SPRINGFIELD – Children in the state’s foster care system will be given an opportunity to have their voices heard about issues within the system that affect them under a measure sponsored by State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago).

“No one knows the foster care system better than the foster kids themselves,” Peters said. “It’s much easier to learn the areas where the system is lacking if we can hear directly from the children in the program.”

Senate Bill 1743 mandates the Department of Children and Family Services to develop, process and administer a standardized survey to gather feedback from youth who are currently aging out or who have recently aged out of the foster care system. The aim is to help DCFS and supporting agencies identify deficiencies in the system by learning about them from the people directly affected by them, leading to changes in policy to help address these issues.

The bill passed the Senate with unanimous support. It was the first bill sponsored by Peters to pass through the Senate and on to the House of Representatives since he joined the Senate in January.

“It’s an honor to have passed my first bill,” Peters said. “I’m confident that this is the start of a productive year in the Senate.”

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 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

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