042723CM0303CHICAGO – State Senator Robert Peters released the following statement in response to the Illinois Supreme Court’s ruling on the pretrial release portions of the SAFE-T Act:

“I am extremely proud that our state’s highest court is prioritizing public safety over wealth. This historic decision is the culmination of over a decade of organizing from countless grassroots organizations that deal directly with vulnerable communities in which cash bail has affected, including groups that support survivors of gender-based violence. I would like to take this opportunity to specifically thank the Coalition to End Money Bond, the State’s Attorneys Association, the Sheriff’s Association and survivor advocates for their assistance in getting pretrial fairness across the finish line.

“In the aftermath of this historical achievement, I expect there to be backlash and calls for the reinstatement of a cash bail system in response to controversial legal cases. Let me be clear: cash bail delegitimizes criminal justice systems and transforms them into systems that violate public safety instead of upholding it. Illinois will not go back. We will only move forward with our goal of ensuring public safety for all Illinoisans, regardless of their background or financial position.” 

Read more about the SAFE-T Act here.

Category: Press Releases


SPRINGFIELD –To reduce wage theft and provide workers with more time to recover wages owed to them, State Senator Robert Peters’ measure extending the recovery time was signed into law.

 “Wage theft is no better than regular theft. It uplifts the State on the backs of the working class,” said Peters (D-Chicago). “This measure seeks to give working people more time to recover unpaid wages.”

Under previous minimum wage laws, the Illinois Department of Labor was able to recover wages on behalf of an employee but was not always able to locate and pay the employee by the time investigations and court processes were completed. Peters’ new law extends the time for wage recovery to three years to give the Department of Labor and employees more time to recover back wages.

Additionally, Peters’ law ensures that money recovered and held beyond the three-year recovery period is deposited into the Wage Theft Enforcement Fund and the Unclaimed Property Trust Fund. Previously, unclaimed wages held by the Department of Labor beyond the recovery time were transferred to the state’s General Revenue Fund.

“Educating employees on where they can find their money is more rewarding than placing their earnings into the General Revenue Fund,” Peters said. “Boosting the General Revenue Fund with recovered wages that people are owed is not an ethical or sustainable way to increase revenue. People deserve as much time as possible to recover their unpaid wages.”

 House Bill 3227 was signed into law Friday.


Category: Press Releases

022223CM0089SPRINGFIELD – Financial penalties for civil rights violations will increase starting Jan. 1, 2024, thanks to a new law sponsored by State Senator Robert Peters.

“Civil rights violations are serious—especially if they are committed by a business that receives federal funding,” said Peters (D-Chicago). “The way we handle civil rights violations as a state plays a critical role in the message we are sending to Illinoisans, businesses and our neighboring states.”

Peters’ new law allows state claims for violations of federal civil rights laws to be heard in any court with jurisdiction. The new law allows Illinois courts to award no less than $4,000 in damages or other relief for violations, including damages for past, current, and future monetary losses, emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and other non-monetary losses.

“By eliminating barriers preventing Illinois courts from intervening in these cases and increasing the financial penalties for civil rights violations, we are reinforcing Illinois’ commitment of being a welcoming state for people of all backgrounds,” said Peters. “We are a state that puts action behind our commitments. This new law is another example of that.”

House Bill 2248 was signed into law Friday.

Category: Press Releases

051023CM1127SPRINGFIELD – The definition of a delinquent minor has changed thanks to a new law sponsored by State Senator Robert Peters.

“We wouldn’t want our neighboring states to overreach and prosecute Illinois minors,” said Peters (D-Chicago). “This new law prevents the overreach of an outside state, which could ultimately blur state borders.”

Peters’ measure changes the Juvenile Court Act to prevent a minor from being subject to Illinois court proceedings for behavior deemed unlawful by another state’s laws even if that behavior is not criminal in Illinois. Under Peters’ law, a minor will only be subject to Illinois delinquency proceedings for violations of Illinois law committed in Illinois.

“Vulnerable communities often bear the impact of subtle loopholes,” said Peters. “Closing this loophole protects our vulnerable communities and reinforces Illinois as a state that can handle their own court proceedings.”

House Bill 2223 was signed into law Friday and goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2024.

Category: Press Releases

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