Requires school districts to create and implement a policy on race-related harassment and discrimination and classifies racial harassment as a civil rights violation. Read more details about what the Racism Free Schools Act would do here.

HB 3713 Clean Air for Healthy Equitable Schools PROPONENT

[Fact Sheet] Initiative of Illinois Stakeholders for Air Quality in Schools. Amendment 1 includes not just ventilation verification assessments but the distribution of high-quality HEPA filters and air quality monitors to immediately improve air quality for all children, teachers, and staff in Illinois public schools. (You can file as a PROPONENT of both the original bill and HCA1 on the same slip. Use the “add position” button.)

HB 2789 No Book Bans PROPONENT

Protects against attempts to ban, remove, or otherwise restrict access to books or other materials in the State's public libraries and public school libraries by requiring school and public libraries to adopt policies against censorship and book banning in order to receive grants from the Illinois State Library, including the School District Library Grant. (Many school districts already have existing policies on the books that would meet the requirements of this bill.)

HB3950 Child Tax Credit PROPONENT

[Fact Sheet] Illinois has long had one of the most regressive state tax systems in the country, in part because the Illinois constitution bars the state from levying a graduated income tax, and so Illinois does not have the ability to raise income tax rates for the people who can afford to pay the most. Until the constitution is amended, advocacy orgs from around the state, including IL Families for Public Schools, are partnering with the Cost of Living Refund Coalition to ameliorate the effects of IL’s regressive tax policies with tax credits for lower-income brackets. This session the coalition is supporting a child tax credit; eligible low- and middle-income Illinois families would receive a $700 tax credit for each child under the age of 17. This would benefit half of Illinois households with children.

For our full legislative agenda, check out this page. Note that not all legislation moves in the original bill vehicle that it is filed with. For example, stand-alone appropriations bills may end up tucked into the annual budget bill. And with the Invest in Kids Act, ultimately, if no bill moves at all, the program would sunset as intended. Questions? [email protected]