Moms Put Children and Family First in Springfield – And Win a Statewide Child Tax Credit!

A large group photo of parent leaders and children

COFI and POWER-PAC IL’s annual lobby day, Moms on a Mission, was energizing, productive, and bigger than ever! Nearly 300 moms and their family members traveled to Springfield to advocate for legislation prioritizing children and family rights. 

Their hard work paid off! At the end of May, the Illinois Senate and House passed a $53 billion budget. It included many of POWER-PAC IL’s legislative priorities!

A Statewide Child Tax Credit

One of the biggest wins for families was the creation of a statewide child tax credit! Illinois families with the earned income tax credit (EITC) and with a child aged 0-12 could receive up to a $300 credit. This credit includes undocumented families who are ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) filers!

This is a massive accomplishment for COFI, POWER-PAC IL, and our Illinois Cost-of-Living Refund Coalition partners! We have worked around the clock for the last three years to get a child tax credit in Illinois. Read more about this incredible victory from the Economic Security Project Action. 

Early Learning and Intervention

Last year, we fought for the Governor’s Smart Start initiative, which helped expand funding for childcare, Early Intervention services, preschool, home visiting, and other early childhood priorities. This year, we went to Springfield to continue to fight for increases to fully fund these programs, and the Illinois General Assembly’s budget is continuing to fund the Smart Start program! 

The day after Moms on a Mission, the House also passed Senate Bill 1! It created a single early childhood department to help make access to early childhood programs easier for families. This was a key priority for parents and coalition partners who went to Springfield for Early Childhood Advocacy Day on April 16. 

Additionally, parent leaders were hoping for a $40 million increase in Early Intervention services that would have improved the delivery of services for families on waitlists. COFI and POWER-PAC IL were disappointed that funding was far below what is needed to help the state’s youngest children. 

Work Permits for All!

HJR69 was another priority for parent leaders. It called on President Biden to expand work permit eligibility to long-term undocumented immigrants. Here is a testimony from Nelly Paredes (Aurora Branch), who spoke at a rally supporting work permits for all. Lawmakers passed the resolution, signaling their support to our immigrant families!

Health Coverage

Nearly 68,000 Illinoisans who don’t qualify for federal Medicaid because of their immigration status will continue to have access to healthcare! The Illinois General Assembly approved $629 million for the Health Benefit for Immigrant Adults & Immigrant Seniors program (HBIA/HBIS). POWER-PAC IL went to Springfield to fight for this much-needed coverage for immigrants who don’t qualify for federal Medicaid due to their status. This is a significant achievement for families! Next up, parents want the Governor’s Office and Department of Human and Family Services to remove copays and reopen applications.

Police in Schools

We’re excited about one thing that didn’t pass. HB 5008 would have allowed Chicago Local School Councils to independently contract with the Chicago Police Department to hire school police officers. If passed, it would have undermined parents’ and community-led efforts to advance a Whole School Safety Framework. This approach focuses on the physical, emotional, and relationship safety of everyone in a school building.

School Funding

Additionally, parents wanted more funding for K-12 schools through the State’s Evidence-Based Formula. Lawmakers met the legal funding requirement, but school districts are still severely underfunded.

That’s why we can’t stop! We must ensure that Illinois’ children and family programs continue receiving investments and funding to support families. Parent leaders will continue to fight to ensure all Illinois families have resources and access to programs that help their children and families thrive! 

Are you interested in fighting for economic, racial, and social justice for Illinois families?

Invest in parents who are winning critical victories for families!

Please enjoy some of our favorite photos from Moms on a Mission!