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Peters spreads word on SNAP eligibility for college students under new program

Published: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 10:20 AM

Sen. Robert PetersSPRINGFIELD – A measure sponsored by State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) that will give college students who may be eligible for SNAP benefits more opportunities to learn about the program was signed by the governor and became law Friday.

“There are a lot of students who struggle to find their next meal because they’re not ever aware they’re eligible for SNAP benefits,” Peters said. “This law will help raise awareness of the program so that college kids can rely on the community around them to not go hungry.”

Senate Bill 1641 requires the Illinois Student Assistance Commission to identify and flag college students who could be eligible to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, and requires the Commission to post notices that includes SNAP eligibility requirements and other information where students are likely to see them.

New law by Peters addresses public school class size

Published: Monday, August 26, 2019 09:44 AM

Sen. Robert PetersSPRINGFIELD – School districts will be required to operate with more transparency about their teacher employment data under a measure sponsored by State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) that became law Friday.

“Public school class sizes have been growing larger and larger over the last several years, which makes it harder for educators to provide the quality education,” Peters said. “Communities of color are hit particularly hard by this. These students are already at a systemic disadvantage, and they deserve to have the opportunity to learn the skills they need to succeed.”

New Peters law establishes stipend program for apprenticeships

Published: Monday, August 26, 2019 09:40 AM

Sen. Robert PetersSPRINGFIELD – Entering an apprenticeship program often requires expensive fees, tuition and tools, but eligible youth could have those associated costs covered thanks to a bill sponsored by State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) that became law today.

“It’s too often a person who otherwise wants to start an apprenticeship and take the first steps toward self-sustainability is unable to because they can’t afford the upfront cost of starting an apprenticeship,” Peters said. “This could result in them having no choice but to find a job in a field with lower wages or fewer benefits. Youth in care often lead difficult lives, and we should strive to make it easier for the kids aging out of the system by tearing down the systemic barriers that hold them back.”

Peters ends “pay to stay” with new law

Published: Monday, August 12, 2019 09:01 AM

prison 081219SPRINGFIELD – The Department of Corrections will no longer be able to sue former inmates for the cost of their incarceration under a measure sponsored by State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago).

“‘Pay to stay’ is indentured servitude,” Peters said. “These folks served their time and were released from prison, so their punishment should be over. There’s no reason to continue punishing them and risk sabotaging their return to society by imposing a financial burden.”

House Bill 900 prevents the Department of Corrections from suing formerly incarcerated people for costs associated with their incarceration. The bill extends a restriction which already exists in certain jurisdictions to apply statewide.

Peters also noted the structural disadvantages that the “pay to stay” system reinforces.

“This practice affects people and communities of color at a wildly disproportionate rate,” Peters said. “It is a regressive, harmful, and predatory action that places additional undue hardships on folks who, at no fault of their own, are already at a disadvantage at birth due to the unjust systemic racial biases that exist. ‘Pay to stay’ has no place in a just society, and I’m proud to have led the charge in the Senate to end it. I commend the governor for taking the necessary actions to abolish it once and for all.”

The law, which is effective immediately, was signed by Gov. JB Pritzker today.

Sen. Robert Peters

Sen. Robert Peters

13th District

Years served: 2019–Present

Committee assignments: Criminal Law; Financial Institutions; Human Services; Local Government (Vice-Chairperson); Telecommunications & InfoTechnology; Veterans Affairs.

Associated Representatives:
Kambium Buckner
Curtis J. Tarver II