Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB5015
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Full Text of HB5015  102nd General Assembly




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1    AN ACT concerning State government.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the
5Illinois America 250 Commission Act.
6    Section 5. Findings. The General Assembly finds that:
7    (a) Illinois became the 21st state on December 3, 1818, 42
8years after the formation of the United States of America and
9after thousands of years of Indigenous communities and peoples
10inhabiting the land.
11    (b) Illinois figured prominently in the expansion of the
12United States of America as the scene of extensive French and
13British exploration and early economic generation with the fur
14trade, serving as a frontier boundary for Westward expansion,
15and as a place of forced removal of Indigenous nations.
16    (c) The historic and contemporary systems of inequality
17produced through the enslavement of African American people in
18Illinois must be acknowledged. Though the 1848 State
19Constitution declared slavery to be illegal, the practice of
20enslaving African Americans continued in Illinois, as did
21participation in kidnapping and enslaving African Americans to
22benefit Illinois' economy. Even following the abolition of
23slavery, the 1908 Race Riot in Springfield led to the



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1slaughter of free African Americans and destroyed their
2communities within the Illinois State capital city.
3    (d) Illinois was a key state in the American Civil War,
4deploying over 250,000 soldiers to fight in the war. Illinois
5served as the home of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of
6the United States of America. Illinois was the first State to
7ratify the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery.
8    (e) Millions of people have emigrated from and immigrated
9to Illinois, or sought refuge in our State, bringing with them
10their culture, lifeways, knowledge, and labor, which has
11shaped Illinois into one of the nation's most diverse states.
12With its largest city in Illinois, and the 3rd largest in the
13nation, founded by a Black man, John Baptiste Point du Sable,
14more than 110,000 African Americans came to Illinois as a part
15of the Great Migration from the South through the advocacy of
16Robert Abbott's Chicago Defender distributed by the Pullman
17Porters. Illinois has proudly been made home by immigrants and
18their descendants from Ireland, Italy, China, Poland, Eastern
19Europe, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Japan, Central and South America,
20Russia, Somalia, Eritrea, and across the continents of Africa
21and Asia, the Caribbean, Vietnam, Thailand, India, and many
22other parts of the world.
23    (f) Illinois is responsible for numerous social and
24economic improvements that shaped the infrastructure and
25social fabric of our nation, including, but not limited to,
26the creation of the Illinois and Michigan Canal opening



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1navigation and trade between the Mississippi River and the
2Great Lakes; Jane Addams' innovative social work at the Hull
3House; Ida B. Wells' courageous journalism and commitment to
4abolition; inventions like the John Deere steel plow and
5modern barbed wire by Joseph Glidden that reshaped
6agriculture; the opening of Route 66, the Mother Road,
7originating in Chicago; the first McDonald's, a restaurant
8that would change how Americans eat; and the first cellular
9telephone, which changed communication forever.
10    (g) In 2008, the nation elected its first African American
11president, President Barack Obama, who built his career as a
12community organizer, law professor, and elected official in
14    (h) The 250th anniversary of our nation's founding
15presents an opportunity for Illinoisans and Americans to
16consider this legacy and reflect on a diversity of
17perspectives and experiences that are often left untold.
18    (i) The nation's Semiquincentennial offers a commemoration
19that focuses on all people who call Illinois home, in every
20part of the State and of all ages and backgrounds, and centers
21our shared humanity in this process, as well as our common
22purpose. It offers every person in Illinois the opportunity to
23see themselves within this complex history and create a more
24just future.
25    Section 10. Creation of Illinois America 250 Commission;



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1definition; purpose. The Illinois America 250 Commission is
2created. As used in this Act, "Commission" means the Illinois
3America 250 Commission. The principal purpose of the
4Commission shall be to plan, promote, and implement
5appropriate commemoration of the 250th Anniversary of the
6founding of the United States of America
8    Section 15. Duties.
9    (a) The Commission shall develop, encourage, and execute
10an inclusive commemoration and observance of the founding of
11the United States of America, and Illinois' imperative role in
12the nation's history.
13    (b) The Commission shall promote the inclusive and
14respectful identification, interpretation, documentation,
15preservation, and recognition of cultural and historical
16narratives and resources, including traditional cultural
17knowledge, oral histories, archival materials, objects,
18buildings, structures, sites, and landscapes related to
19Illinois history and prehistory.
20    (c) The Commission shall consider organizing its
21activities under the 5 historic themes established by the
22American Association for State and Local History in "The Field
23Guide for the Semiquincentennial: Making History at 250".
24    (d) The Commission shall serve as the official
25representative of the State of Illinois for the



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1Semiquincentennial and all related activities, communications,
2and events.
3    (e) The Governor's office shall encourage various State
4agencies and organizations to work cooperatively to promote
5the Semiquincentennial.
6    Section 20. Authority; administrative support.
7    (a) The Commission is authorized to cooperate with the
8United States Semiquincentennial Commission created by Public
9Law 114-196, other states, tribal nations, and national,
10State, and local organizations engaged in activities around
11the United States Semiquincentennial, and other tribal,
12national, regional, State, and local public and private
13organizations having compatible purposes.
14    (b) The Illinois State Museum shall provide administrative
15support to the Commission and may make expenditures according
16to State law.
17    Section 25. Membership; meetings.
18    (a) The Commission shall consist of the following members:
19        (1) One member appointed by the Lieutenant Governor.
20        (2) One member appointed by the President of the
21    Senate and one member appointed by the Speaker of the
22    House of Representatives.
23        (3) One member appointed by the Senate Minority Leader
24    and one member appointed by the House Minority Leader.



