LAKE BARRINGTON… State Representative Martin McLaughlin (R-Barrington Hills) from the 52ND House District released the following statement after filing House Bill 4105 that aims to make the bipartisan Invest in Kids Act a permanent program for all Illinois kids across the state.
Rep. McLaughlin said, “I am calling upon my colleagues in the State Legislature, a.k.a. Illinois politicians, to put their money where their mouths are. On Friday, I filed House Bill 4105 to address a serious attack that took place on the bipartisan funding model which allowed over 7,000 Illinois kids to attend a qualified non-public school of their choosing, either completely tuition-free or with reduced tuition fees.
“My new bill will eliminate former Speaker Madigan’s political ‘sunset requirement’ and allow the Invest in Kids Act to become a permanent program, with no expiration, for all of Illinois students and their parents who want the right to better educational opportunities.
“This scholarship program currently serves over 7,000 students and will expire at the end of this calendar year because the Majority Democrats eliminated the funding for the Act in the new FY24 Budget, and opted not to extend the sunset, or to make the program permanent.
“There are over 22,000 families awaiting assistance to participate in this program. With the introduction of this legislation, Illinois residents will clearly see which of the elected officials who always claim to be devoted to creating educational opportunity and to helping underprivileged children actually do something about it.
“There are thousands of students successfully benefitting from this program in nearly every legislative district, whether Democrat or Republican. The politically based picking and choosing of educational outcomes must come to an end now, because our main goal as a legislative body should be a laser focus on helping Illinois children to access the best educational opportunities they can, whether public or private.
“I am calling upon all of my colleagues in the Legislature to join me by signing on as co-sponsors to this common-sense legislation. Now is the time to send a strong message to all the parents in Illinois about how serious we are in keeping our kids away from educational politics for once.
“I hope Speaker Welch, President Harmon, and Governor Pritzker join me in supporting HB 4105 during a special legislative Session or during Veto Session to ensure that this successful, bipartisan scholarship program becomes a permanent tool for students across the great state of Illinois.”