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  • State Rep. Delia Ramirez

The Spring Legislative Session has come to an end and I want to share with you some highlights of the work we did in Springfield. My team and I worked hard to pass several important pieces of legislation to promote cultural and economic development, support families impacted by incarceration, expand healthcare access, and aid Ukrainian refugees. We also worked hard to pass a responsible budget that makes critical investments into violence reduction, education, housing, and providing relief for working families. Read on for more details on all we accomplished.


Budget: A Responsible Budget That Invests in Working Families


Working families are the backbone of our economy. I understand that it is critical for our state budget to invest in supporting families as we move towards recovery from the pandemic. This is why this spring I advocated for a budget proposal that protects vital state programs and services, provides relief to working families, expands community-based violence prevention, and invests in preserving and developing affordable housing. We made significant progress in a lot of these areas and I will share a few highlights below.


Our budget invests in working families:

  • We are fully funding the Governor’s $1B Illinois Family Relief Plan, which includes:

  • Suspending the grocery tax for a year, saving consumers $400 million

  • Freezing the gas tax for 6 months-saving consumers $70 million

  • Doubling the property tax rebate to save up to $300 per household

  • We are permanently expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit in Illinois. Almost one million people who are currently excluded from the refund, including childless workers aged 18-24 and over age 65, as well as immigrants who file taxes with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), are now eligible to receive this refundable tax credit. We have also increased the benefit from 18% to 20% for those already eligible. This means even the 3.6 million people that currently receive the credit will receive a boost. This extremely effective program provides tax relief for low-income Illinoisans and I was proud to support its expansion.

  • The budget also provided for one-time direct checks for $50 and $100 for each of their children to all eligible tax filers.

Our budget invests in education:

  • We are fully funding a $350M increase for evidenced-based education funding. All of our children—regardless of their socioeconomic background—deserve a high-quality public education. We are making investments to create educational opportunities our students need to uplift their communities.

  • We will also be doubling the tax credit for teachers purchasing classroom materials. Investments in Illinois kids are investments in the future, but the hard-working teachers in our communities should not be paying for those investments out of their own pockets. There will also be a sales tax holiday on school supplies for all consumers.

Our budget invests in housing:

  • We are setting aside an additional $150 million in ARPA funding for the Illinois House Development Authority to provide grants, forgivable loans, and other expenses associated with affordable housing development programs. Our goal is for these resources to include support for permanent supportive housing, transitional housing for returning residents, and loan programs for homeowners. Many people across our state are still impacted by housing instability and insecurity. These investments will be critical in stabilizing housing for thousands of Illinois residents.

Our budget invests in violence prevention:

  • We are appropriating $48 million for local safety councils, youth summer jobs programs, YouthBuild Illinois, Teen REACH, Youth Redeploy Illinois, Parents Too Soon, and other comprehensive community-based youth services. These services are intended to target youth most at risk of becoming perpetrators or victims of crimes

Our budget takes care of our bill backlog.

  • While my preference is that we always budget to meet people’s immediate needs, clearing this bill backlog will ensure that future budgets are not burdened by debt and can continue to make investments in our communities. Specifically, we are:

  • Paying down all COVID-19-related borrowing

  • Eliminating $900M in delayed health insurance bills

  • Investing $500M in pension stabilization

  • Infusing $1B into the state’s once-depleted Rainy Day Fund


HB4343: Medicaid Expansion

Over the last three years, I have sponsored legislation to make sure that some of the most vulnerable members of our community have access to the healthcare they need regardless of their immigration status. Our efforts led to Illinois becoming the first state in the nation to offer Medicaid-like coverage first to seniors 65 and older in 2020 and to those 55 and older in 2021. I am proud to share that we continued this expansion by passing HB4343 which expands coverage under this program to low-income people who are 42 years old and over, regardless of their immigration status. It has been my honor to champion this historic expansion in partnership with the Healthy Illinois coalition. This bill passed both chambers and it is on its way to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law.



