By Sarah Martin, Policy & Advocacy Intern for Heartland Alliance
IABG advocates for policies that address the growing racial wealth divide, expand savings opportunities, and protect Illinoisans from wealth-stripping financial products and practices. Since the legislative session began in January, we have supported bills in the Illinois General Assembly that would cap interest rates on title loans, create universal children’s savings accounts, reform debt collection practices, and more. Here is an update on our 2019 policy priorities.
Strengthen Consumer Protections
HB2468 – Fair Lending Act: Caps interest rates on auto title loans at 36%.
HB2468 has received significant bi-partisan support from legislators, and currently has 42 co-sponsors. It passed out of committee unanimously and is waiting to be called for a vote on the Floor of the House. Learn more about the bill.
Oppose HB2825 â€“ Regulatory Sandbox Act: Creates a barebones sandbox initiative, which allows companies to test “innovative” financial products for one year without commonsense consumer protections
Due to our opposition, HB2825 is not moving forward this year. This is great news for Illinois consumers who won’t bear the burden of companies testing risky financial products.
Expand Access to Higher Education
HB2237 â€“ Universal Children’s Savings Accounts: Automatically provides a $50 seed deposit into a 529 college savings account for every child born or adopted in Illinois and gives the State Treasurer’s Office the ability to develop savings matches and incentives.
After a lot of great work from IABG partners and the State Treasurer’s office, HB2237 passed out of the House and is now in the Senate Appropriations II committee. Read more about the bill, and stay tuned for future action alerts.
HB217 â€“ Ban the Box in Higher Education: Prohibits Illinois higher education institutions from asking about an applicant’s criminal record in the admissions process.
HB217 did not have enough support to advance this session. We will continue working to move this campaign forward in the coming months.
Reform Burdensome Debt Collection Practices, Fines, & Fees
HB88 (Previously HB281) â€“ Debt Collection Reform: Lowers the post-judgment interest rate and decreases the time frame to collect on a judgment.
HB88 passed unanimously out of the House and is currently in the Senate Judiciary committee. Download the fact sheet to learn more about the legislation.
SB1786 â€“ Driver’s License Suspension Reform: Prohibits driver’s license suspension for non-moving violations, including parking and tollway violations.
SB1786 passed out of the Senate, and has been assigned to the Transportation: Vehicles & Safety Committee in the House. Check out the License to Work website for more information.
Expand Access to Safe & Affordable Financial Products
SB1332 â€“ Illinois Bank On: Creates a statewide “Bank On” program that promotes access to safe and affordable checking accounts, which are foundations for financial success.
SB1332 passed out of the Senate unanimously, and is now in the House. We will keep working to advance the bill this session.
More to Come
We have made some great advances so far this legislative session, and there is still a lot of work to be done to advance economic stability for all Illinoisans. Sign up for our emails and follow us on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date and receive action alerts for these bills that support equity and opportunity in Illinois.