041823KP1625SPRINGFIELD – A measure increasing the baseline financial penalty for civil rights violations sponsored by State Senator Robert Peters passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

“Discrimination has unfortunately been on the rise,” said Peters (D-Chicago). “Victims of civil rights violations don’t ask to be discriminated against and deserve every bit of compensation they can get.”

House Bill 2248 would allow state claims for violations of federal civil rights acts to be heard in any court with jurisdiction. The measure also provides that Illinois courts may award no less than $4,000 in damages.

Under Peters’ measure, violators are liable for damages for past, current, and future monetary losses, emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life and other non-monetary losses.

“You can’t put a price on remedying emotional distress, especially when caused by discrimination,” Peters said. “This measure doesn’t seek to put a price on rectifying discrimination but instead ensures those suffering as a result of discrimination receive a financial offset to help them move forward with their lives.”

House Bill 2248 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee and will now head to the Senate floor for further consideration.

Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD —  Members of the Illinois Senate Black Caucus released the following statement after two Black Democratic Tennessee lawmakers were expelled for speaking out against gun violence:

“Representatives Justin Pearson and Justin Jones did what any upstanding lawmaker should do: stand firm in their fight to protect the children and families from gun violence that has become all too prevalent across the nation.

“Yet through a racist power grab, their voices were stifled. This is a farce on our democracy.

“We aren’t just disheartened by this action — we are angry. In Illinois, we maintain our commitment to taking gun violence — in all communities — seriously.”

Category: Press Releases

033023SC3104SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Robert Peters’ measure broadening the civil liberties of individuals on probation passed the Senate Thursday.

“Individuals sentenced to probation are under vigilant supervision at any given time,” said Peters (D-Chicago). “Conditions of probation should not include restrictions that prevent a person from readjusting back into modern society.”

Senate Bill 1886 provides that if a court orders testing for cannabis or alcohol, a statement detailing the relation between the condition of probation and the crime must be provided. Under the measure, individuals on probation will not be charged for costs associated with mandatory testing.

Peters’ legislation also prevents courts from ordering a person on probation, conditional discharge or supervision to refrain from use or consumption of any substance lawfully prescribed by a medical provider or authorized by the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act.

“Eliminating barriers so those on probation with a medical diagnoses that constitute a medical cannabis card should be an option regardless of their history of justice system involvement,” said Peters. “Easing  medicinal limitations and financial constraints from mandated testing grants self-determination to those on probation.”

Senate Bill 1886 passed the Senate and will now head to the House for further consideration.

Category: Press Releases

032223SC2676SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Robert Peters advanced an initiative that redefines assistant state's attorneys, assistant public defenders, assistant appellate defenders, assistant appellate prosecutors and attorneys in the office of the Cook County Public Guardian as non-managerial employees.

“Public employees are entitled to the right to negotiate their wages, hours and other conditions of employment,” said Peters (D-Chicago). “Clarifying the definition of non-managerial employees empowers those classified as public employees to exercise those rights.”

In addition to changing the definition of non-managerial employees, Senate Bill 2371 adds the additional provision that such employees may be considered a managerial employee if there is a finding of fact determining that an individual attorney's job duties in a given office classify that worker as a managerial employee.

“This measure ultimately promotes the health and safety of public employees as the updated definitions ensure systematic and consistent procedures for the protection of employee rights,” said Peters. “I look forward to the improved labor relations between public employers and their employees.”

Senate Bill 2371 passed the Senate and will now head to the House floor for further consideration.

Category: Press Releases

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