HB5581: Designating the Milwaukee Avenue Polish Heritage Corridor

My legislation to designate the Milwaukee Avenue Polish Heritage Corridor has passed both the House and Senate and is on its way to Governor Pritzker’s desk. This designation will honor the rich cultural heritage and legacy of Chicago's Polish-American Communities. This legislation builds on work that I have been doing to help local communities honor and promote their unique and distinctive cultural heritage through State Designated Cultural Districts.


Milwaukee Avenue is a historic state route that has been a beacon of economic and community development for Polish Americans and Polish immigrants. Designating the Milwaukee Avenue Polish Heritage Corridor at the core of this state route will ensure that we celebrate, invest in, and promote this important legacy and the Polish-American community for years to come.



HB5525: Supporting Children and Families Impacted by Incarceration

Illinois will be creating a Commission on Children of Incarcerated Parents thanks to my legislation which passed both chambers this spring. This bill continues work that we started 3 years ago to better support children and families who have been impacted by parental incarceration.


The commission will be tasked with convening relevant stakeholders to determine the best approaches to implement the recommendations made by the Task Force on Children of Incarcerated Parents. The commission will focus on a wide range of issues including developing strategies for better coordination of services between state agencies, revising policies when law enforcement interact with children, reviewing training standards, and improving conditions for visitation. I am thankful for the partnership of the Women’s Justice Institute and Cabrini Green Legal Aid on this important work.


HB1293: Support for Ukrainian Refugee & Russian Divestment

Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, I have worked to stand in support and solidarity with the people of Ukraine. The House of Representatives took action on two important initiatives this Spring. First, I sponsored HJR72 which was unanimously approved. The resolution condemns Russia’s war in Ukraine, states our support for the Ukrainian people, and affirms our support for President Biden’s sanctions.


We also passed HB1293, which I chief co-sponsored that will ensure that our state sends a firm message of rebuke to Vladimir Putin and the Russian oligarchs supporting his war in Ukraine. The bill does a few important things:

  • Ensures that the state of Illinois will divest state funds from Russian and Belarusian corporations and securities

  • Creates a task force to ensure that Russian oligarchs are not abusing our real estate system to launder money for their war

  • Give the Department of Human Services emergency rule-making power so that we are prepared for a refugee crisis arising from this conflict.

  • Further secures election integrity by investigating Russian interference in the 2016 and 2020 elections, and preparing to prevent foreign interference in the future


This bill passed the House with strong bipartisan support and is currently pending future action by the Senate.


Press Release from State Representative Delia Ramirez


Mar. 30, 2022 FOR MORE INFORMATION:

luis@repdeliaramirez.com


Chicago, IL – Rep. Delia Ramirez (D-Chicago) and community advocates from the Healthy IL Coalition are pleased to announce that low-income immigrant seniors, who are 55 to 64 years old, can now enroll in Medicaid-like healthcare coverage through the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. This is an expansion of similar coverage already available to immigrant seniors who are 65 and older and which was approved in the 2020 Illinois state budget.

“Over the last two years, we have seen Covid-19 devastate communities that do not have access to the healthcare they need to live full and healthy lives. I am proud of the historic work we have done in Illinois to expand coverage to some of our most vulnerable residents,” Ramirez said. “I hope that this program will continue to set the standard for how states can take care of immigrant communities who otherwise would not have access to healthcare coverage.”

Ramirez has also sponsored and is championing HB4437 legislation that would expand this healthcare coverage to all low-income people 19-54 years old regardless of immigration status. The bill is currently pending consideration in Springfield as Rep. Ramirez and community stakeholders continue to advocate to expand coverage to all low-income residents in Illinois.

“I extend my gratitude to the team at the Department of Health and Family Services, Deputy Governor Sol Flores, and Governor J.B. Pritzker who have worked tirelessly to get this program running one month ahead of schedule. This shows the clear commitment by this administration to ensure our most vulnerable residents are protected” Ramirez added.


This coverage is available to all individuals, regardless of their immigration status, who meet income eligibility requirements similar to Medicaid. The following resources are available to those interested in learning more.

