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

032423CM0219SPRINGFIELD – In response to the rapid development of Artificial Intelligence, State Senator Robert Peters is carrying a measure to create the Generative AI and Natural Language Processing Task Force.

“The recent developments in the audio and video capabilities of artificial intelligence have become alarming,” said Peters (D-Chicago). “Proactively creating a task force to track and study these advancements allows Illinois to stay informed.”

Generative AI is a type of artificial intelligence technology that can produce various types of content including text, imagery, audio and synthetic data. Its recent rise in popularity has been driven by the simplicity of new user interfaces for creating high-quality text, graphics and videos in a matter of seconds.

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 would consist of 20 members and should hold at least five public meetings in Chicago, Springfield, Metro East, Quad Cities and Southern Illinois.

“To be clear, there are benefits to artificial intelligence,” Peters said. “This measure seeks to maintain understanding and awareness and will help safeguard the interests of all Illinoisans.”

House Bill 3563 passed the Senate State Government Committee and will now head to the Senate floor for further consideration.


Category: Press Releases

041823KP1623SPRINGFIELD – With the intention of addressing the No Representation Without Population Act, State Senator Robert Peters carried a measure to ensure the master record file of the Department of Corrections and the Department of Juvenile Justice contains the racial background and the last known complete street address of an individual prior to their incarceration.

“The creation of the No Representation Without Population Act was a great start at ending prison gerrymandering,” said Peters (D-Chicago). “Expanding on that legislation to guarantee we have the correct addresses for those impacted by the justice system will ensure its effectiveness to the fullest extent.”

House Bill 1496 requires the clerk of the sentencing court to report the person's last known complete street address prior to incarceration, the person's race, whether the person is of Hispanic or Latino origin and whether the person is 18 years of age or older. During census years, the measure also requires the Department of Corrections to deliver to the State Board of Elections the last known street address of the person prior to incarceration, or to report an address collected for the purposes of parole, mandatory supervised release or aftercare release programs if their address of residence is unknown.

“Legislators have a moral obligation to represent their entire constituency, not just those who aren’t affected by the justice system,” Peters said. “I’m thankful for the community partners that have their ear to the ground and help ensure the measures we pass are actually doing the work we intend them to do.”

House Bill 1496 passed the Senate Executive Committee and will now head to the Senate floor for further consideration.

Category: Press Releases

We want to hear from you

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

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