Pritzker Administration Launches the Illinois Commission on Poverty Elimination and Economic Security to Address Inequality and Poverty Across the State

Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) today announced the Illinois Commission on Poverty Elimination and Economic Security. The Commission, which was signed into law by Governor Pritzker earlier this year as part of the Intergenerational Poverty Act (IPA), builds on the administration’s efforts to improve the lives of low- and middle-income Illinoisans. The Commission is tasked with developing and adopting a strategic plan that will develop anti-poverty programs that ensure long-term, multigenerational economic mobility regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation or identity, ability, or geographic location. The plan will be available in spring 2021. Goals for The Commission outlined in state statute include reducing poverty in Illinois by 50% by 2026, eliminating child poverty by 2031 and eliminating all poverty by 2036. IDHS will work closely with The Commission in the coming years to assist in reaching these goals.  The Commission, which is set to meet twice a year, is made up of 25 members: four members of the State General Assembly; one member of the judiciary; and twenty public leaders who represent key constituencies that are impacted by poverty. Members were appointed by Governor J.B. Pritzker, Senate President Don Harmon, Speaker of the House Michael J. Madigan, Senate Minority Leader Bill Brady, House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, and Chief Justice Anne M. Burke of the Illinois Supreme Court. The Commission is Co-Chaired by Evelyn Diaz, President of Heartland Alliance, and Amy Susan Brown, Chief Executive Officer of CRIS Healthy-Aging Center and Mass Transit. Racism, gender discrimination, and mistreatment of individuals with disabilities is deeply rooted in American culture. The effects of long-standing inequity linger and perpetuate disparities in poverty, housing, criminal justice, and healthcare, among other areas. The Commission’s work will be centered in equity and will intentionally confront racist and discriminatory systems that limit economic mobility.The Commission will be supported by the Interagency Working Group on Poverty and Economic Insecurity that was also created as a part of the IPA. This supportive body is made up of Directors and senior leaders from the following Illinois agencies: Illinois Department of Human Services, Illinois Department of Labor, Illinois State Board of Education, Illinois Department of Public Health, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Illinois Department on Aging, Illinois Department of Agriculture, Illinois Department of Corrections, Governor’s Office of Management and Budget, Illinois Department of Economic Security, and Illinois Housing Development Authority. The Workgroup is meant to serve as an engine that propels the work of the Commission through thought partnership, policy development, and strategy execution. In addition to developing and adopting a strategic plan, the Commission will hold at least 6 public hearings in different geographic regions of the State to collect information, take testimony, and solicit input from interested parties, including members of the public who have personal experiences with State programs and services.The Commission, in partnership with Illinois State agencies, met on December 2 will address the multitude of systems and institutions in our state that perpetuate economic inequality by investing in strategies that bring vitality to communities and developing pathways for all Illinois residents to achieve economic security for generations to come. For more information about the Illinois Commission on Poverty Elimination and Economic Security, email dana.kelly@illinois.gov.

 

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