  • Apply online at ABE.illinois.gov

  • Apply by phone by calling the ABE Call Center at 1-800-843-6154

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A partir de hoy, Inmigrantes mayores de 55 años pueden inscribirse para obtener cobertura médica gracias a la propuesta legislativa de la representante Ramirez

Comunicado de prensa de Representante Estatal Delia Ramirez


Mar. 30, 2022 PARA MÁS INFORMACIÓN:

luis@repdeliaramirez.com


Chicago, IL - La representante Delia Ramírez (D-Chicago) y miembros de la comunidad de la Coalición Healthy IL se complacen en anunciar que las personas mayores inmigrantes de bajos ingresos, que tienen entre 55 y 64 años, pueden inscribirse en una cobertura médica similar a la de Medicaid a través de la Departamento de Salud y Servicios Familiares de Illinois. Esta es una expansión de una cobertura similar que ya está disponible para inmigrantes mayores de 65 años y que fue aprobada en el presupuesto estatal de Illinois de 2020.

“En los últimos dos años, hemos visto cómo nuestras comunidades han sido afectadas por el Covid-19 cuando no hay acceso al seguro médico. Estoy orgullosa de este trabajo histórico que hemos logrado en Illinois para expandir la cobertura de salud para algunos de nuestros residentes más necesitados.” Dijo Ramirez. “Espero que este programa sirva de ejemplo en cómo otros estados pueden apoyar a las comunidades inmigrantes que no tienen acceso a cobertura médica.”

Ramirez también patrocinó y está promoviendo la legislación HB 4437 que extendería la cobertura médica para personas de bajo recursos de 19-54 años independientemente de su estatus migratorio. El proyecto de ley está actualmente bajo consideración en Springfield. La representante Ramirez y las partes interesadas de la comunidad continúan abogando para expandir esta cobertura para todos los residentes inmigrantes de Illinois de bajos ingresos.

“Quiero extender mi gratitud al equipo del Departamento de Salud y Servicios de Familia, a la vicegobernadora Sol Flores, y al Gobernador J. B. Pritzker quienes han trabajado para que este programa esté disponible un mes antes de lo esperado. Esto demuestra claramente el compromiso que esta administración tiene para asegurar que nuestras comunidades inmigrantes necesitadas de seguro médico estén protegidas” agregó Ramirez.

Esta cobertura está disponible para todos los residentes, independientemente del estatus migratorio, que cumplen con los requisitos de ingreso similares al Medicaid. Los siguientes recursos están disponibles para aquellos interesados en aplicar.

  • Solicite la aplicación por internet en la página web ABE.illinois.gov

  • Solicite la aplicación por teléfono llamando al ABE Centro de Atención al cliente al 1-800-843-6154

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Updated: Mar 30

Press Release from State Representative Delia Ramirez


Feb. 23, 2022 FOR MORE INFORMATION:

luis@repdeliaramirez.com



CHICAGO, Ill – As part of her continued efforts to keep people in their homes during the pandemic, state Rep. Delia Ramirez, D-Chicago, is proud to partner with the IHDA to announce the launch of the Illinois Homeowner Assistance Fund.


“Chicago is seeing an influx of foreclosure filings as many household impacted by the pandemic are still struggling to make their mortgage payments,” said Ramirez.



“As we did with rental assistance, the Illinois General Assembly is partnering with the Illinois Housing Development Authority to ensure those most at risk of foreclosure receive mortgage assistance. The Illinois Homeowner Assistance Fund will keep families from losing their homes by prioritizing aid to the hardest-hit communities and those with the lowest incomes.”


The Illinois Homeowner Assistance Fund is a new program created with funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act. The program is intended to prevent mortgage delinquencies and defaults, foreclosures, and displacement of homeowners experiencing financial hardship because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will be administered by the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) and will offer up to $30,000 of assistance to approved applicants. The official application window will open in April but those in need of assistance can register to receive updates starting today. IHDA will host information sessions on program eligibility and how to apply over the next month.


“The pandemic continues to pose financial challenges and we will continue to meet those challenges to keep Illinoisans safe in their homes,” said Ramirez. “I urge the members of our community to apply for mortgage assistance from the Illinois Homeowner Assistance Fund if they need it.”


For more information on the Illinois Homeowner Assistance Fund, please visit illinoishousinghelp.org/ilhaf.

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