Text Size
Login

Peters

  • parent mentor program 051619More than 600 supporters of a nationally recognized parent engagement program gathered Thursday to increase awareness of their successes in building relationships between students, teachers and parents. State Senators Omar Aquino and Robert Peters spoke to the Parent Mentor Program group at their rally in the Howlett Building.

    The Parent Mentor Program guides how community organizations partner with schools to recruit parents to assist teachers. Before coming into the classroom, parent mentors take part in a week-long leadership training program. They are then assigned to a classroom where they are mentored by a teacher. They work directly with students.

  • Sens. Peters, Hunter and MartinezSPRINGFIELD – Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez spoke Thursday on the need for clarity in state law regarding worker cooperatives, a model in which businesses are owned and controlled cooperatively by workers.

    “Worker cooperatives are a proven model that provide living wage jobs, especially for workers in communities of color, who often work in the low-wage economy where wage theft and discrimination are extremely common,” Martinez said.

    Martinez is sponsoring House Bill 3663, which would provide clarity of what a worker cooperative is and the benefits and rights of those that operate under its construct. It also sets guidelines for organizing and managing a worker cooperative.

  • civics 050819SPRINGFIELD – A new bill sponsored by State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) would require the Department of Corrections to provide civics education to incarcerated people who will soon be released.

    “Jails and prisons are meant to provide rehabilitation, and that means helping re-entry into society,” Peters said. “These folks have already lost their rights while locked up, and so they need to understand these rights so that they can resume being free citizens upon their release.”

    House Bill 2541 creates the Re-Entering Citizens Civics Education Act and requires the Departments of Corrections and Juvenile Justice to provide non-partisan, peer-led civics programs throughout Illinois correctional facilities to incarcerated people who will be released within 12 months. The curriculum of the program will consist of voting rights, governmental institutions, current affairs, and simulations of voter registration, election, and democratic processes, and are purely educational.

    Having passed the Senate Criminal Law Committee, the legislation now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

  • peters 050719SPRINGFIELD – Further showing his commitment to youth in care, State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) is sponsoring legislation expanding access to services available to post-placement and post-adoption children.

    “I’m a child of adoption, so I have first-hand experience of how important these services are to youth in care,” Peters said. “I want kids who are adopted or placed in foster care to have greater access than I did to the helpful services they require.”

    The legislation, House Bill 3587:

    • adds mental health treatment, counseling and support services for emotional, behavioral, or developmental needs, and treatment for substance abuse to the definition of “post-placement and post-adoption services.”
    • expands the requirements of the Department of Children and Family Services to establish and maintain accessible services.
    • requires DCFS to establish and maintain a toll-free number to respond to public requests about the service.
    • requires DCFS to properly publicize the new services and the toll-free number.

    The bill is an initiative of the Adoption Law Committee of the Chicago Bar Association. The organization has argued the legislation will better ensure successful adoptions and lower the rate of children being returned to state care.

    Having passed the Senate Human Services Committee, the bill now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

  • SNAP students 031919SPRINGFIELD – College students who are potentially eligible for SNAP benefits will now have more opportunities to learn about the program under a new bill proposed by State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago).

    “Many students rely on SNAP benefits in order to not go hungry, but a lot of folks aren’t taking advantage of these benefits because they don’t even realize they’re eligible,” Peters said.

    Senate Bill 1641 requires the Illinois Student Assistance Commission to identify and flag college students who are potentially eligible candidates to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. The bill also requires the Commission to develop a notice that includes SNAP eligibility requirements and other additional information and post that notice to places where students are likely to encounter it.

    The bill passed through the Senate by a vote of 46 – 1, and will move on to the House of Representatives.

  • Senator PetersSPRINGFIELD – If a person charged with a misdemeanor is determined by a court to be mentally unfit to stand trial, a bill sponsored by State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) would allow them to be transferred into diversionary programs instead of entering the criminal justice system.

