A new report by Voices for Illinois Children calls for Medicaid Expansion legislation to pass in Illinois. The report, "Closing the Medicaid Coverage Gap", calls on the state of Illinois to expand Medicaid by agreeing to receive funding from the federal government from the Affordable Care Act. Expanding Medicaid eligibility would extend health coverage to over 300,000 new people by 2017, according to The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.
- New Report Calls for Medicaid Expansion Legislation to Pass in Illinois, Ashlee Rezin, Progress Illinois, 2/19/2013
The majority of Illinois residents support raising the minimum wage to $10 an hour, according to a poll conducted by Crain's/Ipsos Illinois. Only 24% of Illinois residents polled stated that they do not support raising the minimum wage. In Chicago specifically, over 78% supported raising the minimum wage.
Crain's also posted an Opinion piece by Anne Ladky, the Executive Director of Women Employed. Ladky points out that over 55% of minimum wage workers in Illinois are women who are having to make difficult decisions about how to care for their families' necessities on a minimum wage budget. She also points out that raising the minimum wage will increase the ability to spend the increased income on much needed necessities, thus boosting the economy.
- Poll: Illinoisians Back Minimum Wage Hike, More Mixed on Immigration Reform, Greg Hinz, Crain's Chicago Business, 2/20/2013
- Boost the Minimum Wage If Only to Help Working Women, Ann Ladky, Crain's Chicago Business, 2/21/2013
Thousands of Illinois residents fail to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) each year because they don't know if they qualify or don't know how to claim the credit. The EITC and other refundable tax credits for working families help many families meet their basic needs each year. Governor Quinn stopped by Truman College on Saturday to share is support for free tax preparation provided by The Center for Economic Progress (CEP), encouraging qualifying Illinois residents to take advantage of EITC. CEP is offering tax preparation assistance in 15 communities throughout Illinois including 8 locations in Chicago in Auburn Gresham, Bronzeville, Lawndale, Loop, Pilsen, Uptown, Brighton Park, and Woodlawn. Those living outside of Chicago can find a free tax preparation site here.
- Thousands Miss Out on Illinois Tax Credit, WGN News, 2/18/13
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill that passed through the Illinois General Assembly pushing back his budget address from a week from today to March 6th. State law required that Quinn propose a budget in February for the fiscal year beginning on July 1st, 2013. Quinn will likely address the public-employee pension crisis, and the $9 billion in overdue bills in his budget address.
- Gov. Quinn Signs Delay of Illinois Budget Address, WPSD NBC Local, 2/20/2013