SPRINGFIELD – A bill sponsored by State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) would ban state agencies or units of local government from conducting business with privately owned civil detention centers.

The bill is an initiative of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee rights in response to a March vote by the Board of Trustees in Dwight approving plans to build a 1,200 bed privately owned detention facility. Once built, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency could potentially contract with this facility. The bill would prevent this from happening.

“Privately owned detention centers are run with a profit motive, which creates an incentive for people to become bad actors as a way to cut costs and save money at the expense of living conditions,” Peters said. “These cruel institutions have no place in our modern society.”

Read more: Peters bill would complete ban on private detention centers

Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD – To make travel safer for the cyclists and pedestrians, drivers’ education courses would focus on how to share the roadway under new legislation sponsored by State Senator Robert Peters.

“Many drivers’ education courses usually only teach future drivers how to stay safe around other drivers but neglect to include information about other people they might encounter while driving, who have just as much of a right to the road as anyone,” said Peters, a Chicago Democrat who represents areas of Jackson Park and Downtown Chicago where the number of accidents involving bicyclists and pedestrians is higher than average.

“If we move to increase driver awareness of bicyclists and pedestrians, that will in turn decrease the number of accidents these folks are involved in, making the roads safer for everyone,” Peters said.

Read more: Peters moves to increase awareness and safety of cyclists and pedestrians

Category: Press Releases

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 by a vote of 46 – 1, and will move on to the House of Representatives.

Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD – If a person charged with a misdemeanor is determined by a court to be mentally unfit to stand trial, a bill sponsored by State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) would allow them to be transferred into diversionary programs instead of entering the criminal justice system.

“People who have mental health issues need to be helped, not neglected,” Peters said. “If we’re able to offer these folks a program that can serve as an alternative to incarceration, we can take a big first step towards ending the criminalization of mental illness.”

These programs, known as “misdemeanant diversion programs,” work to identify individuals with mental illnesses, provide them with stabilizing treatment, and direct them toward community provided mental health services and away from incarceration.

Read more: Peters looks to provide the mentally ill with incarceration alternatives

Category: Press Releases

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