    “People who have mental health issues need to be helped, not neglected,” Peters said. “If we’re able to offer these folks a program that can serve as an alternative to incarceration, we can take a big first step towards ending the criminalization of mental illness.”

    These programs, known as “misdemeanant diversion programs,” work to identify individuals with mental illnesses, provide them with stabilizing treatment, and direct them toward community provided mental health services and away from incarceration.

    Senate Bill 1188 requires the defendant to be assessed and their eligibility for the programs to be screened and still leaves the final say up to the court. The defendant’s charges may be dismissed with or without prejudice, again left to the discretion of the court, if approved for a diversionary program.

    The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 56-0 and will be sent to the House of Representatives.

  • peters 021919SPRINGFIELD – Seeking career education is a path that requires fees, tuition and tools, but eligible youth could have those associated costs lessened under a plan proposed by State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago).

    Senate Bill 1525 requires the Department of Children and Family Services to provide a stipend covering the upfront costs incurred upon entering an apprenticeship program. New apprentices often are on the hook for fees, tuition, and clothing and tools specific to their chosen occupation. The stipend would be provided to youth who are currently a responsibility of DCFS, who aged out of care upon reaching the age of 18, or who were formerly in DCFS and were adopted or placed in guardianship.

    “A lot of folks find themselves unable to pay for the upfront cost of starting an apprenticeship, which prevents them from entering into that field and forces them to find work that might not pay as well or have as many benefits,” Peters said. “Life in youth care is hard, and we shouldn’t make it harder for the kids aging out of youth care by keeping in place another systemic barrier.”

    The bill also requires DCFS to develop a plan to increase awareness of the program. It was approved by the Senate with unanimous bipartisan support and will be sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

  • peters_nasw_small

    SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers held its Advocacy Day event earlier this morning. State Senators Robert Peters and Ram Villivalam both gave remarks in front of the NASW audience.

    NASW Illinois has over 7,000 members consisting of social workers across the state of Illinois. Its annual Advocacy Day is an opportunity for members to talk to lawmakers and spread information about the issues important to the Association.

    Villivalam (D-Chicago), who spent time prior to joining the State Senate as a legislative coordinator for Service Employees International Union Healthcare, spoke about the importance of the social work profession.

  • Senator PetersSPRINGFIELD – Children in the state’s foster care system will be given an opportunity to have their voices heard about issues within the system that affect them under a measure sponsored by State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago).

    “No one knows the foster care system better than the foster kids themselves,” Peters said. “It’s much easier to learn the areas where the system is lacking if we can hear directly from the children in the program.”

    Senate Bill 1743 mandates the Department of Children and Family Services to develop, process and administer a standardized survey to gather feedback from youth who are currently aging out or who have recently aged out of the foster care system. The aim is to help DCFS and supporting agencies identify deficiencies in the system by learning about them from the people directly affected by them, leading to changes in policy to help address these issues.

    The bill passed the Senate with unanimous support. It was the first bill sponsored by Peters to pass through the Senate and on to the House of Representatives since he joined the Senate in January.

    “It’s an honor to have passed my first bill, but also a relief,” Peters said. “I’m confident that this is the start of a productive year in the Senate.”

  • StudentsSPRINGFIELD – College students who are potentially eligible for SNAP benefits will now have more opportunities to learn about the program under a new bill proposed by State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago).

    “Many students rely on SNAP benefits in order to not go hungry, but a lot of folks aren’t taking advantage of these benefits because they don’t even realize they’re eligible,” Peters said.

    Senate Bill 1641 requires the Illinois Student Assistance Commission to identify and flag college students who are potentially eligible candidates to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. The bill also requires the Commission to develop a notice that includes SNAP eligibility requirements and other additional information and post that notice to places where students are likely to encounter it.

    The bill passed through the Senate Committee on Human Services with no opposition. It is scheduled to be considered by the full Senate.

  • Student DriverSPRINGFIELD – A new bill sponsored by State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) would help improve the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians.

