SPRINGFIELD – A law sponsored by State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) meant to protect the financial security of the formerly incarcerated is one of several new laws that took effect Jan. 1.

House Bill 900 prevents the Department of Corrections from suing recently released inmates for the cost of their incarceration, effectively banning a practice known as “pay-to-stay.”

“A practice that is as regressive and harmful as pay-to-stay has no business being part of a modern society,” Peters said. “We’re putting an end to what is basically indentured servitude and ensuring that formerly incarcerated people don’t continue to be harassed once they’ve finished serving their time.”

Another Peters law, House Bill 2665, allows minors 12 years of age and older to receive preventative treatment for sexually transmitted diseases from a physician without parental consent.

“There are a lot of kids out there, particularly LGBTQ+ kids, who aren’t able to get the support from home that they need in order to get preventative care,” Peters said. “This law allows those kids to get help too, which will help reduce the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, especially among youth.”

Other Peters-sponsored bills effective Jan. 1 include:

  • Senate Bill 1525, which requires DCFS to provide eligible youth with a stipend to cover the cost of entering into an apprenticeship;
  • Senate Bill 1743, which requires DCFS to develop and implement a feedback survey for foster children who have aged out of the program; and
  • House Bill 2541, which requires the DOC and the DJJ to provide civics education to incarcerated citizens due to be released within 12 months.

“I passed 13 bills during my first year as a senator, and now all 13 have taken effect,” Peters said. “It really makes me feel like I’m making a difference in my community, and I can’t wait to see what 2020 has in store.”

A full list of bills that took effect in the new year can be found here.

Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD –State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) introduced a bill this week that redefines felony murder charges in Illinois.

The language of current state law allows prosecutors to charge someone with first-degree murder if a death occurs during the commission of another offense when acting alone, or if a third-party individual causes a death when acting within a group. The new legislation would ban prosecutors from being able to do so.

“Incarceration rates are disturbingly high as it is,” Peters said. “These laws do nothing to improve safety in our community and are not an effective way to combat the unforgivable crowding of our jails and prisons. They are quite simply not a reflection of any sort of justice we should strive for as a society.”

The bill is an initiative of Restore Justice and was filed in response to an incident in Lake County where five teens were charged with first-degree murder after a failed home burglary in which the homeowner shot and killed a sixth teen.

Senate Bill 2292 was filed with the secretary of the Senate on Monday. It is currently awaiting assignment to a committee, which likely will not occur until full session resumes in January.

Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) joined 48 Senate colleagues in passing a bill meant to address the rising cost of insulin today.

“People are dying because of the outrageous markups in insulin prices, all so that pharmaceutical companies can squeeze every last dime they can out of working class families,” Peters said. “That ends now. It’s time to stop putting profits over people.”

Senate Bill 667 caps the per-patient out-of-pocket price of insulin at $100 for a 30-day supply. In addition, the bill instructs the Attorney General’s office to research and publish a report on the factors that lead to the ever rising cost of insulin.

“This is a good first step, but in order to ensure true equality, we need to implement Medicare for All at a federal level,” Peters said.

Category: Press Releases

Chicago – Continuing his fierce dedication to protecting the well-being of youth in care, State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) will attend a joint committee hearing to discuss the 2020 budget of the Department of Children and Family Services.

“I have first-hand experience about the importance of DCFS and the services it provides because I was a child of adoption,” Peters said. “Some of the kids in DCFS care are in extremely vulnerable places, and if DCFS isn’t doing its job to protect them, either through lack of funds or negligence, then a lot of these kids will struggle to succeed later in life.”

In the FY2020 budget passed this spring by Peters and his General Assembly colleagues, DCFS was given an $89 million increase in funding. At the hearing, representatives from the Department will present their plans for how they intend to allocate the additional funds, as well as speak regarding the areas where they anticipate still having issues.

“If we can get a direct account of the needs of DCFS, then we can go into next session knowing the issues they face and the best way to address those issues legislatively,” Peters said.

The hearing is scheduled to take place tomorrow, Sept. 10 at 10 a.m. in the Bilandic Building’s sixth floor hearing room.

Category: Press Releases

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