Rep. Fred Crespo

Filed: 3/14/2019





10100HB0131ham001LRB101 02898 KTG 57678 a


2    AMENDMENT NO. ______. Amend House Bill 131 by replacing
3everything after the enacting clause with the following:
4    "Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the
5Access to Justice Grant Program Act.
6    Section 5. Legislative findings. The General Assembly
7finds that:
8        (1) The Department of Homeland Security reported a 171%
9    increase in the arrest and detention of undocumented
10    immigrants with no criminal record over the last 2 years.
11        (2) In Illinois alone, 525,000 undocumented
12    immigrants, including 40,000 immigrants with temporary
13    protected status and 42,000 immigrants with DACA status
14    under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program,
15    are at risk of deportation and being separated from their
16    families.



10100HB0131ham001- 2 -LRB101 02898 KTG 57678 a

1        (3) As of December 2018, about 71,000 adults and
2    juveniles were incarcerated in various facilities across
3    Illinois, including 40,872 individuals in Illinois
4    State-operated facilities and approximately 23,000
5    individuals incarcerated in local jails.
6        (4) On February 11, 2019, Governor Pritzker unveiled a
7    justice reform initiative and said, "It's time to reduce
8    the recidivism rate and reentry through a holistic approach
9    that addresses opportunity both inside and outside of our
10    prisons".
11        (5) Completing a prison sentence is only the first step
12    in a long road to reentry into society.
13        (6) Many formerly incarcerated adults struggle to find
14    jobs and housing because of their criminal history, even
15    when records are expungeable.
16        (7) Illinois' vulnerable communities of color also
17    experience mental health challenges at higher rates,
18    including depression, anxiety, acculturative stress, and
19    trauma.
20        (8) The mental health needs of this population are
21    high, yet many are unable to access mental health services
22    due to lack of health insurance, transportation, or
23    cultural or language barriers.
24        (9) These insecurities and challenges facing
25    low-income communities of color have a large effect on the
26    State's economy and on the ability of employers to find and



10100HB0131ham001- 3 -LRB101 02898 KTG 57678 a

1    retain employees.
2        (10) In response to some of these challenges, the City
3    of Chicago established and funded a successful Legal
4    Protection Fund and Community Navigator Program. The
5    program has strengthened existing community-based
6    organizations and trained 400 community navigators (such
7    as majority immigrant women: Latinos, Asians, and
8    Africans.) who have reached over 50,000 individuals
9    through mass Know Your Rights trainings and have connected
10    immigrant families and persons classified as DREAMers
11    under the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien
12    Minors Act to free community-based legal services. The
13    community navigators were supported by attorneys.
14        (11) Chicago's Community Navigator Program increased
15    the rate of immigrants with legal representation from 30%
16    to 59% with $1,300,000 while New York increased
17    representation from 50% to 61% with $10,000,000 according
18    to an independent study conducted by Syracuse University.
19        (12) Adequate funding is necessary to ensure Illinois'
20    communities of color, including immigrants,
21    African-Americans, and returning citizens, know their
22    rights and have access to legal support and social and
23    mental health services.
24    Section 10. Definitions. As used in this Act:
25    "Legal services" means legal aid services rendered to



10100HB0131ham001- 4 -LRB101 02898 KTG 57678 a

1individuals, including legal consultations, representations at
2expungement proceedings, and representation before the U.S.
3Citizenship and Immigration Services, the National Visa Center
4within the U.S. Department of State, the Executive Office of
5Immigration Review within the U.S. Department of Justice, the
6U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and any other
7immigration related agency or office.
8    "Community navigator" means an individual formally trained
9by a qualified nonprofit community organization to educate and
10inform individuals on a specific subject matter.
11    "Grant Panel" means the Access to Justice Grant Program
12Panel created under Section 15 to review and administer grant
14    Section 15. Access to Justice Grant Program.
15    (a) The Access to Justice Grant Program is created for the
16purpose of issuing grants to 2 nonprofit, community-based
17organizations to serve as fiscal agents and increase outreach,
18education on legal matters, and access to legal services to
19low-income communities of color, including immigrant and
20African-American populations.
21    (b) There is created the Access to Justice Grant Program
22Panel. The Grant Panel shall consist of the following members:
23        (1) 2 co-chairs, one each appointed by the Speaker of
24    the House of Representatives and the Minority Leader of the
25    House of Representatives;



