CHICAGO – Over the next few months, The Illinois Department of Revenue will hold meetings of the Property Tax Relief Task Force, of which State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) is a member.

“There are a lot of folks struggling to pay their property taxes,” Peters said. “We need to figure out a solution to help ease the burden these families face on a regular basis.”

The task force was created when Senate Bill 1932, sponsored by State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), was signed by Gov. JB Pritzker. The task force’s first meeting will be held on Monday, Aug. 12 at 2 p.m. in Chicago’s Thompson Center.

More information can be found here: https://www2.illinois.gov/rev/research/taxresearch/Pages/Property-Tax-Relief-Task-Force.aspx

Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD – A new law sponsored by State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) would allow minors in Illinois to seek access to an HIV preventative drug without parental consent.

“The number of new HIV cases per year is alarming, but there is a method to help slow the spread,” Peters said. “We should be trying to offer this method to anyone who wants it.”

House Bill 2665 is an initiative of the Aids Foundation of Chicago, and aligns Illinois with federal guidelines regarding preventative healthcare. A drug known as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is over 90 percent effective at preventing the transmission of HIV when used correctly. The law allows minors 12 years of age and older to receive health care services related to prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, including a prescription for PrEP, without parental consent. Previous law only allowed minors to waive parental consent for services related to treatment or diagnoses.

“Some kids, especially LGBTQ+ kids, don’t necessarily have a welcoming home they can rely on for the support they need,” Peters said. “We need to look out for those kids, too. Allowing them to seek the treatment they need without requiring parental consent gives them that support.”

According to the Department of Public Health, gay youth account for 85% of new diagnoses of HIV among youth aged 13 to 24.

“PrEP can’t straight up eradicate HIV, but it can help reduce the number of diagnoses we see each year,” Peters said. “HIV is ravaging black and brown communities, and access to this medication can go a long way toward stopping that.”

The bill is effective immediately.

Category: Press Releases

CHICAGO – The operation of private detention centers would be banned under a new law spearheaded by State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago).

“For-profit detention centers are a breeding ground for mistreatment and they encourage bad actors to worsen the already poor living conditions as a way to save a few bucks,” Peters said. “They do not belong in our state. I’m proud to have led the charge on this fight, and I’m grateful to Gov. Pritzker for signing this important piece of legislation.”

House Bill 2040 was filed in response to a vote approving plans to build a 1,200 bed detention facility taken in March by the Board of Trustees of Dwight, IL. It takes the already existing ban on private prisons one step further by closing a looping and to extending the ban to all civil detention centers.

“I’m proud to have stood side by side with organizers and advocates on this important issue that impacts so many lives throughout the state,” Peters said. “Whether it is mass incarceration or mass deportation, the individuals affected by these cruel policies are all tied together, and we must fight to protect them.”

The bill was signed by Gov. Pritzker today, and is effective immediately.

Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate today passed a series of bills establishing a budget for the 2020 fiscal year. State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) voted in favor of these bills, passing a balanced budget during his first session in Springfield.

“This budget is another step on a path to stability, and will provide much-needed services to the people who rely on them the most,” Peters said. “The state budget should be a tool to help those in need, and I’m proud to have been a part of ensuring that this year’s is.”

The 2020 Fiscal Year budget provides funding increases to many services across the state, including the Department of Children and Family Services. It also increases funding for various educational programs, a detail Peters noted as being very important to him.

“I’m particularly pleased to see how much more we’re investing in education,” Peters said. “The strength of a society can be measured by how well it looks out for future generations, and I think this makes us look pretty strong. We’re fulfilling our promise to invest in education.”

The budget allocates $375 million for the evidence-based model of educational funding, surpassing the original estimate by $25 million. This includes $50 million in additional property tax revenue. In a separate provision, early childhood education will also receive an additional $50 million.

“From preschool to college, this budget gives working and middle class families a way to pay for the education their children need,” Peters said. “Schools in black and brown communities have been struggling for decades, and I’m thrilled that this budget addresses some of that concern.”

Peters also called attention to the funding the budget provides for DCFS and DHS programs and employees.

“We’ll be investing $100 million to DCFS to allow that department to not only hire and train over 300 new employees, but also to provide wage increases to the folks who do these jobs,” Peters said. “They do some of the hardest and most necessary jobs in the state, and I’m happy that this budget provides them with a way to make it easier for them to pay their bills.”

The budget also allocates some funds for violence prevention methods.

“It takes more than just an increased police presence to help prevent violence. It also requires financial investment to treat the cause of the violence at its source,” Peters said. “I’m glad this budget recognizes this and provides effective means of keeping our communities safe.”

The budget must be approved by the House of Representatives before being sent to the governor. With the governor’s signature, the budget approved by the Senate today would take effect July 1.

Category: Press Releases

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