050323CM0172SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Robert Peters passed a measure Thursday expanding the No Representation Without Population Act.

“Prison gerrymandering is a tool that makes incarcerated individuals unfairly represented in the electoral process,” said Peters (D-Chicago). “Using the correct demographic information for incarcerated individuals will ensure more equitable and suitable representation.”

The No Representation Without Population Act, requires incarcerated individuals be counted at their home address for redistricting purposes.

HB 1496 will require sentencing court clerks to record demographic information such as the incarcerated individual’s race, and whether the person is 18 years of age or older in addition to the person's last known street address prior to incarceration. During census years, the measure also requires the Department of Corrections to report to the State Board of Elections the last known street address of the individual before incarceration, or to report an address collected if the incarcerated individual is eligible for parole.

“This measure helps legislators have an accurate sense of their constituency,” Peters said. “Equal and fair representation is a founding principle of the United States. This measure preserves this fundamental principle.”

House Bill 1496 passed the Senate Thursday.

Category: Press Releases

041923CM0874CHICAGO – Chicago-area agencies are set to receive nearly $300,000 to improve local tourism efforts thanks to support from State Senator Robert Peters.

“Tourism is our way to share our history and our stories with visitors from all over the world,” said Peters (D-Chicago). “By providing funding for tourism attractions, we bolster our economies, create good-paying jobs, and strengthen the future of our communities.”

The Illinois Travel and Tourism Grant Program awarded $2.9 million in funding to 51 local governments, municipalities and nonprofit agencies for the development of tourist attractions and events. Additionally, the state will be matching funds to offset marketing expenses for expenditures such as promotional materials and production costs.

Navy Pier was awarded $100,000 to support the “Light Up the Lake” event, and the Chicago Architecture Foundation was awarded $95,032 to aid Chicago Architecture Biennial promotional efforts. Additionally, the Lookingglass Theatre Company and the Museum of Contemporary Art were awarded $100,000 and $65,000, respectively.

“People from every corner of the world visit Chicago,” Peters said. “I look forward to seeing these organizations using the funds in a way to preserve the international significance of Chicago tourism.”

To view a full list of Illinois Travel and Tourism Grant Program recipients, click here.

Category: Press Releases

041923CM0194SPRINGFIELD – A measure carried by State Senator Robert Peters that would help connect patients to financial assistance for hospital costs passed the Senate Health and Human Services Committee Tuesday.

“The costs associated with health care upkeep are high, especially for those with pre-existing conditions and those who don’t have medical insurance,” said Peters (D-Chicago). “People should not have to choose between crippling debt and receiving necessary medical treatment.”

House Bill 2719 would require hospitals to screen a patient for financial assistance eligibility and exhaust all cost-reducing avenues before taking a collection action against the patient. Additionally, the measure would provide a 90-day window for a patient to apply for financial assistance or hospital-provided discounts after receiving care.

“Everyone, regardless of race, zip code, or immigration status, deserves to be physically and financially healthy,” said State Representative Dagmara Avelar (D-Bolingbrook), the bill’s sponsor in the House. “If hospitals screen potential patients at the outset of care, we can get people the medical care they need without putting them into a large amount of debt.”

“There are many cost-saving programs out there that can help with medical expenses,” Peters said. “People can’t take advantage of things they don’t know about, and health institutions aren’t always equipped with the resources to inform their clients of these helpful programs. This measure seeks to reduce medical debt for our most vulnerable – those with pre-existing conditions. If passed, it will undoubtedly improve health outcomes in low-income communities.”

House Bill 2719 passed the Senate Health and Human Services Committee and will now head to the Senate floor for further consideration.

Category: Press Releases

032423CM0232SPRINGFIELD – A measure to include time served in county jail as part of the minimum 60-day sentence required in an effort to modernize earned sentence credit carried by State Senator Robert Peters passed the Senate Special Committee on Criminal Law and Public Safety Wednesday.

“Rehabilitation programs for individuals impacted by the justice system often help them develop the skills needed to be successful when they return home to their families,” said Peters (D-Chicago). “Rewarding earned sentence credit for their participation in these rehabilitation programs creates safer communities in the long run.”

According to the Alliance for Safety and Justice, opportunities for rehabilitation reduce crime and improve long-term public safety outcomes. The organization asserts that the public safety benefits of rehabilitation programs during incarceration are well-documented, and studies demonstrate that programming is most effective when paired with strong incentives for participation.

Under current law, Illinois correctional facilities may grant sentence credit of up to 15% for a litany of crimes and offenses. House Bill 3026 empowers the Illinois Department of Corrections to consistently award credits by recalculating previously awarded program credits and awarding new credits for qualifying activities, now eligible for 0.5 days of earned credit.

“Consistently awarding earned sentence credit assures everyone is given equitable opportunities,” Peters said. “If individuals impacted by the justice system are putting in the effort to improve and recover, they should be rewarded.”

House Bill 3026 passed the Senate Special Committee on Criminal Law and Public Safety and will now head to the Senate floor for further consideration.

Category: Press Releases

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