10100HB0131ham001- 5 -LRB101 02898 KTG 57678 a

1        (2) 2 members, one each appointed by the President of
2    the Senate and the Minority Leader of the Senate; and
3        (3) one member appointed by the Governor.
4    (c) The Department of Human Services shall provide staff
5and administrative support to the Grant Panel. Members of the
6Grant Panel shall not receive compensation for their service on
7the Grant Panel but shall be reimbursed for necessary travel
8expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.
9    (d) On or before July 1, 2019, nonprofit, community-based
10organizations that meet the requirements outlined in Section 20
11may apply to the Grant Panel for a grant under this Act.
12    (e) On or before August 1, 2019, the Grant Panel shall
13award grant funds, in an amount to be determined by the Grant
14Panel, to 2 nonprofit, community-based organizations.
15    (f) For State Fiscal Year 2020, the Governor shall include
16in the annual State budget for the Access to Justice Grant
17Program an appropriation of $10,000,000 which shall generate a
18one-to-one match from private employers and philanthropic or
19non-profit groups.
20    Section 20. Grant application; grant review committee.
21    (a) Grant applicants shall use the grant application format
22prepared and made available by the Grant Panel for this
23purpose. The applications shall be available on the Department
24of Human Services' website.
25    (b) To apply to be a fiscal agent and receive a grant under



10100HB0131ham001- 6 -LRB101 02898 KTG 57678 a

1this Act, an applicant must be a nonprofit, community-based
2organization that provides legal services to meet the unique
3legal needs of the targeted populations. A fiscal agent that
4provides immigration services must:
5        (1) have previous experience in serving as a fiscal
6    agent;
7        (2) have an in-house community navigator program;
8        (3) have previously trained other organizations in the
9    community navigator program;
10        (4) have headquarters in a census tract where at least
11    75% of the population is from a minority group; and
12        (5) be recognized by the Department of Justice to
13    practice immigration law.
14    (c) Each fiscal agent must fund and train 10
15community-based organizations throughout the State to recruit
16and train community navigators to reach and inform 20,000
17Illinois low-income and vulnerable individuals living in
18communities of color on Know Your Rights, expungement
19processes, mental health services, and immigration legal
21    (d) Each fiscal agent must fund and train 10
22community-based legal service organizations that will conduct
235,000 legal screenings for low-income and vulnerable
24communities of color.
25    (e) At least one fiscal agent must be able to work with
26mental health organizations to implement 4 pilot



10100HB0131ham001- 7 -LRB101 02898 KTG 57678 a

1community-based mental health programs.
2    (f) Each grant applicant shall:
3        (1) describe itself, indicate whether it is a
4    nonprofit, community-based organization, and provide its
5    legal status and a summary of its mission;
6        (2) be authorized to conduct affairs in the State of
7    Illinois;
8        (3) designate that it is applying for a grant to ensure
9    access to legal services in low-income communities of
10    color, including immigrant and African-American
11    populations; and
12        (4) have a partnership with business associations to
13    reduce barriers to employment, provide certified training,
14    and address labor shortage for Illinois employers.
15    (j) Each grant application shall include a detailed,
16narrative statement describing the proposed use of the grant
17funds. Each grant applicant shall also provide:
18        (1) the name and contact information of the Director of
19    the nonprofit, community-based organization;
20        (2) a description of the applicant's ability to
21    administer the grant;
22        (3) a project title;
23        (4) a project description;
24        (5) a description of the applicant's
25    request-for-proposals process and any other process used
26    for selecting sub-grantee organizations;



10100HB0131ham001- 8 -LRB101 02898 KTG 57678 a

1        (6) the applicant's target audience and needs;
2        (7) a project schedule;
3        (8) methods for evaluating outcomes; and
4        (9) the applicant's proposed budget and a detailed
5    explanation of expenses.
6    Grant applicants must demonstrate in their grant
7applications that they have satisfactorily met all
8requirements set forth in this Section, and that they possess
9the administrative capacity to perform the purposes of the
10Access to Justice Grant Program and the fiscal and reporting
11functions stipulated in this Section.
12    (k) The Grant Panel may deny a grant application if the
13requirements of this Section are not met or are inadequately
14met. The Grant Panel shall not discriminate on the basis of
15race, color, religion, gender, age, national origin,
16disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military
17status in the awarding of grants.
18    (l) Grant applications that are not submitted in the
19required format by July 1, 2019, as set forth in subsection (d)
20of Section 15, or that are not completed, shall not be
21considered for funding by the Grant Panel.
22    (m) The grant application process shall be competitive. A
23grant review committee shall review all grant applications and
24make recommendations to the Grant Panel regarding the selection
25of grant award recipients.
26    (n) The grant review committee shall consist of one



10100HB0131ham001- 9 -LRB101 02898 KTG 57678 a

1representative from the Department of Human Services, and, at
2the discretion of the Grant Panel, any other additional
3qualified reviewers. Any additional reviewers shall be
4selected based on their academic qualifications and their
5vocational and volunteer experience related to the subject
6matter of the grant.
7    (o) No person shall serve on the grant review committee if
8that person:
9        (1) is applying for a grant under this Act;
10        (2) is employed by any entity applying for a grant
11    under this Act;
12        (3) has an ownership interest in or receives income
13    from any entity applying for a grant under this Act; or
14        (4) is related more closely than the 5th degree of
15    consanguinity (second cousins) to an owner or employee of
16    any entity applying for a grant under this Act.
17    (p) Members of the grant review committee shall
18independently consider the following criteria and assign
19weighted scores up to the total amount of points indicated:
20        (1) Requirements. Does the nonprofit meet the
21    requirements as outlined in Section 20? (500 points)
22        (2) Abstract. Does the project overview appropriately
23    communicate the proposed project? (25 points)
24        (3) Administrative capacity. Does the applicant have
25    adequate experience and qualifications to accomplish the
26    proposed project? Is the applicant a known and trusted