    Senate Bill 1642 requires drivers’ education courses to include instruction on bicycle and pedestrian safety beginning in the 2020-21 school year. The curriculum would include instructions on how to safely pass bicyclists and pedestrians while driving, how to safely exit a vehicle without endangering bicyclists and pedestrians and how to navigate through intersections shared with bicyclists and pedestrians.

    “I represent areas of Jackson Park and of Downtown Chicago, which have a higher than average number of accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists, have just as much of a right to the road as drivers do,” Peters said. “However, many drivers’ education courses only prepare drivers for how to safely be around other drivers.

    “This poses a huge threat to pedestrians and bicyclists,” Peters said. “By including these new safety instructions in drivers’ education courses, we can reduce the risk of injury that bicyclists and pedestrians face on a daily basis.”

    The measure passed through the Senate Education Committee unanimously and moves to the full Senate for consideration.

  • Senator PetersSPRINGFIELD – A resolution sponsored by State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) urges the United States Congress to guarantee automatic citizenship for children adopted by a U.S. citizen.

    “I know from first-hand experience that the life of an adopted child is difficult enough without the possibility of being stateless,” Peters said. “The protection of the U.S. government should not be denied to children because of things that happened before they were born. Granting them citizenship is the right thing to do.”

    House Joint Resolution 24 states that both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly regard the granting of citizenship to all qualifying children adopted by a U.S. citizen as a civil right regardless of the date the adoption occurred, and that they condemn the deportation of individuals who were adopted into American homes and therefore have expectations of citizenship. The resolution also urges the U.S. Congress and the President of the United States to enact legislation codifying the tenets of the resolution.

    The resolution passed through both chambers of the General Assembly with unanimous bipartisan support, and is therefore officially enacted.

  • hastings 031319Legislation would improve accessibility of mental health treatment

    SPRINGFIELD – A package of legislation to improve accessibility to mental health treatment was announced this morning at a news conference with Illinois lawmakers.

    State Senator Michael E. Hastings is a supporter of the initiative.

    “It’s no secret that we have a societal problem on our hands with the accessibility of mental health treatment,” Hastings (D-Tinley Park) said. “We must make sure those who need help are able to receive it as quickly and safely as possible. This package is a necessary step as we in the Illinois Senate look to make mental health treatments more accessible to those in need.”

  • peters 031219SPRINGFIELD – A new bill sponsored by State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) requires numerous state agencies to provide support services to youth who are aging out of the Department of Children and Family Services care.

    “Everyone isn’t magically able to take care of themselves once they become too old to fall under DCFS care,” Peters said. “The unfortunate reality for a lot of folks who age out of the program is that their struggles continues, and often get worse.”

    Senate Bill 1808 is an initiative of the Illinois Chapter of the Foster Care Alumna of America. Studies have found that a significant percentage of young people between the ages of 19 and 21 who are former foster children experience homelessness, substance abuse, incarceration and difficulty receiving an education.

    The measure requires many state agencies, including DCFS, the Illinois State Board of Education, The Illinois Urban Development Authority, and the Departments of Human Services, Juvenile Justice, Corrections, Healthcare and Family Services, and Human Services to enter into an interagency agreement to provide preventative services to youth who are currently or who soon will be aging out of DCFS care.

    The agencies would be required to provide services that include housing support, educational support and employment support.

    “Vulnerable youth don’t stop being vulnerable when they turn 18,” Peters said. “Many still need support, and this bill gives it to them.”

    The bill passed through the Senate Committee on Human Services by a vote of 8 – 0 with two members voting present. It moves to the full Senate for consideration.

  • peters 021919SPRINGFIELD – Under a new bill sponsored by State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago), eligible youth will be provided a stipend to cover the costs associated with entering an apprenticeship.

    “Many apprenticeships have a high cost of entry, which can create burdens for youth who can’t afford these costs, or even outright prevent youths from entering the programs,” Peters said. “If we can help ease the burden for the youth of our state, we can help them set themselves up on a path towards more successful and fulfilling lives.”

