State of Illinois
91st General Assembly

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 1        AN ACT in relation to transportation needs of  low-income
 2    workers.

 3        Be  it  enacted  by  the People of the State of Illinois,
 4    represented in the General Assembly:

 5        Section 1.  Short title.  This Act may be  cited  as  the
 6    Transportation To Work Act.

 7        Section  5.  Program created.  The Transportation to Work
 8    Program is created within the Department of Human Services.

 9        Section 10.  Program components.  The  Transportation  to
10    Work Program shall consist of:
11        (a)  a  subsidy  for eligible low-income workers to cover
12    transportation costs for commuting between home and work; and
13        (b)  a loan  program  to  assist  low-income  workers  to
14    acquire   an   automobile  for  transportation  necessary  to
15    maintain employment.

16        Section 15. Low-Income Transportation Subsidy.
17        (a)  The  low-income  transportation  subsidy   component
18    shall be available to any adult worker who:
19             (1)  is  a  recipient  of  Temporary  Assistance for
20        Needy Families, or has gross  income  of  less  than  the
21        federal poverty level for the worker's family size;
22             (2)  is  employed  not  less  than  an average of 20
23        hours per week; and
24             (3)  verifies the transportation expenses  by  proof
25        of the ordinary expenses of public transportation between
26        the worker's home and job, or, when driving is necessary,
27        the  mileage  between  home  and  job  by  the route that
28        normally covers the distance in the least amount of time.
29        (b)  Payment   for    mileage    rather    than    public
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 1    transportation  shall  be  available  when the worker uses an
 2    automobile for transportation between home, child care  site,
 3    and  job,  and  there is no public transportation between the
 4    worker's  home,  child  care  site,  and   job,   or   public
 5    transportation  would  not be available during the particular
 6    hours  that  the  worker   is   employed,   or   the   public
 7    transportation  would   consume  more than 3 hours round-trip
 8    and more time than driving ordinarily would consume.
 9        (c)  The payment for public transportation shall  be  the
10    actual  cost,  minus an amount equal to the cost of a monthly
11    pass on the Chicago Transit Authority, regardless of where in
12    the State the worker lives.
13        (d)  The payment for mileage shall be the number of miles
14    multiplied by the amount allowed  per  mile  by  the  federal
15    Internal Revenue Service for tax purposes, minus $60.
16        (e)  The  Illinois  Department  shall adopt the method of
17    payment by rule, and it may vary from place to place and  may
18    consist  of  cash,  vouchers,  arrangements  with vendors, or
19    other means.  Payment shall be made monthly and in advance of
20    the month to be covered.  The  first  full  month  after  the
21    month  of  application  shall  be  the  first  covered month.
22    Workers shall verify eligibility factors no less than every 3
23    months and shall report changes  affecting  eligibility  upon
24    occurrence.
25        (f)  The  Illinois  Department may contract, or authorize
26    its  employment,  education,  and  training  contractors   to
27    contract,  with  taxicab  companies  in  circumstances  where
28    taxicabs  are  an  important option for transportation to and
29    from  work,  for  the  purpose  of  designating  the  taxicab
30    companies as "public transportation" under this Section.  The
31    contracts may  be  conditioned  upon  the  agreement  of  the
32    company  to charge rates that approximate the costs of public
33    transportation for similar commuting in comparable  areas  of
34    the  State  where  public  transportation  is  available. The
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 1    contracts may also provide for a  lump  sum  payment  to  the
 2    company  for a defined amount of service, rather than payment
 3    based on charges  for  each  ride.   Absent  such  contracts,
 4    taxicabs are not "public transportation" under this Section.

 5        Section 20. Automobile acquisition.
 6        (a)  The   automobile   acquisition  component  shall  be
 7    available to any worker who:
 8             (1)  is a  recipient  of  Temporary  Assistance  for
 9        Needy  Families,  or  has  gross  income of less than the
10        federal poverty level for the worker's family size;
11             (2)  is employed not less than 20 hours per week;
12             (3)  does not own an automobile; and
13             (4)  has a lack  of  public  transportation  options
14        that  would  enable  the  worker  to  participate  in the
15        low-income transportation subsidy component under Section
16        15.
17        (b)  Where feasible, the Department  shall  contract  out
18    the  administration  of the automobile acquisition program to
19    non-profit organizations, or to for-profit organizations on a
20    pro bono basis, or to local governmental units.
21        (c)  The automobile  acquisition  program  shall  provide
22    loans  to eligible workers who wish to purchase an automobile
23    that, in the judgment of the Department or contractor, is  in
24    good  condition and affordable to the worker, considering all
25    payments that will have to be made for  the  acquisition  and
26    normal  maintenance.   Loans  may  include  an amount for the
27    mechanical  inspection  of  the  car   to   ascertain   "good
28    condition".   The  amount of a loan may not exceed $2,500.  A
29    security interest shall be taken on  the  automobile.   Loans
30    shall  be  interest-free and shall be repaid in equal monthly
31    installments over a period of not less than  24  months.   If
32    any  payment  is  in  default  for  more  than  60  days, the
33    Department or contractor may pursue  any  remedies  available
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 1    under  law,  including  repossession  and tax offset.  At the
 2    option of the worker, and for a fee of $50 to be added to the
 3    balance of the loan, if the worker has payments  to  make  on
 4    the  automobile to a third party over and above the amount of
 5    the loan, the first payment on the loan may be delayed for up
 6    to one year after the date of  purchase  of  the  automobile.
 7    When  payments  on the loan begin, the worker shall receive a
 8    credit against the principal of the  loan  of  $25  for  each
 9    month  in  which the worker both makes the payment due on the
10    loan and does not receive  cash  assistance  under  the  TANF
11    program.
12        (d)  If the worker is unlikely to be able to make monthly
13    payments  on  a  loan  under subsection (c) but otherwise can
14    afford to purchase and maintain an automobile, the Department
15    or contractor may make a loan  for  up  to  $1,000  that  the
16    worker  shall  repay exclusively through assignment of future
17    State tax refunds.  The Department or contractor shall advise
18    the worker of the minimum number of tax exemptions  to  claim
19    at work in order to produce a tax refund.

20        Section  99.  Effective date.  This Act takes effect upon
21    becoming law.

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