SPRINGFIELD – College students who are potentially eligible for SNAP benefits will now have more opportunities to learn about the program under a new bill proposed by State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago).

“Many students rely on SNAP benefits in order to not go hungry, but a lot of folks aren’t taking advantage of these benefits because they don’t even realize they’re eligible,” Peters said.

Senate Bill 1641 requires the Illinois Student Assistance Commission to identify and flag college students who are potentially eligible candidates to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. The bill also requires the Commission to develop a notice that includes SNAP eligibility requirements and other additional information and post that notice to places where students are likely to encounter it.

The bill passed through the Senate Committee on Human Services with no opposition. It is scheduled to be considered by the full Senate.

Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD – A new bill sponsored by State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) would help improve the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians.

Senate Bill 1642 requires drivers’ education courses to include instruction on bicycle and pedestrian safety beginning in the 2020-21 school year. The curriculum would include instructions on how to safely pass bicyclists and pedestrians while driving, how to safely exit a vehicle without endangering bicyclists and pedestrians and how to navigate through intersections shared with bicyclists and pedestrians.

“I represent areas of Jackson Park and of Downtown Chicago, which have a higher than average number of accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists, have just as much of a right to the road as drivers do,” Peters said. “However, many drivers’ education courses only prepare drivers for how to safely be around other drivers.

“This poses a huge threat to pedestrians and bicyclists,” Peters said. “By including these new safety instructions in drivers’ education courses, we can reduce the risk of injury that bicyclists and pedestrians face on a daily basis.”

The measure passed through the Senate Education Committee unanimously and moves to the full Senate for consideration.

Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD – A resolution sponsored by State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) urges the United States Congress to guarantee automatic citizenship for children adopted by a U.S. citizen.

“I know from first-hand experience that the life of an adopted child is difficult enough without the possibility of being stateless,” Peters said. “The protection of the U.S. government should not be denied to children because of things that happened before they were born. Granting them citizenship is the right thing to do.”

House Joint Resolution 24 states that both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly regard the granting of citizenship to all qualifying children adopted by a U.S. citizen as a civil right regardless of the date the adoption occurred, and that they condemn the deportation of individuals who were adopted into American homes and therefore have expectations of citizenship. The resolution also urges the U.S. Congress and the President of the United States to enact legislation codifying the tenets of the resolution.

The resolution passed through both chambers of the General Assembly with unanimous bipartisan support, and is therefore officially enacted.

Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD – A new bill sponsored by State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) requires numerous state agencies to provide support services to youth who are aging out of the Department of Children and Family Services care.

“Everyone isn’t magically able to take care of themselves once they become too old to fall under DCFS care,” Peters said. “The unfortunate reality for a lot of folks who age out of the program is that their struggles continues, and often get worse.”

Senate Bill 1808 is an initiative of the Illinois Chapter of the Foster Care Alumna of America. Studies have found that a significant percentage of young people between the ages of 19 and 21 who are former foster children experience homelessness, substance abuse, incarceration and difficulty receiving an education.

The measure requires many state agencies, including DCFS, the Illinois State Board of Education, The Illinois Urban Development Authority, and the Departments of Human Services, Juvenile Justice, Corrections, Healthcare and Family Services, and Human Services to enter into an interagency agreement to provide preventative services to youth who are currently or who soon will be aging out of DCFS care.

The agencies would be required to provide services that include housing support, educational support and employment support.

“Vulnerable youth don’t stop being vulnerable when they turn 18,” Peters said. “Many still need support, and this bill gives it to them.”

The bill passed through the Senate Committee on Human Services by a vote of 8 – 0 with two members voting present. It moves to the full Senate for consideration.

Category: Press Releases

 

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