10100HB0131ham001- 10 -LRB101 02898 KTG 57678 a

1    voice in the community to be served? (100 points)
2        (4) Project description. Has the applicant provided a
3    comprehensive description of the project, including
4    details about methods, activities, and services to be
5    provided in light of the legislative findings under Section
6    5? (200 points)
7        (5) Connection to employers. Has the applicant stated
8    how this program will partner with trade and business
9    associations to reach the workforce and to increase the
10    pipeline of available workers to fill high and low skilled
11    employment positions? Does the application include at
12    least 3 letters of support from Illinois trade or business
13    associations? (100 points)
14        (6) Capacity building. Has the applicant described how
15    it will build capacity for smaller nonprofits to be able to
16    achieve their goals, including training, technical
17    assistance, and coordination with public and private
18    entities? (300 points)
19        (7) Target audience and need. Has the applicant
20    identified the intended audience and its need for services
21    proposed? Has the applicant set forth a plan for
22    identifying and reaching target communities? (500 points)
23        (8) Project schedule. Does the applicant's timeline
24    clearly illustrate appropriate scheduling of the proposed
25    actions and activities? (50 points)
26        (9) Evaluation. Is the methodology and strategy that



10100HB0131ham001- 11 -LRB101 02898 KTG 57678 a

1    the applicant will use to evaluate the success of the
2    project reasonable? (25 points)
3        (10) Budget. Is the proposed budget reasonable,
4    necessary, appropriate, and adequate to perform the
5    proposed services? (100 points)
6    (q) For purposes of this grant application and review
8        (1) Two organizations shall serve as fiscal agents.
9    Fiscal agents then must sub-grant as provided in this Act
10    and in with the approval of the Department of Human
11    Services.
12        (2) All grant applicants shall be notified whether or
13    not their application has been approved. The decision of
14    the Grant Panel regarding the award of grants under this
15    Section is final.
16        (3) The Grant Panel shall notify the submitting entity
17    when an application is approved. All approved applicants
18    shall enter into a grant agreement provided by the Grant
19    Panel before any grant funds are distributed.
20    Section 25. Grant reporting requirements.
21    (a) As stipulated by the grant agreement, the following
22reports shall be completed and transmitted to the Department of
23Human Services by each grant recipient:
24        (1) monthly narrative and financial reports that
25    identify by line item all expenditures made from grant



10100HB0131ham001- 12 -LRB101 02898 KTG 57678 a

1    funds;
2        (2) a final financial report showing all expenditures
3    of grant funds and the return of any unexpended grant
4    funds; and
5        (3) a final narrative report evaluating the degree to
6    which the grantee achieved the goals and objectives of the
7    project.
8    The Grant Panel may request additional information and data
9from any grant applicant.
10    (b) Grants awarded under this Section are subject to the
11Grant Accountability and Transparency Act. The Grant Panel
12shall not consider grant applications submitted by entities
13that are included in the Illinois Debarred and Suspended List
14maintained by the Governor's Office of Management and Budget.
15    (c) Grant recipients shall maintain books and records
16relating to the expenditure of grant funds. Books and records,
17including information stored in computer systems, shall be
18maintained by the grant recipient for a period of 3 years from
19the later of the date of the final grant payment or the
20completion of the projects for which the grant was issued.
21    (d) Books and records required to be maintained under this
22Section shall be available for review or audit by the
23Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the Attorney
24General, or the Auditor General. Failure to maintain books and
25records required by this Section shall establish a presumption
26in favor of the Grant Panel for the recovery of any grant



10100HB0131ham001- 13 -LRB101 02898 KTG 57678 a

1funds, attorney's fees, and costs paid by the Grant Panel or
2its designee.
3    (e) Grants made under this Section are subject to the
4provisions of the Illinois Grant Funds Recovery Act. Actions
5brought under that Act may include, but are not limited to, a
6grant recipient's: (i) failure to spend funds in accordance
7with the application or any approved amendment to the
8application or (ii) failure to comply with reporting procedures
9stipulated in this Section. If a provision of this Section
10conflicts with a provision of the Illinois Grant Funds Recovery
11Act, then the provision of the Illinois Grant Funds Recovery
12Act controls.
13    (f) Obligations of the Grant Panel to fund the Access to
14Justice Grant Program shall cease immediately without penalty
15or further payment being required if the funds for the grants
16are not available to the Grant Panel.
17    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
18becoming law.".