Our Issues

The CBF, in partnership with the CBA, centers its current legislative and policy advocacy efforts on the following key issues:

Court Funding
Federal Courts
Local Courts
Funding for Legal Services
Legal Services Corporation (LSC)
Illinois Equal Justice Foundation (IEJF)
Court Reform and Simplification
Court Fees and Fines Reform Legislation

The CBF is part of a coalition of advocates working with legislators on a multi-year effort to reform Illinois’ byzantine system of court fees and fines in order to address barriers to access to justice associated with the fees and other court costs in civil, criminal, and traffic proceedings. You can read more about some of the key tenets of the proposed legislation in the CBF’s fact sheet and in the recommendations of the Statutory Court Fee Task Force report released in 2016 with broad bipartisan support from all levels of government.

Simplifying Affidavits in Court Proceedings

The CBF is currently working on legislation that would simplify court proceedings by allowing documents filed in court to be sworn to without the need for additional notarization, removing a barrier to access to justice for many low-income and self-represented Illinoisans.

Read the fact sheet on this important issue.

Illinois Plain Language Task Force

The CBF is spearheading legislation that would update, renew, and reinvigorate Illinois’ continued commitment to plain language in communicating with the public. It restarts the Illinois Plain Language Task Force, and provides guidance intended to assist all three branches of Illinois government in their commitment to plain language reform efforts.

Read the fact sheet on this important issue.

Immigration Reform

Our broken immigration system creates a number of unique access to justice issues. The CBF advocates for legislation that takes a comprehensive approach to fixing our nation’s broken immigration system and restoring the rule of law, including through passage of a clean DREAM Act.

Read the fact sheet on this important issue and a recent CBA Record article laying out the case for comprehensive reform.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Student Debt Reform

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program (PSLF), created by Congress in 2007, provides critical
support for our nation’s public sector by offering partial relief from often crushing educational debt for
public service employees who make long-term commitments to working in the sector. Under PSLF, those
who make ten years of payments on their student loans while employed full-time in public service jobs
are eligible to have their remaining balance forgiven.

There are active proposals to either eliminate or limit PSLF going forward. This important program
should be preserved for the longer-term, and should only be limited if other educational debt reforms
are put in place.

Read the fact sheet on this important issue, as well as the comments submitted by the CBF to the Senate HELP committee as they consider student debt reform and the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.