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  • aquino 053118SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Omar Aquino (D-Chicago) praised Attorney General Kwame Raoul for joining a coalition of 22 attorneys general in opposition to the potential deportation of people who hold Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

    “At a time when immigrants are being relentlessly attacked by the President of the United States, I am happy to see that the State of Illinois under Attorney General Raoul will stand up to protect these people,” said Aquino.

    TPS protects individuals whose countries are affected by war, natural disasters and other crises. There are approximately 300,000 people in the United States who hold TPS. The Department of Homeland Security announced in 2017 that it plans to terminate TPS for individuals from El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan.

    “The people who hold Temporary Protected Status fled to the United States due to war, climate disasters, and other tragedies,” said Aquino. “The Department of Homeland Security has made it clear that they are going to carry out the president’s racist agenda and target immigrants of color. We cannot allow this to go on, and I am grateful for Attorney General Raoul’s commitment.”

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  • raoul 053118SPRINGFIELD —  Legislation sponsored State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) providing additional protections and rights for survivors of sexual assault or abuse is headed to the governor’s desk.  

    Senate Bill 3404 creates the Survivors’ Bill of Rights, filling in gaps in Illinois’ current laws and bringing the state in line with federal guidelines.

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    SPRINGFIELD —  The Senate voted today to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of legislation sponsored by State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) that gives the Attorney General greater ability to enforce employment laws.

    Currently, the Attorney General can file suit under the state’s employment laws with a referral from the Department of Labor. This legislation removes that requirement and empowers the Attorney General to bring suits related to violations of laws like the Prevailing Wage Act, the Minimum Wage Act and the Day and Temporary Labor Services Act.

    “We know there are workers who are getting their hard-earned wages taken from them by employers and having their rights violated in other ways,” Raoul said. “Valid claims should not get lost in bureaucratic red tape. It makes no sense to have laws on the book to protect workers if we don’t enforce them.

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  • sneakers 050918Senators swapped their wingtips and pumps for sneakers on Thursday during Suits and Sneakers Day at the Capitol.

    Each January, the American Cancer Society teams up with the National Association of Basketball Coaches for Suits and Sneakers Awareness Week, during which the coaches wear sneakers instead of dress shoes on the court. The week’s mission is to increase awareness of the pervasiveness of cancer and promote fundraising and healthy living initiatives.

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  • raoul 042718SPRINGFIELD — State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) passed legislation yesterday to ensure all officer-involved shootings are properly investigated.

    Senate Bill 2378 requires every law enforcement agency in the state to develop a written policy for the internal review of officer-involved shootings that would be available by request under the Freedom of Information Act.

    This legislation comes after a report from the Better Government Association which found that suburban police departments were neglecting to take administrative action after officers were involved in shootings.

    “I have spent years working to improve relations between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve,” Raoul said. “Establishing trust is an essential part of that effort, and that is impossible to do if police aren’t held accountable for their actions.”

    An officer-involved death is a death of an individual directly resulting from the action or intentional negligence of a law enforcement officer on the job.

    Raoul previously passed a comprehensive package of legislation that focused on law enforcement reform and improving community relations.

    That measure, which was signed into law in 2015, requires law enforcement agencies to have an independent agency conduct investigations into officer-involved deaths. The legislation passed this week codifies that requirement to promote greater accountability.

    Senate Bill 2378 passed unanimously and heads to the House for consideration.

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  • raoul 031518SPRINGFIELD — State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) passed two pieces of legislation this week that provide additional protections and rights for survivors of sexual assault or abuse.

    Senate Bill 3404 creates the Survivors’ Bill of Rights, filling in gaps in Illinois’ current laws and bringing the state in line with federal guidelines.

    “It is vital that we do everything we can to provide resources for those who have suffered trauma related to sexual assault,” Raoul said. “We need survivors to know that their basic civil rights will be protected when they report this crime.”

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  • raoul 031518Measure passed today also bans the sale and use of bump stocks

    SPRINGFIELD —  One month after the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, that took the lives of 17 students and teachers, State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) passed legislation in the Senate allowing municipalities to regulate assault weapons and banning the use of bump stocks and trigger cranks.

