Putting Children First in Policy and Legislation

Whether it occurs in Springfield or Washington, D.C., Children’s Advocates for Change’s policy efforts are steeped in data and refined by real-life stories.

group kids
child healthcare wellbeing

We work for the necessary legislative measures and funding to holistically improve the lives of our children and families.

child development support

Our policy imperatives include:

  • Improving access to quality child care and early education programs.
  • Increasing access to quality health care and the economic support required by Illinois families.
  • Making housing more affordable for low- and moderate-income families
  • Ensuring the safety of our children and families
  • Advocating for the necessary financial resources to support Illinois children and families through an equitable tax system

Children’s Advocates for Change 2024 Legislative Agenda

  • State Child Tax Credit (SB 3329, HB 4917)
    To help these working families, Illinois needs to adopt a state child tax credit. This legislation would create a $300 per child refundable child tax credit. Taxfilers with incomes up to $75,000 if married and filing a joint tax return and $50,000 for all others, would be eligible for the full credit. After those income levels, the value of the credit would decline by a rate of 2% of the taxpayer’s earned or adjusted gross income (whichever is greater) that exceeds the threshold levels.

  • Equity Budgeting (SB 3113, HB 3748 )
    While the Governor annually presents a budget to the General Assembly with an introduction that highlights major investments and trends, the state needs to specifically include a statement on how the budget promotes racial and ethnic equity within the state. The use of a race equity lens during budget deliberations points out the racial and ethnic disparities that continue to plague us, raises the questions of why those disparities exist, and prompts the question of how the state – through the provision of goods and services – is addressing those inequities.
  • Training on Producing Racial Impact Notes ( HB 3941 )
    A key element to equity, is also utilizing the state’s Racial Impact Note Act (25 ILCS 83). The Act allows a legislator to request prior to the second reading of a substantive bill that has or could have a disparate impact on racial and ethnic minorities that a state agency, for a board or commission to prepare a “brief explanatory statement or note that shall include a reliable estimate of the anticipated impact on those racial and ethnic minorities likely to be impacted by the bill”. The Act stipulates requirements for the statement. However, legislators have used the law sparingly and there does not seem to be any consistency in their preparation.

CAFC proposes legislation requiring the Governor’s office to submit a report by year’s end on recommendations regarding the production of racial impact note that would examine methodology, formatting, and a course of training for personnel required to produce such notes. This measure should improve the quality and effectiveness of the produced notes which are valuable tools in raising questions about legislation that could increase existing disparities and reduce opportunities for all citizens to thrive.

  • Renter’s Income Tax Credit ( SB 1836, HB 2429)
    U.S. Census Data clearly shows that a far greater percentage of lower-income households pay more than 30% of their income on rent versus higher-income households. A far higher percentage of Illinois Blacks rent versus own housing units (61% of Blacks rent versus 25% of non-Latinx whites)[1]. Yet, the state’s property tax credit benefits homeowners.

This legislation creates a state income tax credit for renters. The credit would be worth 5% of documented rental costs for a dwelling used by the taxpayer as a principal place of residence. To qualify, a taxpayer must have lived in Illinois for at least half the year, have federal adjusted gross income at or below 200% of the federal poverty level, and rental payments must exceed 30% of the taxpayer’s federal adjusted gross income.

Below are the new legislative districts for the 103rd Illinois General Assembly. Click on the upper left icon to find a House district number or zoom in on the map to find the district in a particular region.

Current Illinois Senators

Current Illinois Representatives

Legislative Updates

Below is a list of some of the bills Children’s Advocates for Change is tracking in the Illinois General Assembly. A listing does not indicate a CAFC position on the bill.

Legislative Update 3-18-24.