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Public Act 102-0965


Public Act 0965 102ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY



Public Act 102-0965
HB5015 EnrolledLRB102 23763 NLB 32954 b

    AN ACT concerning State government.
    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
    Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the
Illinois America 250 Commission Act.
    Section 5. Findings. The General Assembly finds that:
    (a) Illinois became the 21st state on December 3, 1818, 42
years after the formation of the United States of America and
after thousands of years of Indigenous communities and peoples
inhabiting the land.
    (b) Illinois figured prominently in the expansion of the
United States of America as the scene of extensive French and
British exploration and early economic generation with the fur
trade, serving as a frontier boundary for Westward expansion,
and as a place of forced removal of Indigenous nations.
    (c) The historic and contemporary systems of inequality
produced through the enslavement of African American people in
Illinois must be acknowledged. Though the 1848 State
Constitution declared slavery to be illegal, the practice of
enslaving African Americans continued in Illinois, as did
participation in kidnapping and enslaving African Americans to
benefit Illinois' economy. Even following the abolition of
slavery, the 1908 Race Riot in Springfield led to the
slaughter of free African Americans and destroyed their
communities within the Illinois State capital city.
    (d) Illinois was a key state in the American Civil War,
deploying over 250,000 soldiers to fight in the war. Illinois
served as the home of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of
the United States of America. Illinois was the first State to
ratify the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery.
    (e) Millions of people have emigrated from and immigrated
to Illinois, or sought refuge in our State, bringing with them
their culture, lifeways, knowledge, and labor, which has
shaped Illinois into one of the nation's most diverse states.
With its largest city in Illinois, and the 3rd largest in the
nation, founded by a Black man, John Baptiste Point du Sable,
more than 110,000 African Americans came to Illinois as a part
of the Great Migration from the South through the advocacy of
Robert Abbott's Chicago Defender distributed by the Pullman
Porters. Illinois has proudly been made home by immigrants and
their descendants from Ireland, Italy, China, Poland, Eastern
Europe, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Japan, Central and South America,
Russia, Somalia, Eritrea, and across the continents of Africa
and Asia, the Caribbean, Vietnam, Thailand, India, and many
other parts of the world.
    (f) Illinois is responsible for numerous social and
economic improvements that shaped the infrastructure and
social fabric of our nation, including, but not limited to,
the creation of the Illinois and Michigan Canal opening
navigation and trade between the Mississippi River and the
Great Lakes; Jane Addams' innovative social work at the Hull
House; Ida B. Wells' courageous journalism and commitment to
abolition; inventions like the John Deere steel plow and
modern barbed wire by Joseph Glidden that reshaped
agriculture; the opening of Route 66, the Mother Road,
originating in Chicago; the first McDonald's, a restaurant
that would change how Americans eat; and the first cellular
telephone, which changed communication forever.
    (g) In 2008, the nation elected its first African American
president, President Barack Obama, who built his career as a
community organizer, law professor, and elected official in
    (h) The 250th anniversary of our nation's founding
presents an opportunity for Illinoisans and Americans to
consider this legacy and reflect on a diversity of
perspectives and experiences that are often left untold.
    (i) The nation's Semiquincentennial offers a commemoration
that focuses on all people who call Illinois home, in every
part of the State and of all ages and backgrounds, and centers
our shared humanity in this process, as well as our common
purpose. It offers every person in Illinois the opportunity to
see themselves within this complex history and create a more
just future.
    Section 10. Creation of Illinois America 250 Commission;
definition; purpose. The Illinois America 250 Commission is
created. As used in this Act, "Commission" means the Illinois
America 250 Commission. The principal purpose of the
Commission shall be to plan, promote, and implement
appropriate commemoration of the 250th Anniversary of the
founding of the United States of America
    Section 15. Duties.
    (a) The Commission shall develop, encourage, and execute
an inclusive commemoration and observance of the founding of
the United States of America, and Illinois' imperative role in
the nation's history.
    (b) The Commission shall promote the inclusive and
respectful identification, interpretation, documentation,
preservation, and recognition of cultural and historical
narratives and resources, including traditional cultural
knowledge, oral histories, archival materials, objects,
buildings, structures, sites, and landscapes related to
Illinois history and prehistory.
    (c) The Commission shall consider organizing its
activities under the 5 historic themes established by the
American Association for State and Local History in "The Field
Guide for the Semiquincentennial: Making History at 250".
    (d) The Commission shall serve as the official
representative of the State of Illinois for the
Semiquincentennial and all related activities, communications,
and events.
    (e) The Governor's office shall encourage various State
agencies and organizations to work cooperatively to promote
the Semiquincentennial.
    Section 20. Authority; administrative support.
    (a) The Commission is authorized to cooperate with the
United States Semiquincentennial Commission created by Public
Law 114-196, other states, tribal nations, and national,
