CHICAGO – State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) announced Wednesday that the Chicago Park district will receive a $625,000 grant to reconstruct Jackson Park.

“Jackson Park is an essential part of our community, and it has needed maintenance for some time,” Peters said. “I’m glad the Chicago Park District will receive the funds it needs to give Jackson Park the renovations that the people in our neighborhood who use it deserve.”

The grant will be provided as part of the Open Space Land Acquisition and Development program administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, which will fund nearly $30 million for Illinois park projects in 2020.

More information about Jackson Park can be found here.

Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) joined his Senate colleagues in electing Don Harmon to be the new Illinois Senate President on Sunday.

“The new leadership under President Harmon will provide a fresh opportunity to reimagine safety and justice in our community,” Peters said. “In 2019, we passed several major criminal justice reforms, but the way I see it, that was only the beginning. There’s a lot more work to be done, and I’m confident that President Harmon will be a strong ally in that fight.”

Peters thanked former President John J. Cullerton, who provided leadership and advice during Peters’ first year in the Senate.

“I only worked with President Cullerton as colleagues for a year, but despite that short time he proved to be a very effective mentor,” Peters said. “I’ll always be grateful to him for what he was able to teach me, and for the things he was able to help me achieve to help the folks in my community.”

President Harmon replaces Cullerton, who announced during a caucus meeting in November that he would be stepping down at the start of the 2020 session.

Category: Press Releases

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

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