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Hunter measure adds protections against discrimination based on hair style and texture in schools, workplace

hunter 031020SPRINGFIELD – School administrators and employers would no longer be able to enact policies banning dreadlocks, braids and other hairstyles, or punish those who wear them, under legislation introduced by State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago).

“Hair styles are a core part of African-American history and culture,” Hunter said. “Far too often, black women, men, and children are forced to suppress their cultural identity in order to more closely align with someone else’s culture. This legislation would end that.”

 

Senate passes Hunter measure making domestic battery convictions a disqualifier for school bus drivers

school buses 030420The measure also allows individuals convicted of providing liquor to minors over 20 years ago to become school bus drivers

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate approved legislation on Wednesday that makes various changes to the Illinois Secretary of State’s Driver Services Department, including a provision that would prohibit those convicted of aggravated domestic battery from obtaining a school bus driving permit. Senate Bill 2752 is sponsored by State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago).

“This is a matter a child safety. Serious violent crime convictions should be a non-starter for anyone responsible for the well-being of children,” Hunter said. “Parents deserve the peace of mind of knowing their children are in safe hands coming to and from school.”

Current law prohibits a person convicted of the lesser offense of domestic battery from obtaining a permit, but an individual convicted of the more serious offense of aggregated domestic battery can still obtain a school bus driving permit.

SB 2752 also includes changes that would make it easier for individuals with certain non-violent convictions to find jobs as school bus drivers. The legislation would allow a person convicted of providing liquor to a minor more than 20 years ago to obtain a school bus driving permit. Currently, those convicted of providing liquor to a minor are banned for life from obtaining a school bus driving permit.

“Punishments should always line up with the severity of the offense,” Hunter said. “Imagine a 21-year old provided liquor to underage peers. If they’ve dealt with the consequences of that conviction and gotten their act together since then, we shouldn’t be punishing that person 20 years later by barring them from certain job opportunities.”

Additionally, SB 2752 would allow the Secretary of State to issue a state ID card to a person in the custody of the Department of Human Services any time prior to their release.

Hunter measure takes multipronged approach to fight sickle cell disease

hunter 030320SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) advanced legislation out of the Senate Public Health committee Tuesday that would take a multipronged approach to fighting sickle cell disease that includes new funding and programs for educational materials, research, and treatment of the condition affecting roughly 3500 people in Illinois.

“The goal here is to curb the deep social impact and mortality rate of sickle cell disease,” Hunter said. “We know it tends to affect underserved communities, who consistently lag behind when it comes to access to comprehensive care and preventative treatment. This is a meaningful step toward closing that gap for future generations of African-American children.”

Hunter moves to abolish red-light cameras

hunter 020420CHICAGO – Illinois motorists would no longer suffer hefty fines by municipalities through the use of red-light cameras under legislation proposed by State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago).

Senate Bill 2902 prohibits any unit of government from using automated traffic law enforcement systems at intersections for the purpose of recording a driver's failure to stop and yield at a red light.

“It’s clear that the red-light camera program has been sustained and expanded by corruption,” Hunter said. “Traffic laws should be driven by safety, not bribery, shakedowns or the need to boost revenue. An industry that benefited from foul-play shouldn’t be able to continue to siphon money from the pockets of motorists.”

Red-light cameras have been a source of frustration for Illinois motorists since they were first legalized in 2006.

According to reports in the press, red light cameras have generated over $1 billion in revenue for local governments in Illinois over the past decade. Reports indicate that red-light camera revenue increased by roughly 111% between 2008 and 2018, from $53.5 million to $113.2 million.

SB 2902 limits the ability of units of government to use automated traffic enforcement systems except for the following:

  • school safety zone violations
  • failure to yield for a stopped school bus
  • railroad crossing violations.

Sen. Mattie Hunter

Senator Mattie Hunter

3rd District
Majority Caucus Chair


Years served:
2003 - Present (Senate)

Committee assignments: Appropriations I; Energy and Public Utilities; Executive (Chairperson); Human Services; Public Health; Subcommittee on Special Issues (EX) (Sub-Chairperson); Subcommittee on Special Issues (HS); Opioid Crisis Abatement Spec. Com.; Transportation (Vice-Chairperson).

Biography: State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago – 3rd District) has served in the Illinois Senate since 2003. She is Chairperson of the Senate Energy Committee and serves on many other committees like Human Services and Public Health. She is also appointed to serve on the National Conference of State Legislatures Health Committee and is Co-Chair of the Council of State Government Health Policy Task Force.

Associated Representatives:
Sonya M. Harper
Lamont J. Robinson, Jr.