The Illinois Policy Institute has worked with a wide range of partners to promote substantial reforms for a better Illinois. You can catch up on our recent success stories here.
- State Sens. Martin Sandoval,
D-Chicago, and Kirk Dillard, R-Westmont, kick-started a long-overdue
conversation on better accountability for state grants, and the Institute was
there to help with best practices from other states.
Renee Kosel, R-Mokena, sponsored a resolution against a federal bailout of
state debt, which was adapted from nationwide model legislation the Institute
based on an initiative from U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk. It was adopted by the House
and will be transmitted to Congress.
the Institute pointed out that the unfunded liability for state retiree health
care had climbed to a staggering $54 billion, legislation ending “free”
coverage went to the governor’s desk. The Institute worked with Rep. Karen May,
D-Highwood, to model options for reform implementation.
- The Institute’s 10-Point
Transparency Checklist for local governments was turned into legislation by
Sen. Dan Duffy, R-Barrington, who highlighted the measure in the wake of the
Dixon comptroller scandal.
- The online affiliate tax,
commonly referred to as the “Amazon Tax,” was put on notice with repeal
legislation from Rep. Dave Winters, R-Rockford. Reps. Richard Morthland,
R-Moline, Jehan Gordon, D-Peoria, Joe Sosnowski, R-Belvidere, and Keith
Farnham, D-Elgin cosponsored this legislation. Just months later the measure was ruled unconstitutional.
- A number of Republicans and
Democrats in both chambers voted against an early implementation of ObamaCare’s
Medicaid expansion as well as a tobacco tax increase, the policy merits of which
the Institute had deeply questioned.
staff of Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, invited the Institute to
provide expert testimony on pension reform before a standing room only hearing
of the Senate Executive Committee.
- The Institute worked with Senator Heather Steans (D) to pass the Charter School Quality Act, legislation that allows charter schools to open in school districts that were previously closed to innovation or too small to adequately oversee charter schools. The bill passed both the House and Senate with near unanimous bipartisan support and was signed into law by the Governor in July.
- Senator Pam Althoff (R), introduced SB0031, based on a study by the Illinois Policy Institute. The legislation would place fiscal notes, or price tags, on laws being considered by the General Assembly. More than one-third of Illinois’ state senators sponsored the Fiscal Note Act, including members of both parties. Although the bill unanimously passed committee in March 2011, it was subsequently held on the Senate floor and has yet to receive a floor vote.
- The Institute supported Senate Bill 7, performance counts legislation that ended the practice of laying off younger teachers before older teachers, regardless of performance. It opened the door for Chicago to increase its school day and put in place reasonable checks against teacher strikes. The bill passed both the House and Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support and was signed into law by the Governor in June.
- Based on recommendations put forward by the Illinois Policy Institute, Representative Patty Bellock (R), introduce HB1569, legislation that would expand the health insurance options available to state employees by offering a health savings account. The bill passed out of committee with unanimous support, but was never voted on by the full house.
- Collin Hitt provided research and testimony in support of HB1079, a bill to create transparency standards for state-run universities. The bill initially passed both the House and Senate with unanimous support but but was stalled by an amendatory veto from the Governor.
- The Institute worked with Senator Susan Garrett (D) to draft and pass a tax transparency bill that allows citizens to see all local and state taxes by jurisdiction so they can make informed decisions about the taxes they pay. The bill passed the House and Senate unanimously and was signed into law by the Governor in August.
- The Illinois Policy Institute partnered with Rev. Senator James Meeks (D) on SB 2494, legislation that would provide opportunity scholarships for students in Chicago’s worst schools. The legislation included three Democrat sponsors and four Republican sponsors in the Senate, as well as five Democrat sponsors and five Republican sponsors in the House. The Institute featured Rev. Senator Meeks and his work in a sold-out Chicago luncheon as well as on the cover of its quarterly publication, The Compass. This bipartisan partnership for better educational opportunity was covered in The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, The State Journal-Register and media outlets across the state.
- In March 2010, the Institute’s executive vice president Kristina Rasmussen testified in favor of HB 5783, legislation that would reduce restrictive licensing regulations for hair braiders. The Institute created a Capitol Update video in support of the legislation, which successfully passed in the summer of 2010. The legislation had 23 Democrat and four Republican cosponsors in the House as well as four Democrat cosponsors in the Senate.
- Kristina Rasmussen testified in favor of Medicaid Transparency legislation (HB 5241) in March 2010. This legislation passed both the House and the Senate with unanimous support.
- In March 2010, Kate Piercy, the Institute’s director of government reform, testified before the Senate Executive Committee in favor of the Sunshine Commission Act (HB 4836). The legislation passed the House and the Senate with unanimous support from both parties.
- The Institute supported HB 35, legislation that created the Illinois Accountability Portal, a transparency website with wide bipartisan support. The legislation passed the Senate and the House unanimously.
- The Institute worked with Senator Susan Garrett (D) on the Open Meetings Act reform (HB 5483), and Kate Piercy testified in favor of the reform before the House’s State Government Administration Committee. The legislation passed with unanimous support in both the House and Senate.
- In March 2009, Collin Hitt testified before the Senate Committee on Deficit Reduction in favor of eliminating the cap on charter schools. That summer, legislation increasing the number of charter schools allowed in the state, SB 612, passed both houses. The bill had five Democrat sponsors in the Senate, as well as 11 Democrat and five Republican sponsors in the House.
- The Institute has launched TweetIllinois.org, an online communication tool used by legislators of both parties.
- Over 60 public officials have signed our Transparency Pledge, including Democrats and Republicans.