032423CM0248CHICAGO – Illinois will officially become the first state in the United States to end the use of cash bail on Monday, thanks to collaboration between Senator Peters, crime victim advocates, domestic violence groups, state’s attorneys and law enforcement.


“The struggle for changing our current criminal justice system into a system that prioritizes public safety over wealth has been a long and hard-fought battle, but now that we are on the other side, our focus is on ensuring effective implementation,” said Peters (D-Chicago). “We all have a responsibility to keep our ear to the ground and ensure people are not incarcerated simply because they cannot afford to pay their way out.”


The official end of cash bail — also known as the Pretrial Fairness Act, which is contained within the SAFE-T Act — comes two months after the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that the pretrial reform is constitutional in Illinois. Starting Sept. 18, individuals under a cash bail order will be granted a release hearing.

“Following the Illinois Supreme Court’s ruling, there have been attempts to spread misinformation. “This is our modern day civil rights fight. The misinformation around the Pretrial Fairness act hasn’t been seen since the rollout of Obamacare,” said Peters. “I encourage those who sought to undermine this law to focus on participating in good-faith discussions to help us protect the rights of all Illinoisans, instead of attempting to weaken the rights of individuals in marginalized communities.”

Read more about the SAFE-T Act here.

Category: Press Releases


CHICAGO – State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) released the following statement in response to false narratives spread by McLean County State’s Attorney Erika Reynolds in Bloomington-Normal based radio station, WGLT:

“Unlike the old system of cash bond, the Pretrial Fairness Act focuses on the immediate threat to others instead of cost when determining release. The transformational law preserves protections for crime survivors to ensure the very people who harmed them can’t do it again solely because they can afford to pay for their freedom.

“The Pretrial Fairness Act was the result of hours of testimony and negotiations with domestic violence advocates, gender-based violence survivors, proponents of reform, law enforcement and states attorneys at the table working to create a pathway to a better and more equitable criminal legal system.

“I will not stop preserving the essence of this landmark for justice by fighting back against the fearmongering and misinformation.”

Category: Press Releases


CHICAGO With support from State Senator Robert Peters, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity recently announced the latest round of Back to Business grants awarded to businesses in the restaurant industry.

“The pandemic hit restaurants and other businesses tremendously hard over these last few years,” said Peters (D-Chicago). “With grants like the Back to Business grant program, small family-owned shops can continue to thrive and hold their communities together.”

The Back to Business grant program provides recovery grants for small businesses throughout the state, with an emphasis on businesses in the hardest-hit industries. Through the Back to Business and Business Interruption Grant programs, DCEO has provided more than $535 million to more than 15,000 businesses since the start of the pandemic.

Fourteen restaurants in Peters’ district will receive a combined total of $515,000 through this round of Back to Business grants.

“Local restaurants are at the core of communities across the 13th District,” said Peters. “This program has allowed many restaurants to continue their operations and recover from the financial impact of recent years.”

For more information about B2B grants visit DCEO’s website.

Category: Press Releases


032323CM0200SPRINGFIELD State Senator Robert Peters’ measure establishing an annual report on the racial and ethnic makeup of applicants denied licensure by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional regulation was signed into law Friday.


“Appropriate licensure of businesses is an important stepping stone that allows businesses operate,” said Peters (D-Chicago). “We want businesses to thrive in Illinois. To make sure this is happening, we need our ears to the ground at every level to make sure we are doing everything we can to remove bias in the licensing process.”

Peters’ new law will require the Department to request and report information regarding applicants’ ethnicity, race, sex and disability. By March 1 each year, IDFPR is now required to publish a report with the demographic information it collected, the number of applications for licensure and renewal, and the number of applicants denied licensure in the preceding calendar year.

Under previous law, IDFPR was not required to collect this type of data in licensure applications.

“There comes a time when every information system, no matter how big or small, needs to be updated,” Peters said. “The system update required by this new law will shed light on areas that may need further action, such as a pattern in licensing application denials.”

House Bill 1612 was signed into law Friday.


Category: Press Releases

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