Hernandez, Legislators, Advocates Push for Passage of Student Equity Bill


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Elizabeth “Lisa” Hernandez, D-Cicero, will be joined by a diverse coalition of legislators, advocates and students calling for the passage of legislation ensuring greater equity in student financial aid at an 11:45 a.m. press conference in the Capitol Blue Room.

“In light of the exodus of talented young people leaving Illinois for other states, we must ensure that we are not only reinvesting in our colleges and universities but our young people, especially our minority youth,” Hernandez said. “This legislation is about equity for all students, ensuring that regardless of your race, immigration status or gender identity, you are valued and supported by our state.”

Hernandez is working on House Bill 2691, also known as the Retention of Illinois Students and Equity (RISE) Act, which would secure financial aid equity for African-American, undocumented and transgender students. Hernandez’s legislation would increase the current credit hour threshold, which disproportionately locks out students of color from state aid. The measure would also allow Illinois students who are not U.S. citizens, such as DACA recipients, to be eligible for state and institutional aid, as well as transgender students who do not register for required military purposes and as result are ineligible for federal assistance.

State Rep. Elizabeth “Lisa” Hernandez,
State Rep. Carol Ammons
State Rep. Celina Villanueva
State Rep. Kelly Cassidy
Perla Santoyo, student at the University of Illinois Chicago
Markel Ellis, student at Malcolm X College
Rowan Ewangan, student at the University of Illinois-Urbana
Myles Brady Davis, Equality Illinois

House Bill 2691

Wednesday, April 10 | 11:45 a.m.

Illinois State Capitol Building | Blue Room