"The conditions of families living in poverty are unacceptable.
Poverty is a wide-reaching problem and affects the quality of life
for us all," Blagojevich said. "Every person deserves to have a safe
place to live, adequate health care, food, and decent educational
and employment opportunities. I am proud to sign this bill today,
which will help us start making real progress toward eliminating
poverty in Illinois."
will focus on eight critical areas: affordable housing, adequate
food and nutrition, affordable and quality health care, equal access
to quality education, dependable and affordable transportation,
quality and affordable child care, opportunities to engage in
sustainable work that pays a living wage, and availability of
adequate income supports.
"As one of the wealthier states in the nation, it is important
that we in Illinois set a high goal for the elimination of poverty,"
said Yarbrough. "By creating this commission of individuals
determined to improve the quality of life for our poorest residents,
we can develop a framework, recommend specific legislative actions
and work together to realize our goal of reducing poverty."
"The creation of this commission marks a turn for the better in
eliminating poverty in Illinois, by looking into this in a committed
way, so we can take major steps forward," Sen. Frerichs.
Poverty levels continue to rise. Low-income students have
increased from 36.3 percent of the enrollment in 1998 to 40.9
percent in 2007, while more than 595,000 households now receive food
stamps, an increase of 4 percent over last year.
[to top of second column]
"The elimination of poverty requires a three-tiered approach,
including the removal of structural and policy barriers, the
creation of economic opportunity, and the development of strategies
for self-sufficiency," said Illinois Department of Human Services
Secretary Carol L. Adams, Ph.D. "I look forward to working with the
commission members to design a viable poverty reduction blueprint
The commission will be comprised of no less than 26 members: five
each to be appointed by the governor and each of the four
legislative leaders and one to be appointed by the lieutenant
governor. A representative of the governorís office will serve as a
"The creation of the Commission on the Elimination of Poverty is
an important step towards realizing human rights in Illinois," said
Sid Mohn, president of the Heartland Alliance of Human Needs and
Human Rights. "This commission has the potential to fundamentally
change the way we address poverty through creating a substantive,
measurable plan to cut extreme poverty in half by 2015. I applaud
the General Assembly and Gov. Blagojevich for demonstrating their
commitment to Illinois' most vulnerable residents."
House Bill 4369 is subject to appropriation and goes into effect
[Text from file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]