051823CM0471SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation may soon be required to collect and publish an annual report on the racial and ethnic makeup of applicants denied licensure, thanks to a measure sponsored by State Senator Robert Peters that passed the Senate on Friday.

“People of color often choose to start their own businesses as a means of upward financial and social mobility,” said Peters (D-Chicago). “Insuring they are effectively supported while seeking licensure will prevent the denial of applications and lay the groundwork for these businesses to be successful.”

Under current law, IDFPR doesn't collect this type of data in licensure applications. Peters’ measure would require the Department to request and report information regarding applicants’ ethnicity, race, sex and disability.

“Applying for licensing can be a complicated process,” Peters said. “Transparency of the racial and ethnic makeup of those who took appropriate steps to seek licensure but were denied is needed to ensure there isn’t a pattern of denials. If a pattern of denials concerning the racial and ethnic makeup of applicants is found, I look forward to working with the Department to eliminate the issue.”

House Bill 1612 passed the Senate Friday.

Category: Press Releases

051123CM0479SPRINGFIELD – In response to the rapid development of Artificial Intelligence, State Senator Robert Peters passed a measure to create the Generative AI and Natural Language Processing Task Force.

“Artificial intelligence is a relatively new concept, but it is quickly evolving,” said Peters (D-Chicago). “Tracking these advancements keeps Illinois in a position to make smart and proactive decisions to protect Illinoisans.”

Generative AI is a type of artificial intelligence technology that can produce various types of content including text, imagery, audio and synthetic data. The simplicity of its user interfaces for creating high-quality multimedia in a matter of seconds has contributed to its recent rise in popularity.

Natural Language Processing is the ability of a computer program to understand human language as it is spoken and written. This helps machines process and understand human language so they can automatically perform repetitive tasks.

The task force created by House Bill 3563 will consist of 20 members and will hold at least five public meetings in Chicago, Springfield, Metro East, Quad Cities and Southern Illinois.

“Artificial intelligence is undoubtedly an asset that could make Illinois a leader in the emerging technology sector,” Peters said. “This measure explores the possibilities of artificial intelligence while also initiating measures meant to preserve the safety of all Illinoisans.”

House Bill 3563 passed the Senate Thursday.

Category: Press Releases

051023CM1080SPRINGFIELD – A measure to help connect hospital patients to financial assistance for medical costs passed the Senate Thursday thanks to State Senator Robert Peters.

“Not everyone is fortunate enough to have health insurance to cover medical costs,” said Peters (D-Chicago). “These days, even people with medical insurance are financially vulnerable.”

House Bill 2719 requires hospitals to screen a patient for financial assistance eligibility and to 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.

“Cost savings programs that are available aren’t always promoted enough to folks who are financially vulnerable,” Peters said. “Hospitals aren’t always equipped with the resources to inform patients of financial assistance programs. This measure seeks to support both hospitals and hospital patients in a way that benefits the entire community.”

House Bill 2719 passed the Senate Thursday.

Category: Press Releases

050423CM0703SPRINGFIELD – Time served in county jail could soon be included as part of the minimum 60-day sentence required to earn discretionary sentence credit, thanks to State Senator Robert Peters.

“The mission of the Department of Corrections includes promoting progressive change for incarcerated individuals,” said Peters (D-Chicago). “Granting sentence credit to those who have participated in rehabilitation programs is not only in line with the mission of the Department of Corrections, but it reimagines the way we envision jails. Instead of correctional facilities, they should be treated as true rehabilitation centers.”

House Bill 3026 would change the Unified Code of Corrections to include time served in county jail as part of the minimum 60-day sentence required before the Director of Corrections may award discretionary earned sentence credit.

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 award sentence credit of up to 15% for a litany of crimes and offenses. House Bill 3026 empowers the Illinois Department of Corrections to award credits more fairly by recalculating previously-awarded credits and awarding new credits for participating in qualifying activities, such as educational programs or substance abuse treatment programs.

“Turning the clock back on a person’s sentence after they are transferred to a state correctional facility from a county jail benefits no one,” Peters said. “Treating incarcerated individuals as human beings by implementing common-sense methods fosters safer communities.”

House Bill 3026 passed the Senate Wednesday.

Category: Press Releases

We want to hear from you

COVID19 Updates

COVID-19 Resources

eNewsletter Signup
  1. First Name(*)
    Invalid Input
  2. Last Name(*)
    Invalid Input
  3. Your Email(*)
    Please let us know your email address.

Follow Sen. Peters


Contact Us

District Office:
1304 East 47th Street, Suite 205
Chicago, IL 60653
(773) 363-1996

(773) 830-2598

Springfield Office:
124 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-5338