In this issue of eAdvocate, we discuss the results from the 2018 midterm elections and our IAFC Regional Policy Caucuses, as well as provide an update on a few important policy developments.
On Tuesday, November 6, more than 98 million Americans and 4.3 million Illinoisans cast ballots in the midterm elections. Thank you to all the advocates who helped people in their community register and turn out to vote! The candidates who won in this election will go on to make important decisions on policies that will impact the lives of children and working families in communities throughout the state. So thank you for making sure your voice and the voices of families in your community were heard by policymakers. Below is a brief recap of a few of the notable results from election night.
U.S. Senate: While neither of Illinois’ two Senators were up for reelection this year, 33 Senate seats were on the ballot in states across the country. Overall, Republicans expanded their majority by three seats and will likely have a 54-46 majority beginning in January.
U.S. House of Representatives: In Illinois, Democratic challengers Sean Casten and Lauren Underwood defeated incumbent U.S. Reps. Peter Roskam and Randy Hultgren in the 6th and 14th districts, respectively. The Illinois Congressional delegation will now have 13 Democrats and 5 Republicans. Throughout the country, Democrats picked up at least 34 seats and will take over control of the House, clearing the 218 seat threshold for the majority.
IL Governor’s Race: Democrat J.B. Pritzker will be the next Governor of Illinois, after he defeated current Republican incumbent, Governor Bruce Rauner, by approximately 14 percent, or 640,000 votes.
IL Attorney General: Democrat Kwame Raoul defeated Republican Erika Harold to be the next Attorney General of Illinois.
IL Comptroller: Incumbent Democrat Susana Mendoza defeated Republican Darlene Senger.
IL Senate: 13 State Senate seats were on the ballot throughout Illinois. Democrats gained at least 2 seats. Democrat Ann Gillespie defeated Republican Sen. Tom Rooney (R-Rolling Meadows) and Suzanne Glowiak beat Sen. Chris Nybo (R-Elmhurst). The race between Republican Sen. Michael Connelly and Democrat Laura Ellman in the 21st Senate district remains undecided. Either way, the Illinois Senate will maintain a Democratic supermajority in January.
IL House: All 118 State House seats were on the ballot across Illinois. Democrats gained at least 6 additional seats, losing 1 and picking up 7. The races between Republican incumbent Helene Miller Walsh and Democrat Mary Edly-Allen in the 51st district and Republican incumbent Tom Morrison and Democrat Maggie Trevor in the 54th district remain undecided. Democrats will now have at least a 73-45 majority, the margin necessary for a supermajority.
To view the results from a specific Federal or State district, click here.
If you’re interested in learning more about the midterm election results and the new legislators who will have a say on policies impacting early learning programs, children, and families in Illinois, check out IAFC’s midterm election breakdown.
Thank you! We would like to thank everyone who participated – in any way, shape, or form – in this election. Whether you registered yourself and others to vote, shared our voter education materials with families, or did your research and made an informed decision – engaging in our democratic process is the only way we can elect leaders who will support and prioritize children and working families.
However, our work is not done! With the legislative session beginning again in January, there are plenty of opportunities for you to take action. Illinois Action for Children’s Policy Team will be meeting with each of the new legislators to provide education on early childhood issues in our state, as well as our policy priorities. Let us know if you are interested in meeting your new legislator or having him or her tour your program!
Thank you to everyone who attended IAFC’s Public Policy Caucuses in Champaign, East St. Louis, Chicago, and Aurora! We really appreciated the opportunity to engage in rich conversations with you from a broad range of perspectives in the field. Your insights will guide the Policy Team’s priorities as we move into a new legislative session.
Discussions centered around how providers, families, and other early childhood advocates can get involved in voter registration activities; the latest updates on the Early Childhood Lead Testing Rule; and Early Child Care Policy Priorities for 2019. These events were a great opportunity for childcare professionals, parents, teachers, and advocates to learn about policies affecting their children and community, to network with other participants in the area, and to voice their opinions on what matters most: the future of children and families in our communities.
Thank you to all who participated — we hope to see even more advocates from communities across the state next year!
Last year, Illinois passed legislation that requires certain licensed child care centers and homes to test drinking water for lead and mitigate when necessary. Proposed licensing standard requirements are currently in the rulemaking process. The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR), a body of State legislators that oversees the rulemaking process, reviewed the proposed lead rule at a meeting on November 13. Permanent rules are expected to be adopted soon, and IAFC will continue to send out updates.
In the meantime, Illinois Action for Children and our partners at the Environmental Defense Fund and Elevate Energy recently hosted a three-part webinar series to discuss the purpose of—and what can be expected from—these new requirements, how to test for lead in water, and potential mitigation strategies. If you were unable to make it to any of these webinars or to watch them again, click here.
Veto session this year is scheduled to take place in Springfield the weeks of November 12 and 26. This is the annual period during the fall when the General Assembly meets to reassess legislative bills that have been vetoed by the governor.
Illinois Action for Children will be monitoring any legislative changes that take place during veto session and will be sending out periodic updates to keep advocates informed of any developments.