Issues: Social Policy
Full Statement of Where We Stand on Social Policy Issues
LWVIL supports the state’s leadership role in meeting the needs of children and their families.
LWVIL supports improved criminal justice procedures and alternatives to incarceration.
Death Penalty Abolition
LWVIL supports abolition of the death penalty in Illinois.
The League of Women Voters of the United States supports equal rights for all regardless of sex. The League supports action to bring laws into compliance with the ERA.
The League of Women Voters of the United States believes that the federal government shares with other levels of government the responsibility to provide equality of opportunity for education, employment and housing for all persons in the United States regardless of their race, color, gender, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation or disability.
Gun Violence Prevention
LWVIL supports legislative controls to stop the proliferation of private ownership of handguns and their irresponsible use. The League advocates restricting access to semi-automatic assault type weapons.
The League of Women Voters of the United States believes that a basic level of quality health care at an affordable cost should be available to all U.S. residents.
Note: In the area of Health Care, LWVIL acts under the position adopted by the League of Women Voters of the United States.
LWVIL supports specific state and local community services for all immigrants. The League opposes extending voting rights to undocumented immigrants.
LWVIL supports income assistance and supportive services for all low-income individuals and families.
LWVIL supports comprehensive, coordinated treatment and rehabilitation services for adults and children with mental illness.
Schools and Education Funding
LWVIL supports a system of high quality elementary and secondary schools for all children in Illinois.
State Fiscal Policy
LWVIL supports a diversified revenue system that principally relies on a combination of broad-based taxes and user fees and is equitable, progressive, stable, responsive, and simple.
Local League Activity/Outlook
EMPLOYMENT: Support of S2199, Paycheck Fairness Act failed. There may be a May attempt of pilot program tying SNAP benefits to work training.
HOUSING: Restore HUD funding to 2009 level of $3M for McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance program for education.
MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE: Support increase from $8.25 to $10.
CHILD CARE: Support for funding reauthorizing of the federal low income child care program.
Employment bills awaiting Gov.'s signature are: 1) HB8; 2) HB3814; 3) SB3038; 4) HB5701; 5) HB2378; 6) HB5563. We are awaiting progress toward funding human services which will happen in the Veto Session.
The most important social policy bill currently under consideration is the Minimum Wage bill, SB68, which seems to be stuck in the Senate. It would increase the minimum wage to $9.25 per hour on October 1, 2014, $10 per hour on July 1, 2015, and $10.65 per hour on July 1, 2016.
The League of Women Voters of Illinois' positions on social policies cover a broad range. Currently in this area, the League is focused on employment, transportation, child care and other family issues, TANF, SNAP, and affordable housing, all of which are regularly items in the news. The minimum wage, employment and child care issues are being debated in Washington in Congress and in Springfield in the General Assembly. LWVIL believes that stable employment, one that provides a wage earner with a living wage, is important to meet basic needs: housing, food, and medical expenses. Transportation too often remains below the radar screen, but is very basic for all. Ensuring that budgets are adequately funded in Washington and Springfield is of utmost importance for these and other Social Policy issues. Legislators would be well served by understanding the positive results of funding efforts in these arenas.