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2019 IL H 3080
Author: Buckner
Version: Introduced
Version Date: 02/15/2019

101ST GENERAL ASSEMBLY

State of Illinois

2019 and 2020

HB3080

Introduced, by Rep. Kambium Buckner

SYNOPSIS AS INTRODUCED:

New Act Creates the Intergenerational Poverty Mitigation Act. Requires the Department of Human Services to establish and maintain a system to track intergenerational poverty. Provides that the system shall identify groups that have a high risk of experiencing intergenerational poverty; identify incidents, patterns, and trends that explain or contribute to intergenerational poverty; collect data on child poverty rates; and other matters. Creates the Illinois Intergenerational Welfare Reform Commission (Reform Commission) to collaborate in sharing and analyzing data and information regarding intergenerational poverty in the State, to examine such data, to implement data-driven policies and programs addressing poverty, and other matters. Creates the Intergenerational Poverty Advisory Committee to make recommendations on how the Reform Commission and the State can effectively address the needs of children affected by intergenerational poverty. Contains provisions concerning membership on both commissions, reporting requirements, and other matters. Creates the Intergenerational Poverty School Readiness Scholarship Program to provide children who have not enrolled in kindergarten access to a high-quality school readiness program. Contains provisions on eligibility requirements, coordination between the Department of Human Services and the State Board of Education to designate providers as high-quality school readiness programs, and other matters. Creates the Intergenerational Poverty Plan Implementation Pilot Program to provide funding for counties to implement local solutions to address intergenerational poverty. Effective January 1, 2020.

FISCAL NOTE ACT MAY APPLY

A BILL FOR

AN ACT concerning poverty.

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois, represented in the General Assembly:

Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Intergenerational Poverty Mitigation Act.

Section 5. Definitions. As used in this Act:

"Cycle of poverty" or "poverty cycle" means the set of factors or events by which the long-term poverty of a person is likely to continue and be experienced by each child of the person when the child becomes an adult unless there is outside intervention.

"Department" means the Department of Human Services.

"Intergenerational poverty" means poverty in which 2 or more successive generations of a family continue in the cycle of poverty and government dependence. "Intergenerational poverty" does not include situational poverty.

"Poverty" means the state of a person who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions as demonstrated by the person's income level being at or below the poverty guidelines updated periodically in the Federal Register by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. These guidelines set poverty levels by family size.

"Situational poverty" means temporary poverty that: (i) is generally traceable to a specific incident or time period within the lifetime of a person; and (ii) is not continued to the next generation.

Section 10. Intergenerational poverty tracking system; data; analysis; annual report.

(a) The Department shall establish and maintain a system to track intergenerational poverty.

(b) The system shall:

(1) identify groups that have a high risk of experiencing intergenerational poverty;

(2) identify incidents, patterns, and trends that explain or contribute to intergenerational poverty;

(3) assist case workers, social scientists, and government officials in the study and development of effective and efficient plans and programs to help individuals and families in the State to break the cycle of poverty; and

(4) gather and track available local, State, and national data on:

(i) official poverty rates;

(ii) child poverty rates;

(iii) years spent by individuals in childhood poverty;

(iv) years spent by individuals in adult poverty; and

(v) related poverty information.

(c) The Department shall:

(1) use available data in the tracking system, including public assistance data, census data, and other data made available to the Department;

(2) develop and implement methods to integrate, compare, analyze, and validate the data for the purposes described in subsection (b);

(3) protect the privacy of individuals living in poverty by using and distributing data within the tracking system in compliance with:

(i) federal requirements; and

(ii) the Freedom of Information Act; and

(4) submit an annual report, by October 1 of each year, to the Governor and the General Assembly on the data, findings, and potential uses of the tracking system.

Section 15. Creation of the Illinois Intergenerational Welfare Reform Commission. There is created the Illinois Intergenerational Welfare Reform Commission composed of the following 7 members:

(1) the Lieutenant Governor;

(2) the Director of Employment Security or his or her designee;

(3) the Director of Healthcare and Family Services or his or her designee;

(4) the Secretary of Human Services or his or her designee;

(5) the State Superintendent of Education or his or her designee;

(6) the Director of Juvenile Justice; and

(7) the Chair of the Intergenerational Poverty Advisory Committee created in Section 30.

Section 20. Chair of the Commission; meetings; quorum; staff support.

(a) The Lieutenant Governor shall serve as Chair of the Commission.

(b) The Secretary of Human Services, or his or her designee, shall serve as Vice Chair of the Commission.

(c) The Chair:

(1) is responsible for the call and conduct of meetings;

(2) shall call and hold meetings of the Commission at least quarterly;

(3) shall call additional meetings upon request by a majority of the Commission's members; and

(4) may delegate duties to the Vice Chair.

