TAKE ACTION: Legislative Initiatives

In 2015, the IAPO legislative and administrative advocacy priorities will include the following initiatives:

  • The Healthy Eating Active Living Act: The Healthy Eating + Active Living Act provides kids, families and communities the tools to live healthier lives through investment of funds from a small excise tax on sugary drinks. The HEAL Act will provide Illinois communities with opportunities for physical activity and affordable healthy food, like healthier and tastier school lunches, enhanced physical education, farmer’s markets, and safe parks for kids and families to be active. The bill is HB 2667 and SB 1584.
  • Safe Routes to Schools: Led by our partners at the Active Transportation Alliance, IAPO will support administrative advocacy efforts to improve and streamline the Illinois Safe Routes to Schools program administered by the state Department of Transportation. Additional state investments in Safe Routes to Schools will be sought in the advocacy and legislative efforts.
  • Maintaining the daily Physical Education (P.E.) requirement: IAPO will continue to monitor and oppose any potential P.E. waiver bills that arise that will weaken or eliminate the daily physical education requirement in Illinois. We oppose HB 1330, HB 1448, HB 2536, HB 425, and SB 114.
  • Expanding Double-Value Coupon Programs in Illinois: Led by our partners at Experimental Station, CLOCC, and the American Heart Association, in partnership with the IAPO workgroups on local food systems and community nutrition, IAPO will support efforts to expand the double-value coupon programs (DVCP) at Illinois farmers markets across the state and seek sustainable state funding to support the program in coming years. DVCPs, like LINK Up Illinois, are programs that provides SNAP (LINK) recipients double-the-value of their SNAP dollars at farmers markets to purchase fresh fruits, veggies, and other products. The bill has been introduced as HB 3340.
  • Cooperative Grocery Stores: Led by our partners at the Illinois Stewardship Alliance, IAPO will support improvements to the laws that govern the creation of cooperative grocery stores to ensure that it is easier for cooperative grocery stores to get started and open in food deserts across the state.

Additional Information on the Healthy Eating + Active Living Act:




Healthy Eating + Active Living Fact Sheet







Healthy Eating + Active Living Frequently Asked Questions




Endorse IAPO’s legislative proposal to fund wellness programs through a penny-per-ounce excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages

To download the endorsement form to fax, email, or mail in, click here.

Organizations that have endorsed the HEAL Act include:

• AIDS Foundation of Chicago
• ALAS- Wings
• American Cancer Society- Cancer Action Network
• American Diabetes Association
• American Heart Association, Midwest Affiliate
• Chicago Department of Public Health
• Chicago Hispanic Health Coalition
• Coalition of African, Arab, Asian, European and Latino Immigrants of IL

• Consortium to Lower Obesity In Chicago Children

• Esperanza Health Centers
• EverThrive Illinois (formerly the IL Maternal and Child Health Coalition)
• Illinois Academy of Family Physicians
• Illinois Action for Children
• Illinois African American Coalition for Prevention
• Illinois Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance
• Illinois Association of Public Health Administrators
• Illinois Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics
• Illinois Physical Therapy Association
• Illinois Public Health Association
• Illinois Public Health Institute
• Illinois Society of Public Health Educators (ISOPHE)
• Illinois State Dental Society
• McLean County Wellness Coalition
• Northern Illinois Public Health Consortium (NIPHC)
• Ounce of Prevention Fund
• Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law
• SEIU Healthcare Illinois, Indiana
• Seven Generations Ahead
• The Children’s Health Center, S.C.
• Turning Point Behavioral Health Care Center

In the 2014 spring session of the Illinois General Assembly, IAPO’s* legislative agenda included 3 bills:

2 Bill to Improve the Quality of Physical Education

IAPO worked to improve the quality of physical education in schools throughout Illinois by implementing recommendations from the Illinois Enhance P.E. Task Force (Public Act 097-1102). The P.E. agenda included:

  • SB 3274- Sponsored by Sen. Linda Holmes and Rep. Stephanie A. Kifowit- created a state designation of “highly qualified” teacher statusfor physical educators and health teachers. Federal law requires schools to report the number of teachers that are “highly qualified” in a variety of core academic subjects, and gives states the flexibility to expand the number of subjects that can use the “highly qualified” criteria. By designating “highly qualified” P.E. and health teachers, parents and advocates will have information about the qualifications of the teachers in their local schools.
  • HB 5397- Sponsored by Rep. Rita Mayfield and Sen. William Delgado- supports schools in ensuring that their physical education programs focus on developing physically literate students with the skills for life-long fitness and health by implementing physical fitness assessments in every school across the state. Physical fitness assessments help students set individual fitness goals and help teachers address individual student needs. The bill also creates a system to monitor the aggregate fitness levels of Illinois youth over time.

Both bills passed the legislature and were signed by Governor Quinn in August, 2014

IAPO P.E. Agenda Fact Sheet

HB 5397 Fact Sheet: Measuring Fitness to Improve Student Health and Academic Achievement

IAPO also advocated for the Healthy Eating Active Living Act in 2014 to provide more opportunities for kids, families, and communities to live healthier lives.

For more information about these priorities, please contact Elissa Bassler at elissa.bassler@iphionline.org.

*Members of IAPO are those that have endorsed the eight objectives listed in the IAPO Roadmap. While IAPO as a whole supports the above agenda, members do not necessarily individually endorse specific legislative priorities.