    Currently, the authority to regulate assault weapons rests exclusively with the state, but this legislation returns that power to local governments.

    The measure also makes it illegal to sell, manufacture, purchase or possess bump stocks and trigger cranks.

    “Students around the country walked out today to remember the victims of the shooting in Parkland, Florida, and urge lawmakers to take action,” Raoul said. “I was proud to join my colleagues in a bipartisan show of support for them. But we are in a unique situation. We can do more than host a symbolic demonstration. We can take action, and I am proud that we did today.”

    Today’s vote coincided with a national school walk out, during which thousands of students peacefully protested gun violence and urged legislators to take action. Raoul joined members of the Illinois Senate this morning in a 20-minute walk out in solidarity with the students.

    House Bill 1467 passed the Senate 37-16 and now returns to the House for a concurrence vote.

  • raoul 030118 2SPRINGFIELD —  State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) issued the following statement today in response to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of the Gun Dealer Licensing Act:

    “It’s unconscionable for the governor to take this action when gun violence continues to plague communities across our state.

    “This is a personal issue for me. I have experienced gun violence just outside my front door on multiple occasions while my children were home, and I have close friends who lost children to gun violence within blocks of my home.

  • raoul 030118 2SPRINGFIELD — State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) passed legislation in the Senate today that gives the Illinois attorney general greater ability to enforce employment laws.

    Currently, the attorney general can file suit under the state’s employment laws with a referral from the Illinois Department of Labor. This legislation removes that requirement and empowers the attorney general to bring suits related to violations of such laws as the Prevailing Wage Act, the Minimum Wage Act and the Day and Temporary Labor Services Act.

    “We know there are workers who are getting their hard-earned wages taken from them by employers and having their rights violated in other ways,” Raoul said. “Valid claims should not get lost in bureaucratic red tape. It makes no sense to have laws on the book to protect workers if we don’t enforce them.

    Raoul worked closely with Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Belleville), who sponsored the measure in the House.

    “Corporate interests that take advantage of their employees must be held accountable,” Hoffman said. “This measure will give the attorney general’s office more tools to ensure Illinois workers have the right to a safe work environment and that they receive their rightfully owed wages.”

    Senate Bill 193 also creates a task force to promote cooperation between the attorney general and state’s attorneys in enforcing criminal violations of employment laws. It passed the Senate 35-16 and heads to the governor’s desk.

  • raoul 030118SPRINGFIELD — State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) introduced legislation today that provides additional protections and rights for survivors of sexual assault or abuse.  

    Senate Bill 3404 creates the Survivors’ Bill of Rights, filling in gaps in Illinois’ current laws and bringing the state in line with federal guidelines.

    In drafting the legislation, Raoul worked closely with Rise, a national civil rights nonprofit that worked with Congress to pass a federal Survivors’ Bill of Rights in 2016. The organization is working to create legislation in every state to protect the estimated 25 million survivors of sexual assault.

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  • raoul 022218SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) helped advance a measure Wednesday that puts in place a system for families to report individuals who pose a risk of using a gun to commit a violent crime.

    Raoul, the legislation’s chief co-sponsor, argued during the Senate Executive Committee against a former lobbyist for the National Rifle Association who now represents a group of gun dealers.

    “In order to stem the unacceptable tide of gun violence in our country, we have to attack the problem from every angle,” Raoul said. “Again and again, we hear that there were warning signs before a mass shooting. If we can do even one thing to prevent these tragedies, we absolutely must.” 

    The Lethal Violence Order of Protection Act allows a family member or a law enforcement officer to alert the courts that they believe an individual poses a significant risk of self-injury or danger to the public and has access to a firearm.

    If the court agrees, a judge can require that person to temporarily turn over any firearms in his or her possession.

    Raoul will introduce a companion bill that would allow schools, churches and places of business to grant similar orders of protection against individuals who pose a threat to themselves or others.

    Senate Bill 559 passed the Senate Executive Committee and will move to the Senate for further debate.

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