(d) A majority of the members of the Commission constitutes a quorum of the Commission at any meeting and the action of the majority of members present is the action of the Commission.

(e) The Department of Human Services shall provide staff support to the Commission.

Section 25. Purpose and duties of the Commission.

(a) The Commission's purpose is to:

(1) collaborate in sharing and analyzing data and information regarding intergenerational poverty in the State with a primary focus on data and information regarding children who are at risk of continuing the cycle of poverty and welfare dependency unless outside intervention is made;

(2) examine and analyze shared data and information regarding intergenerational poverty, including the data provided by the intergenerational poverty report described in Section 10, to identify and develop effective and efficient plans, programs, and recommendations to help at-risk children in the State escape the cycle of poverty and welfare dependency, which may include avoiding homelessness among children at risk of remaining in poverty;

(3) implement data-driven policies and programs addressing poverty, public assistance, education, and other areas as needed to measurably reduce the incidence of children in the State who remain in the cycle of poverty and welfare dependency as they become adults;

(4) establish and facilitate improved cooperation between State agencies down to the case worker level in rescuing children from intergenerational poverty and welfare dependency; and

(5) encourage participation and input from the Intergenerational Poverty Advisory Committee established in Section 30 and other community resources, including academic experts, advocacy groups, nonprofit corporations, local governments, and religious institutions in exploring strategies and solutions to help children in the State who are victims of intergenerational poverty escape the cycle of poverty and welfare dependency.

(b) The Commission shall:

(1) fulfill the Commission's purposes as listed in subsection (a);

(2) study, evaluate, and report on the status and effectiveness of policies, procedures, and programs that provide services to children in the State affected by intergenerational poverty and welfare dependency;

(3) study and evaluate the policies, procedures, and programs implemented by other states and nongovernmental entities that address the needs of children affected by intergenerational poverty and welfare dependency;

(4)(A) identify policies, procedures, and programs, including any lack of interagency data sharing, lack of policy coordination, or federal requirements, that are impeding efforts to help children in the State affected by intergenerational poverty escape the poverty cycle and welfare dependency; and

(B) implement and recommend changes to those policies and procedures;

(5) create an ongoing 5-year and 10-year plan, which is updated annually, containing:

(A) measurable goals and benchmarks, including future action needed to attain those goals and benchmarks, for: (i) decreasing the incidence of intergenerational poverty among the State's children, including reducing the incidence of homelessness among children affected by intergenerational poverty; and (ii) increasing the number of the State's children who escape the poverty cycle and welfare dependency;

(B) implement policy, procedure, and program changes to address the needs of children affected by intergenerational poverty and help those children escape the poverty cycle and welfare dependency, including, as available over time, data to track the effectiveness of each change; and

(C) recommend policy, procedure, and program changes to address the needs of children affected by intergenerational poverty and to help those children escape the poverty cycle and welfare dependency, including the steps that will be required to make the recommended changes and whether further action is required by the General Assembly or the federal government;

(6) ensure that each change and recommended change to a policy, procedure, or program, which is made by the Commission, is supported by verifiable data;

(7) protect the privacy of individuals living in poverty by using and distributing the data it collects or examines in compliance with: (i) federal requirements; and (ii) the Freedom of Information Act; and

(8) provide a forum for public comment and participation in efforts to help children in the State escape the cycle of poverty and welfare dependency.

(c) To accomplish its duties, the Commission may:

(1) request and receive from any State or local governmental agency or institution, information relating to poverty in the State, including, (i) reports; (ii) audits; (iii) data; (iv) projections; and (v) statistics; and

(2) appoint special committees, in addition to the Advisory Committee created in Section 30, to advise and assist the Commission.

(d)(1) Members of a special committee described in paragraph (2) of subsection (c):

(A) shall be appointed by the Commission;

(B) may be members of the Commission or individuals from the private or public sector; and

(C) notwithstanding Section 40, may not receive reimbursement or pay for work done in relation to the special committee.

(2) A special committee described in paragraph (2) of subsection (c) shall report to the Commission on the progress of the special committee.

Section 30. Intergenerational Poverty Advisory Committee; duties.

(a) To assist the Commission, there is created the Intergenerational Poverty Advisory Committee.

(b) The Advisory Committee shall be composed of no more than 11 members.

(c) Members of the Advisory Committee shall be appointed by the Chair of the Commission, with the approval of the Commission, and shall include at least one member from each of the following groups:

(1) advocacy groups that focus on childhood poverty issues;

(2) advocacy groups that focus on education issues;

(3) academic experts in childhood poverty or education issues;

(4) faith-based organizations that address childhood poverty or education issues; and

(5) local government representatives that address childhood poverty or education issues.

