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Aquino’s plan to protect voting rights becomes law

aquino 082119CHICAGO – A measure that safeguards the voting rights of incarcerated individuals awaiting trial introduced by State Senator Aquino (D-Chicago) was signed by Gov. JB Pritzker today.

“Every citizen who is eligible to vote must be provided with the opportunity to cast their ballot,” said Aquino. “Thousands of eligible voters who are detained before trial are systematically denied that right. Coupled with a justice system that disproportionately jails people of color, there is a clear effort to suppress the vote in communities of color across the country.”

Rehabilitation classes may reduce required prison time under Lightford plan

lightford 041119SPRINGFIELD – Prison inmates who are required to serve most of their sentences could soon reduce them by successfully completing classes aimed at rehabilitation under a proposal led by Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood).

“Our criminal justice system is in desperate need of reforms that reduce recidivism and promote rehabilitation,” Lightford said. “This law will incentivize education and prepare inmates to re-enter society.”

Currently, individuals sentenced under truth-in-sentencing provisions, who are required to serve 85 percent or 100 percent of their sentence, are ineligible to receive sentencing credit for successful completion of classes with educational, substance abuse, vocational or re-entry focus.

Other incarcerated persons can currently receive additional sentence credits for engaging in full-time substance abuse programs, correctional industry assignments, educational programs, behavior modification programs, life skills courses or re-entry planning programs.

House Bill 94 allows for individuals serving a sentence for an offense committed before the enactment of truth-in-sentencing on June 19, 1998 to be eligible for 45 or 90 days of good time sentence credits for completion of those programs. It also makes those who obtain a bachelor’s, master’s, or professional degree while incarcerated or in pre-trial detention eligible for 180 days of sentence credits.

Currently, the Director of the Department of Corrections can award an additional 180 days of good conduct credit to incarcerated individuals for compliance with rules or service to the public. The department is also required to provide an additional 90 days of sentence credit to any incarcerated person who passes high school equivalency testing while incarcerated.

The law goes under effect on January 1, 2020.

Glowiak Hilton champions new laws to encourage residents to pursue vocational training

glowiak 040419OAKBROOK TERRACE – Illinois now has new laws in place to encourage residents to pursue vocational training programs.

State Senator Suzy Glowiak Hilton (D-Western Springs) supported three new laws that will help expand and attract students to vocational and apprenticeship programs to help expand the state’s economy.

Glowiak Hilton, an engineer herself, passed a new law that will require the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to conduct a study on the potential expansion of apprenticeship programs.

The study outlined in Senate Bill 2024 will focus on underserved communities with high unemployment. The Commerce Department will report its findings and recommendations to the General Assembly by June 1, 2020.

“This study will ensure that the state dedicates more time to research how we can better meet the needs of employers across Illinois, Glowiak Hilton said. “Our goal is to ensure the state’s workforce is meeting the needs of employers to maximize opportunities to grow our economy.”

Glowiak Hilton also supported two measures to increase enrollment in apprenticeship and workforce development programs in Illinois.

The first, Senate Bill 1167, creates the Adult Vocational Community College Scholarship Program, administered by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.  The program would help support non-traditional students. The scholarship would be enough to cover the cost of tuition and fees to attend the community college without exceeding $2,000 per recipient per academic year.

“This new program will open up the doors for non-traditional students who are struggling with the costs of vocational programs,” Glowiak Hilton said. “Removing financial blocks will help equip Illinois workers with the training to be successful in jobs of the future.”

The second, Senate Bill 1591, creates a tax credit of $3,500 to incentivize employers to assist apprentices with tuition at Illinois community colleges. The credit is limited to employers engaged in a registered apprenticeship program with the U.S. Department of Labor.

“By investing in our workforce’s education, we are investing in our state’s future and economic prosperity,” Glowiak Hilton said. “Let’s continue to work together to ensure workers are ready to meet the needs of the companies of the 21st century and beyond.”

Fifty-three percent of Illinois jobs require more than a high school degree but less than a four-year college degree, yet only 43 percent of Illinois workers are trained at that level.

These measures received bipartisan support. Senate Bill 1167 goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2020 while Senate Bill 1591 and Senate Bill 2024 go into effect immediately.

New law reaffirms protections for childhood sexual abuse victims

link 030719SPRINGFIELD – Childhood sexual abuse victims would be reaffirmed in their right to bring civil charges against their perpetrator and those who fraudulently concealed their crime under a proposal sponsored by State Senator Terry Link (D-Indian Creek) that was signed into law yesterday by Gov. Pritzker. 

“Childhood sexual abuse is a trauma that most of us cannot even fathom,” Link said. “While healing may take years or even decades, confronting an accuser is often an integral part of the healing process for survivors. Our laws should reflect our values that victims and their rights should be protected.”

Link’s new law – which passed under Senate Bill 1868 – reaffirms the ability of victims of childhood sexual abuse cases to bring a civil claim against an abuser or an individual who fraudulently concealed the crime. The law will ensure victims are able to recoup civil damages if there is evidence that their perpetrator intentionally tried to conceal the crime.

Link introduced the proposal after a report issued by former Attorney General Lisa Madigan in December of 2018 revealed accusations of child sexual abuse against nearly 700 Catholic priests throughout Illinois.

In 2013, Link passed a law eliminating the statute of limitations on bringing civil claims for damages from childhood sexual abuse.

“While it is impossible to go back in time and prevent these horrific crimes from occurring, we should be doing everything in our power to seek justice for these individuals,” Link said.

Senate Bill 1868 was signed yesterday and goes into effect immediately.

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News Releases

IMAGE Rehabilitation classes may reduce required prison time under Lightford plan
Wednesday, 21 August 2019
SPRINGFIELD – Prison inmates who are required to serve most of their sentences could soon reduce them by successfully completing classes aimed at...

Read More...
IMAGE Glowiak Hilton champions new laws to encourage residents to pursue vocational training
Wednesday, 21 August 2019
OAKBROOK TERRACE – Illinois now has new laws in place to encourage residents to pursue vocational training programs. State Senator Suzy Glowiak...

Read More...
IMAGE New law reaffirms protections for childhood sexual abuse victims
Wednesday, 21 August 2019
SPRINGFIELD – Childhood sexual abuse victims would be reaffirmed in their right to bring civil charges against their perpetrator and those who...

Read More...
IMAGE Castro law expands Illinois Human Rights Act to cover more workers
Wednesday, 21 August 2019
ELGIN – More workers, including those working for small employers, will have protection under a new law sponsored by State Senator Cristina Castro...

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IMAGE Belt law provides neglected schools more cash flow
Wednesday, 21 August 2019
SPRINGFIELD – Legislation sponsored by State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Centreville) that will allow impoverished school districts to issue more...

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