We want to give an update on all of the tireless work that our members and supporters gave during our work in Springfield for this most recently completed legislative session.
The SAFER Communities Act (HB 3215)
Since The SAFER Communities Act was introduced last year, WCRJ has:
Held 62 Digital Action Fridays and 10 Advocacy Phone Banks
Mobilized 137,000 emails to legislators
Placed 1,140 Phone Calls to legislators
Held 4 Legislator of Policy Briefings
Met one-on-one with 83 Legislators
Held 5 Springfield Advocacy Days for our membership
Secured 20 legislative sponsors and 32 endorsing organizations
As a result of our hard work, HB 3215 was adopted in the Judiciary Committee in early April 2022, which made it eligible to be called to the House floor for a vote.
Unfortunately, due to the overwhelming number of bills that were under consideration, The SAFER Communities Act was not called for a vote in the House during this legislative session.
We are currently working with our Policy Steering Committee, the FIP Council, and our partner organizations to come up with next steps, and in the coming months, WCRJ will continue to leverage our base to build support for SAFER in the House and Senate Chambers, in order to pass HB 3215 during veto session later this year and to ensure that it is funded in a supplementary budget for 2023. Victory is still at hand!
Earned Income Credit expansion:
We Won! The Illinois General Assembly passed a budget that included expanding the earned income credit to nearly one million more people that would have otherwise been ineligible. This major accomplishment was a direct result of our work with Economic Security for Illinois, on behalf of the Coalition to Make EIC Work.
WCRJ leaders and members held meetings, spoke with community members, made phone calls to elected officials, and advocated through social media, to make the expansion of the earned income credit a reality in Illinois. It was critical that we engaged through every measure available to us, because so many people were in need of support throughout the state.
The EIC offers tax relief to most workers earning less than $56,000 per year and the potential to earn up to $1,200 (currently) in a refund check. This is money that regular folks need to make ends meet, and helps people that need it most in a tough economy as prices have risen dramatically in recent years.
Moving forward, we will continue working with Economic Security Illinois, along with other organizations across the state, to help families in our communities get the resources they need to not just survive, but to thrive.