(d) Subject to subsection (e), each member of the Advisory Committee shall be appointed for a 4-year term unless a member is appointed to complete an unexpired term.

(e) The Chair of the Commission may adjust the length of term at the time of appointment or reappointment so that approximately half of the advisory committee is appointed every 2 years.

(f) The Chair of the Commission may remove an Advisory Committee member:

(1) if the member is unable or unwilling to carry out the member's assigned responsibilities; or

(2) for good cause.

(g) If a vacancy occurs in the Advisory Committee membership for any reason, a replacement may be appointed for the unexpired term.

(h) The Chair of the Commission shall select a Chair of the Advisory Committee on an annual basis.

(i) A majority of the Advisory Committee constitutes a quorum of the Advisory Committee at any meeting and the action of the majority of members present are the action of the Advisory Committee.

(j) The Advisory Committee shall:

(1) meet at least twice a year at the request of the Chair of the Commission or the Chair of the Advisory Committee;

(2) make recommendations to the Commission on how the Commission and the State can effectively address the needs of children affected by intergenerational poverty and achieve the purposes and duties of the Commission as described in Section 20; and

(3) ensure that the Advisory Committee's recommendations to the Commission are supported by verifiable data.

(k) The Department of Human Services shall provide staff support to the Advisory Committee.

Section 35. Annual report by the Commission.

(a) The Commission shall provide a report to the Department for inclusion in the Department's annual written report described in Section 10.

(b) The report shall:

(1) include the 5-year and 10-year plans described in paragraph (5) of subsection (b) of Section 25;

(2) describe how the Commission fulfilled its statutory purposes and duties during the year;

(3) describe policies, procedures, and programs that have been implemented or modified to help break the cycle of poverty and end welfare dependency for children in the State affected by intergenerational poverty; and

(4) contain recommendations on how the State should act to address issues relating to breaking the cycle of poverty and ending welfare dependency for children in the State affected by intergenerational poverty.

Section 40. Service without compensation; reimbursement for expenses. A member of the Commission or the Advisory Committee may not receive compensation or benefits for the member's service, but may receive per diem and travel expenses.

Section 45. Intergenerational Poverty School Readiness Scholarship; eligibility.

(a) As used in this Section:

"Eligible child" means an individual who: (i) is experiencing intergenerational poverty; (ii) will be 4 years of age on or before September 2 of the school year in which the individual intends to enroll in a school readiness program; and (iii) has not enrolled in kindergarten, as reported by the individual's parent or legal guardian.

"Intergenerational poverty scholarship" or "IGP scholarship" has the same meaning as that term is defined in Section 50.

(b) The Department of Human Services shall determine if an applicant for an IGP scholarship is eligible for the Intergenerational Poverty School Readiness Scholarship Program created in Section 50.

(c) An individual may apply to the Department annually to qualify for a scholarship for an eligible child to attend a high-quality school readiness program.

(d)(1) The Department shall create an application form that requires an applicant to provide the information necessary for the Department to make the eligibility determination described in subsection (e).

(2) The Department may: (i) require an applicant to submit supporting documentation; and (ii) create a deadline for an applicant to apply for an IGP scholarship.

(e) The Department shall determine if: (i) the information contained in an application submitted under subsection (c) is accurate and complete; and (ii) the child for whom the applicant is applying for an IGP scholarship is an eligible child.

(f)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) and subject to appropriations, the Department shall:

(A) award an IGP scholarship for an individual who is determined to be an eligible child under subsection (e); and

(B) with input from the State Board of Education, determine the value of an IGP scholarship.

(2) If the Department receives an appropriation for IGP scholarships that is not sufficient to award a scholarship to each eligible child, the Department shall prioritize awarding IGP scholarships to eligible children who are at the highest risk as determined by the Department.

(g) The Department shall coordinate with the State Board of Education, as necessary, to enroll a recipient of an IGP scholarship in a high-quality school readiness program of the recipient's parent's choice, space permitting, as described in Section 50.

(h) The Department shall adopt any rules necessary to implement this Section.

Section 50. Intergenerational Poverty School Readiness Scholarship Program.

(a) As used in this Section:

"High-quality school readiness program" means a school readiness program that:

(1) is provided by an LEA, eligible private provider, or eligible home-based technology provider; and

(2) meets the elements of a high-quality school readiness program as determined by the State Board of Education.

"Intergenerational poverty scholarship" or "IGP scholarship" means a scholarship to attend a high-quality school readiness program for an eligible student who is experiencing intergenerational poverty.

"LEA" means a school district or charter school.

