Executive Order Creating Put Illinois To Work
WHEREAS, the Constitution of the State of Illinois was ordained and established “in order to provide for the health, safety and welfare of the people; … eliminate poverty and inequality; assure legal, social and economic justice; provide opportunity for the fullest development of the individual”; and
WHEREAS, Article 11of the Constitution states that each person has the right to a healthful environment, and that it is the public policy of the State of Illinois (hereinafter the “State”) and the duty of each person to provide and maintain a healthful environment for the benefit of this and future generations; and
WHEREAS, the opportunity to be gainfully employed is key to economic development and sustainability for the betterment of the community as a whole; and
WHEREAS, current unemployment rates of 11.2% Statewide and increasing poverty rates establish the need for governmental intervention to achieve the above-stated Constitutional goals by stimulating the economy; and
WHEREAS, a Statewide subsidized work-relief program intended to provide wages, supervision and connections to employment opportunities can improve the status of adults in disadvantaged families throughout the State and reduce their dependency on other programs; and
WHEREAS, a work-relief program creates new jobs that would not otherwise exist, not displacing current employees but providing additional opportunities for low-income families to earn wages and learn skills; and
WHEREAS, the statutory mission of the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) is to “assist [Illinoisans] to achieve maximum self-sufficiency, independence and health through the provision of seamless, integrated services for individuals, families and communities”; and
WHEREAS, DHS, as the administering agency of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program, has been designated to access Federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds to stimulate the economy, including through development of a Statewide subsidized work-relief program; and
WHEREAS, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) is responsible for administering unemployment insurance programs and determining whether employment wages qualify for work-relief exemption from countable unemployment insurance wages; and
WHEREAS, IDES has determined that DHS’ use of TANF ARRA funds to support a publicly subsidized employment program for the benefit of disadvantaged persons in order to lessen economic hardship is a work-relief purpose; and
WHEREAS, DHS has designed a publicly subsidized employment program as a work-relief program and, as such, is required to contract with an Illinois not-for-profit corporation or a governmental body to serve as the employer of record responsible for payroll and the ultimate direction and control of participants; and
WHEREAS, DHS has determined to name this TANF work-relief program Put Illinois to Work; and
WHEREAS, Heartland Human Care Services, Inc. (“Heartland”), a not-for-profit corporation operating in Illinois since 1888 with a mission to advance economic security and to reduce poverty by serving over 200,000 Illinoisans each year, has extensive experience in providing employment opportunities to the disadvantaged in impoverished communities; and
WHEREAS, DHS has chosen Heartland to serve as lead contractor and employer of record for Put Illinois to Work;
THEREFORE, I, Pat Quinn, Governor of Illinois, pursuant to the authority vested in me by Article V of the Constitution of the State of Illinois, hereby order as follows:
- The State of Illinois will create a work-relief program, henceforth known as Put Illinois to Work, intended to provide publicly subsidized wages and connections to employment opportunities to improve the status of disadvantaged families.
- Put Illinois to Work will be funded by the State of Illinois and the TANF Program’s Emergency Contingency Fund (ECF) which was established by ARRA. The ECF provides 80% reimbursement for all increased expenditures of a state in the categories of basic assistance, short-term non-recurrent benefits, or subsidized employment. Illinois is eligible to draw down up to $292.5 million through September 30, 2010.
- Put Illinois to Work will benefit at least 15,000 unemployed or underemployed adults throughout the State until the ARRA funding is exhausted or no longer available.
- DHS, as the administering agency of the TANF Program, is responsible for Put Illinois to Work.
- DHS shall partner with Heartland to administer Put Illinois to Work. Heartland will be the Statewide lead agency, and will partner with various other non-profit social service agencies and governmental units throughout the State to administer the program.
Nothing in this Executive Order shall be construed to contravene any State or Federal law.
This Order shall be in full force and effect upon its filing with the Secretary of State.
Issued by the Governor: June 7, 2010
Filed with the Secretary of State: June 7, 2010