    Senate Bill 1525 would require the Department of Children and Family Services to provide the stipend to youth who are currently a responsibility of DCFS, who aged out of care upon reaching the age of 18, or who were formerly in DCFS and were adopted or placed in guardianship. The stipend would cover the up-front costs of entering an apprenticeship, including fees, tuition, work clothes, rain gear, boot and tools that are specific to the occupation.

    The measure would also require DCFS to develop outreach programs in order to make those eligible for the program aware of it. It passed through the Senate Committee on Human Services by a vote of 10 – 0 and moves to the full Senate for consideration.

  • Senator Peters

    SPRINGFIELD – After viewing Gov. JB Pritzker’s 2019 Budget Address, State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) released the following statement:

    “The previous four years have conditioned me to automatically dislike the annual Budget Address, so it was a pleasant surprise to hear that Gov. Pritzker’s vision for the future of the state is one that is beneficial to all of the people who live here.

    “I’d like to congratulate the governor for what I believe to be some very important and advantageous promises that he made in his speech. I’m glad he vows to increase investment in early childhood and K-12 education, because delivering folks a good, fulfilling life has to start young.

    “I’m glad he vows to invest in social services like the CCAP program and disability services, because supporting those who need it throughout their entire lives is one of the most crucial functions of government.

    “I’m glad he vows to invest in criminal justice efforts and violence prevention programs, as well as move to legalize recreational marijuana. However, I do caution that any attempt to legalize marijuana must be paired with expungement legislation so that folks who are currently in prison for marijuana offenses have a path toward release once it becomes legalized.

    “This is a very good foundation upon which we can build a brighter future for everyone in Illinois that will help bridge the income inequality gap that plagues our state.

    “I recently read an article about the income inequality in Chicago, which is growing at an alarming and potentially unsustainable rate. This hit home for me, because that’s where I live. It’s where I grew up, it’s where the people I represent live.

    “We can use this budget as a springboard to leap toward more progressive forms of revenue, particularly a fair, progressive income tax that shifts the burden off of the black and brown working class families and onto the wealthy people who can afford to pay their fair share.

    “This is a very promising budget. It’s not fully where it needs to be just yet, but I’m confident that with enough hard work, the General Assembly can use this budget as a starting point towards a functional, stable government that works for everyone and leaves no one behind.”

  • Peters2019CHICAGO – State Senator Robert Peters (D – Chicago) will spend two weeks in February touring the 13th Senate district to meet constituents and discuss their expectations for him in Springfield.

    “My biggest concern as a Senator is to ensure that the communities I represent are receiving the attention they require,” Peters said. “I want to actively pursue the goals the people of this district believe to be important, and there’s no better way to do that then to come directly to the people of the 13th District.”

  • peters 010919SPRINGFIELD —State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) joined colleagues on Wednesday to be sworn in to the Illinois State Senate, replacing former Senator Kwame Raoul.

    Peters is a former community organizer who was born and raised on Chicago’s South Side. He overcame immense personal hurdles in his early life, having been born deaf and with a speech impediment, and credits his community for never letting him down.

    “I hope my appointment to the Senate shows other young people that it doesn’t take bootstraps to succeed – it takes community,” Peters said. “As senator, I will give back to those who gave me a chance by focusing on issues important to my district, like a balanced budget, criminal justice reform, clean energy jobs and quality public education.”

    Peters has also been named secretary for the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus. He will represent the 13th Senate District, which stretches along Lake Michigan from downtown Chicago through the South Side.

    For more information on Senator Peters and to contact him, visit his website at www.senatorrobertpeters.com.

  • peters swearingin 010719SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) was sworn in to the Illinois Senate on Sunday, Jan. 6, to fill the seat vacated by Attorney General-elect Kwame Raoul.

    Peters is a political activist born and raised on the South Side of Chicago. He was born deaf and with a speech impediment, to a biological mother who was addicted to drugs and alcohol. He credits his experience being raised by his adopted mother, a social worker, and father, a civil rights lawyer, for his passion for public service.