(b) There is created the Intergenerational Poverty School Readiness Scholarship Program to provide an eligible student experiencing intergenerational poverty access to a high-quality school readiness program.

(c) The Department of Human Services shall, as prescribed by rule:

(1) determine if an individual is eligible for an IGP scholarship; and

(2) award an IGP scholarship.

(d) An LEA or home-based technology provider may apply to the State Board of Education to receive a designation as a high-quality school readiness program. The State Board of Education shall determine if an LEA or home-based technology provider offers a high-quality school readiness program.

(e) An eligible private provider may apply to the Department of Human Services to receive a designation as a high-quality school readiness program. The Department shall determine if an eligible private provider offers a high-quality school readiness program.

(f) The Department of Human Services and the State Board of Education shall coordinate to assist a parent or legal guardian of a recipient of an IGP scholarship to enroll the IGP scholarship recipient in a high-quality school readiness program (i) offered by an LEA, eligible private provider, or eligible home-based technology provider; and (ii) of the parent or legal guardian's choice.

(g) The Department of Human Services shall pay the scholarship amount directly to a high-quality school readiness program in which an IGP scholarship recipient enrolls.

(h) Except as provided in subsection (i), the Department of Human Services may not provide an individual's IGP scholarship to an LEA, eligible private provider, or eligible home-based technology provider unless the LEA, eligible private provider, or eligible home-based technology provider offers a high-quality school readiness program, as determined by the State Board of Education or the Department of Human Services under subsection (e).

(i) An LEA, eligible private provider, or eligible home-based technology provider that receives a determination as a high-quality school readiness program may enroll an IGP scholarship recipient.

Section 55. Intergenerational Poverty Plan Implementation Pilot Program.

(a) There is created the Intergenerational Poverty Plan Implementation Pilot Program to provide funding for counties to implement local solutions to address intergenerational poverty.

(b)(1) A county or a group of contiguous counties may submit a proposal to the Department of Human Services to participate in the program.

(2) A proposal described in subsection (a) shall:

(A) specify:

(i) outcomes that will address intergenerational poverty that the funding would be used to achieve;

(ii) indicators that would be used to measure progress toward the specified outcomes;

(iii) baseline measurements for each specified outcome and indicator against which progress will be measured; and

(iv) the total amount of money needed to achieve the specified outcomes;

(B) align with the goals of the Commission's 5-year and 10-year plan described in paragraph (5) of subsection (b) of Section 25; and

(C) include any other information requested by the Department.

(c) The Department may:

(1) specify the format for a proposal;

(2) set a deadline for a county or group of counties to submit a proposal;

(3) define criteria for selecting a county or group of counties to participate in the program, which may include:

(A) a significant number of individuals within the county or group of counties experiencing intergenerational poverty;

(B) an established strategic plan to address intergenerational poverty;

(C) evidence of strong engagement and leadership;

(D) partnerships with agencies overseeing:

(i) human services;

(ii) early childhood services;

(iii) public health;

(iv) public education;

(v) workforce development;

(vi) economic development;

(vii) higher education;

(viii) behavioral health;

(ix) juvenile justice; and

(E) partnerships with organizations representing families experiencing poverty.

(d) During State Fiscal Year 2021, the Department shall:

(1)(A) except as provided in subparagraph (B), select at least one county of the third class and at least one county or group of counties of the first or second class to receive a grant; or

(B) if the Department receives an appropriation for the Pilot Program that is not sufficient to have a significant impact on reducing intergenerational poverty in more than one region, as determined by the Department, select one county or group of counties to receive a grant;

(2) award grants under this subsection:

(A) on a competitive basis; and

(B) using criteria described in paragraph (3) of subsection (c); and

(3) upon considering recommendations from the Commission regarding grant applicants; and

(4) subject to appropriations, determine the value of each grant awarded under this subsection.

(e) During State Fiscal Year 2022, if funding allows, the Department may select additional counties to participate in the program.

(f) A county or group of counties that receives a grant under the Pilot Program shall:

(1) provide a cash or in-kind match that is equal to at least 25% of the amount of the grant;

(2) use the funds provided by the Pilot Program and the cash or in-kind match for purposes described in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (2) of subsection (b) and approved by the Department; and

(3) report quarterly to the Department on progress regarding the indicators and outcomes described in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (2) of subsection (b).

(g) The Department shall include, in the Department's annual report described in Section 10, a description of the Pilot Program, including the number and amounts of grants awarded, the recipients of the grants, and an evaluation of the progress grant recipients have made toward the indicators and outcomes described in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (2) of subsection (b).

(h) The Department may adopt any rules necessary to implement this Section.

Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect January 1, 2020.


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