State, and local organizations engaged in activities around
the United States Semiquincentennial, and other tribal,
national, regional, State, and local public and private
organizations having compatible purposes.
    (b) The Illinois State Museum shall provide administrative
support to the Commission and may make expenditures according
to State law.
    Section 25. Membership; meetings.
    (a) The Commission shall consist of the following members:
        (1) One member appointed by the Lieutenant Governor.
        (2) One member appointed by the President of the
    Senate and one member appointed by the Speaker of the
    House of Representatives.
        (3) One member appointed by the Senate Minority Leader
    and one member appointed by the House Minority Leader.
        (4) The Director of the Illinois State Museum.
        (5) The Harold Washington Library Archivist.
        (6) A Black historian reflecting the experiences and
    contributions of American Descendants of Slavery (ADOS),
    appointed by the Governor.
        (7) A historian reflecting the experiences and
    contributions of Asian and Latina/o/x communities,
    appointed by the Governor.
        (8) The following members appointed by the Governor:
            (A) Three representatives of tribal Nations and
        communities including the Ojibwe, Odawa, Potawatomi,
        Shawnee, Osage, Peoria, Miami, Sac and Fox, Mesquaki,
        Kickapoo, Ho-Chunk, Menominee, and additional tribal
        members living in Illinois today.
            (B) A representative of the Abraham Lincoln
        Presidential Library and Museum.
            (C) A representative from the Department of
        Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
            (D) A representative of Illinois humanities.
            (E) A representative of the Illinois Municipal
            (F) Three members of the public with related or
        relevant backgrounds, expertise, or interests.
        Knowledge in the following shall be prioritized in
        making an appointment under this item: the culture,
        traditions, and history of American Indians/Native
        Americans; Black Americans; Latinos/Latinas/Hispanic
        Americans; Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders; the
        LGBTQAI+ community; immigrants and refugees; veterans'
        organizations; women's history; the history of
        Illinois' agriculture, architecture, armed forces,
        arts, civics, cultural geography, ecology, education,
        faith-based communities, folklore, government,
        industry, labor, law, medicine, and transportation;
        anthropology; archeology; cultural exhibits and
        museums; heritage tourism; historic preservation; and
        social justice.
    (b) The Governor's office, with the assistance of the
Chair of the Commission and the Illinois State Museum, shall
be responsible for ensuring that 60% of the appointed members
of the Commission consist of people who represent historically
excluded and marginalized communities.
    (c) The appointing authorities shall coordinate their
appointments to represent and celebrate the diverse makeup and
complex cultural geography of this State.
    (d) The Commission may adopt bylaws for the establishment
of a quorum and the conducting of business.
    (e) Members shall serve for the duration of the
Commission, provided any public official's expiration of a
term of office shall create a vacancy. Any vacancy occurring
in the membership of the Commission shall be filled in the same
manner as the original appointment.
    (f) The Commission shall hold meetings at least twice a
        (1) at times and places to be determined by the Chair;
        (2) that are conducted in accordance with the Open
    Meetings Act.
    (g) Members shall serve without compensation and shall not
be reimbursed for expenses incurred in performing their
    (h) The Governor shall appoint a member of the Commission
to serve as Chair of the Commission.
    Section 30. Advisory committees and working groups. The
Chair of the Commission, with the concurrence of the
Commission, shall create one or more advisory committees and
working groups to advise the Commission. Any advisory
committee or working group shall conduct meetings in
accordance with the Open Meetings Act.
    Section 35. Illinois America 250 Commission Trust Fund;
in-kind gifts.
    (a) The Commission may accept monetary gifts and grants
from any public or private source, which shall be held in the
Illinois America 250 Commission Trust Fund. The Illinois
America 250 Commission Trust Fund is created as a
non-appropriated trust fund to be held outside of the State
treasury, with the State Treasurer as custodian. All gifts,
grants, assets, funds, or money received by the Commission
under this Act shall be deposited and held in the Trust Fund by
the State Treasurer as ex officio custodian separate and apart
from all public money or funds of this State and shall be
administered by the Commission exclusively for the purposes
set forth in this Act. All money in the Trust Fund shall be
invested and reinvested by the State Treasurer. All interest
accruing from these investments shall be deposited into the
Trust Fund.
    (b) The Commission may also accept in-kind gifts.
    Section 40. Reporting. The Commission shall make an annual
written report and make any recommendations to the Governor
and General Assembly at least 30 days prior to the convening of
each regular session of the General Assembly, commencing with
the start of the regular session in 2023 and continuing
through its final report.
    Section 45. Dissolution; repeal.
    (a) The Commission and its advisory committees and working
groups are dissolved on June 1, 2027, and any assets remaining
in the Illinois America 250 Commission Trust Fund shall be
deposited into the General Revenue Fund.
    (b) This Act is repealed on January 1, 2028.
    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
becoming law.

Effective Date: 5/27/2022