Earlier this month, the General Assembly concluded our 2022 Spring legislative session after passing a number of important pieces of legislation to improve our state for all who call it home. We passed a balanced budget, a package of public safety bills to help combat crime, and other critical measures that will be signed by Governor Pritzker in the coming weeks and months.
I’m proud that two bills I led this session passed both the House and Senate and will now be signed into law.
HB4715, an initiative alongside the American Society of Interior Designers, will allow for registered interior designers to stamp their own design plans for non-structural and non-load bearing construction. This legislation will help remove a major barrier in a predominantly female industry.
I worked closely with the Alzheimer’s Association Illinois Chapter to pass HB4388, which requires EMTs and paramedics to complete one hour of training on the diagnosis, treatment, and care of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. My grandfather was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease when I was young, and I saw firsthand the impact Alzheimer’s can have on an individual and their support system. This new legislation will ensure our first responders are prepared to respond to a situation where a person with dementia is in need, which will provide relief and support for both the individual and their loved ones.
We passed a new budget that will pay off the bill backlog, reduce the state’s pension liabilities, add to our rainy day fund and give Illinoisans $1.8 billion back in direct tax relief. The budget doubles the property tax rebate to help Illinoisans save up to $300 per household. Another highlight from the budget is the increase and expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EIC) to cover more Illinois residents, including immigrants. EIC tax filers will receive a one-time direct check for $50 per adult filer and $100 for each child.
Other highlights include suspending the grocery tax for one year and the gas tax for six months, which will save Illinoisans approximately $110 million. We are also doubling the teacher tax credit for purchasing classroom materials and creating a back-to-school tax holiday for all consumers.
Additionally, the budget allocated $113 million of funding the state will receive from the federal infrastructure bill to replace lead service lines. This will help ensure that all individuals have access to clean drinking water.
The General Assembly passed a variety of measures to keep our communities safe and combat crime. This includes new provisions designed to help police address smash-and-grab shoplifting and expressway shootings. We are adding more than $200 million for public safety, which includes funding for body cameras, automatic license plate readers, ballistics testing and forensics, and non-lethal equipment to subdue suspects with less risk to life.
We also included funding for mental health screenings for local police departments, a co-responder pilot program to bring crisis management and emotional support to victims, and law enforcement retention grants. $48 million is allotted to prevent carjacking by providing funding to local safety councils, youth summer jobs programs, YouthBuild Illinois, Teen REACH, Youth Redeploy Illinois, Parents Too Soon, and Comprehensive Community-Based Youth Services.
I was the chief sponsor of House Resolution 790 which asserts that Roe v. Wade and Griswold v. Connecticut, two landmark Supreme Court cases for women’s reproductive rights, were properly decided. It also declares opposition to any effort to overturn, undermine, or weaken the precedents. The passing of this resolution was a signal that Illinois will remain a 100% pro-choice state, which is particularly important as reproductive rights are being attacked in so many states across the country.
I am incredibly proud of everything that was accomplished this session, and I am grateful for all of your participation and outreach. I look forward to seeing the positive impact our achievements have on our state in the months and years to come!