041823KP1623SPRINGFIELD – With the intention of addressing the No Representation Without Population Act, State Senator Robert Peters carried a measure to ensure the master record file of the Department of Corrections and the Department of Juvenile Justice contains the racial background and the last known complete street address of an individual prior to their incarceration.

“The creation of the No Representation Without Population Act was a great start at ending prison gerrymandering,” said Peters (D-Chicago). “Expanding on that legislation to guarantee we have the correct addresses for those impacted by the justice system will ensure its effectiveness to the fullest extent.”

House Bill 1496 requires the clerk of the sentencing court to report the person's last known complete street address prior to incarceration, the person's race, whether the person is of Hispanic or Latino origin and whether the person is 18 years of age or older. During census years, the measure also requires the Department of Corrections to deliver to the State Board of Elections the last known street address of the person prior to incarceration, or to report an address collected for the purposes of parole, mandatory supervised release or aftercare release programs if their address of residence is unknown.

“Legislators have a moral obligation to represent their entire constituency, not just those who aren’t affected by the justice system,” Peters said. “I’m thankful for the community partners that have their ear to the ground and help ensure the measures we pass are actually doing the work we intend them to do.”

House Bill 1496 passed the Senate Executive Committee and will now head to the Senate floor for further consideration.

Category: Press Releases

041823KP1625SPRINGFIELD – A measure increasing the baseline financial penalty for civil rights violations sponsored by State Senator Robert Peters passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

“Discrimination has unfortunately been on the rise,” said Peters (D-Chicago). “Victims of civil rights violations don’t ask to be discriminated against and deserve every bit of compensation they can get.”

House Bill 2248 would allow state claims for violations of federal civil rights acts to be heard in any court with jurisdiction. The measure also provides that Illinois courts may award no less than $4,000 in damages.

Under Peters’ measure, violators are liable for damages for past, current, and future monetary losses, emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life and other non-monetary losses.

“You can’t put a price on remedying emotional distress, especially when caused by discrimination,” Peters said. “This measure doesn’t seek to put a price on rectifying discrimination but instead ensures those suffering as a result of discrimination receive a financial offset to help them move forward with their lives.”

House Bill 2248 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee and will now head to the Senate floor for further consideration.

Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD —  Members of the Illinois Senate Black Caucus released the following statement after two Black Democratic Tennessee lawmakers were expelled for speaking out against gun violence:

“Representatives Justin Pearson and Justin Jones did what any upstanding lawmaker should do: stand firm in their fight to protect the children and families from gun violence that has become all too prevalent across the nation.

“Yet through a racist power grab, their voices were stifled. This is a farce on our democracy.

“We aren’t just disheartened by this action — we are angry. In Illinois, we maintain our commitment to taking gun violence — in all communities — seriously.”

Category: Press Releases

033023SC3104SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Robert Peters’ measure broadening the civil liberties of individuals on probation passed the Senate Thursday.

“Individuals sentenced to probation are under vigilant supervision at any given time,” said Peters (D-Chicago). “Conditions of probation should not include restrictions that prevent a person from readjusting back into modern society.”

Senate Bill 1886 provides that if a court orders testing for cannabis or alcohol, a statement detailing the relation between the condition of probation and the crime must be provided. Under the measure, individuals on probation will not be charged for costs associated with mandatory testing.

Peters’ legislation also prevents courts from ordering a person on probation, conditional discharge or supervision to refrain from use or consumption of any substance lawfully prescribed by a medical provider or authorized by the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act.

“Eliminating barriers so those on probation with a medical diagnoses that constitute a medical cannabis card should be an option regardless of their history of justice system involvement,” said Peters. “Easing  medicinal limitations and financial constraints from mandated testing grants self-determination to those on probation.”

Senate Bill 1886 passed the Senate and will now head to the House for further consideration.

Category: Press Releases

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