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1        (4) The Director of the Illinois State Museum.
2        (5) The Harold Washington Library Archivist.
3        (6) A Black historian reflecting the experiences and
4    contributions of American Descendants of Slavery (ADOS),
5    appointed by the Governor.
6        (7) A historian reflecting the experiences and
7    contributions of Asian and Latina/o/x communities,
8    appointed by the Governor.
9        (8) The following members appointed by the Governor:
10            (A) Three representatives of tribal Nations and
11        communities including the Ojibwe, Odawa, Potawatomi,
12        Shawnee, Osage, Peoria, Miami, Sac and Fox, Mesquaki,
13        Kickapoo, Ho-Chunk, Menominee, and additional tribal
14        members living in Illinois today.
15            (B) A representative of the Abraham Lincoln
16        Presidential Library and Museum.
17            (C) A representative from the Department of
18        Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
19            (D) A representative of Illinois humanities.
20            (E) A representative of the Illinois Municipal
21        League.
22            (F) Three members of the public with related or
23        relevant backgrounds, expertise, or interests.
24        Knowledge in the following shall be prioritized in
25        making an appointment under this item: the culture,
26        traditions, and history of American Indians/Native



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1        Americans; Black Americans; Latinos/Latinas/Hispanic
2        Americans; Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders; the
3        LGBTQAI+ community; immigrants and refugees; veterans'
4        organizations; women's history; the history of
5        Illinois' agriculture, architecture, armed forces,
6        arts, civics, cultural geography, ecology, education,
7        faith-based communities, folklore, government,
8        industry, labor, law, medicine, and transportation;
9        anthropology; archeology; cultural exhibits and
10        museums; heritage tourism; historic preservation; and
11        social justice.
12    (b) The Governor's office, with the assistance of the
13Chair of the Commission and the Illinois State Museum, shall
14be responsible for ensuring that 60% of the appointed members
15of the Commission consist of people who represent historically
16excluded and marginalized communities.
17    (c) The appointing authorities shall coordinate their
18appointments to represent and celebrate the diverse makeup and
19complex cultural geography of this State.
20    (d) The Commission may adopt bylaws for the establishment
21of a quorum and the conducting of business.
22    (e) Members shall serve for the duration of the
23Commission, provided any public official's expiration of a
24term of office shall create a vacancy. Any vacancy occurring
25in the membership of the Commission shall be filled in the same
26manner as the original appointment.



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1    (f) The Commission shall hold meetings at least twice a
3        (1) at times and places to be determined by the Chair;
4    and
5        (2) that are conducted in accordance with the Open
6    Meetings Act.
7    (g) Members shall serve without compensation and shall not
8be reimbursed for expenses incurred in performing their
10    (h) The Governor shall appoint a member of the Commission
11to serve as Chair of the Commission.
12    Section 30. Advisory committees and working groups. The
13Chair of the Commission, with the concurrence of the
14Commission, shall create one or more advisory committees and
15working groups to advise the Commission. Any advisory
16committee or working group shall conduct meetings in
17accordance with the Open Meetings Act.
18    Section 35. Illinois America 250 Commission Trust Fund;
19in-kind gifts.
20    (a) The Commission may accept monetary gifts and grants
21from any public or private source, which shall be held in the
22Illinois America 250 Commission Trust Fund. The Illinois
23America 250 Commission Trust Fund is created as a
24non-appropriated trust fund to be held outside of the State



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1treasury, with the State Treasurer as custodian. All gifts,
2grants, assets, funds, or money received by the Commission
3under this Act shall be deposited and held in the Trust Fund by
4the State Treasurer as ex officio custodian separate and apart
5from all public money or funds of this State and shall be
6administered by the Commission exclusively for the purposes
7set forth in this Act. All money in the Trust Fund shall be
8invested and reinvested by the State Treasurer. All interest
9accruing from these investments shall be deposited into the
10Trust Fund.
11    (b) The Commission may also accept in-kind gifts.
12    Section 40. Reporting. The Commission shall make an annual
13written report and make any recommendations to the Governor
14and General Assembly at least 30 days prior to the convening of
15each regular session of the General Assembly, commencing with
16the start of the regular session in 2023 and continuing
17through its final report.
18    Section 45. Dissolution; repeal.
19    (a) The Commission and its advisory committees and working
20groups are dissolved on June 1, 2027, and any assets remaining
21in the Illinois America 250 Commission Trust Fund shall be
22deposited into the General Revenue Fund.
23    (b) This Act is repealed on January 1, 2028.
24    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon



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1becoming law.