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ISCC/PAL Voices Opposition to HB 2856 Amendment, Citing Unfairness to Youth
By: Ill. State Crime Commission/Police Athletic League
"For our children's sake, this amendment should never see the light of day," said Jerry Elsner, Executive Director Illinois State Crime Commission/Police Athletic of Illinois. "The proposed amendment to HB 2856 pretends to be good for veterans, good for not-for-profits, good for our youth — good for everyone. However, for organizations like the Police Athletic League of Illinois, who have dedicated countless hours serving our youth, this bill is a total disaster. We urge all Illinois citizens to contact their legislators immediately to kill this amendment."
The amendment, pertaining to regulatory sanctioning bodies, gives the Department of Professional Regulation the authority to give ONE private company total control over mixed martial arts and other youth activities in the state of Illinois. As a result, 501(c)(3) not-for-profits would be required to pay exorbitant fees to both the state AND the state's chosen private companies.
ISCC/PAL has been working diligently to fight the effects of the opioid epidemic through many initiatives, including working with Martial Arts leaders to help get kids off the streets and into dojos and gymnasiums, where they can take part in the dynamic world of martial arts and the values required to master them — honor, self-discipline, self-respect and confidence. The amendment to HB 2856, while superficially appearing to facilitate this mission, in fact undermines it by preventing youth organizations such as the ISCC/PAL from holding competitions in the state by making them unaffordable for youths or the non-profits that attempt to hold them.
Because of this amendment, endorsed by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, young people who otherwise may have been rewarded for their commitment to discipline and training will be denied the opportunity to compete and to inspire others to join the world of Martial Arts.
About the Illinois State Crime Commission/Police Athletic League
The Illinois State Crime Commission/Police Athletic League of Illinois operates as a tax-exempt charitable organization under section 501 (c) (3) of the internal revenue code. The Police Athletic League of ISCC/PAL-IL is a non-profit guided youth organization with a mission to reduce juvenile delinquency and promote positive interaction between law enforcement and communities, relying heavily on athletics and recreational activities to tighten this bond.