Text Size
Login
config

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.

New Peters law increases youth access to preventative healthcare

Published: Thursday, August 08, 2019 08:44 AM

peters 053119SPRINGFIELD – A new law sponsored by State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) would allow minors in Illinois to seek access to an HIV preventative drug without parental consent.

“The number of new HIV cases per year is alarming, but there is a method to help slow the spread,” Peters said. “We should be trying to offer this method to anyone who wants it.”

House Bill 2665 is an initiative of the Aids Foundation of Chicago, and aligns Illinois with federal guidelines regarding preventative healthcare. A drug known as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is over 90 percent effective at preventing the transmission of HIV when used correctly. The law allows minors 12 years of age and older to receive health care services related to prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, including a prescription for PrEP, without parental consent. Previous law only allowed minors to waive parental consent for services related to treatment or diagnoses.

“Some kids, especially LGBTQ+ kids, don’t necessarily have a welcoming home they can rely on for the support they need,” Peters said. “We need to look out for those kids, too. Allowing them to seek the treatment they need without requiring parental consent gives them that support.”

According to the Department of Public Health, gay youth account for 85% of new diagnoses of HIV among youth aged 13 to 24.

“PrEP can’t straight up eradicate HIV, but it can help reduce the number of diagnoses we see each year,” Peters said. “HIV is ravaging black and brown communities, and access to this medication can go a long way toward stopping that.”

The bill is effective immediately.

Peters announces people-centered investments in adult literacy programs

Published: Monday, July 29, 2019 12:12 PM

peters 031219CHICAGO — State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) announced today that adult literacy programs in his district will receive nearly $140,000 in state grants.

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White awarded the grants through the Adult Literacy Grant Program, which helps learners develop and enhance their reading, math, writing and English-language skills.

“These programs offer invaluable services to those seeking to improve their reading skills and to those learning English for the first time,” said Peters. “Programs like these don’t shame folks for their language abilities, but instead lift them up and provide them with the opportunity to learn and develop those skills. I am grateful that the Secretary of State made these meaningful, people-centered investments.”

The programs receiving funding in the 13th District are:

  • Learning for Life, Family Legacy Foundation: $125,000
  • Delta Literacy Project, D’Estee, Inc.: $14,259

A total of 14,352 learners will be served by adult literacy programs around the state. A total of 6,086 volunteer tutors will provide training for learners putting them on the path to lifelong learning. Adult literacy projects help adults who read below the ninth-grade level or speak English at a beginning level to improve their reading, writing, math or use of English as a new language.

“An estimated 2.1 million Illinois residents need adult literacy and/or English-language instruction,” White said. “I am pleased to provide funding for 113 local literacy projects that will allow adult learners to achieve their utmost potential in the upcoming year. I will continue to do all I can to ensure that every citizen of this state has access to quality literacy programs.”

In total, the secretary of state’s office awarded $5.6 million in grants to adult literacy programs around the state.

To learn more about adult literacy grant programs, visit https://cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/library/literacy/adultlit-grants-overview.html.

Access to post-placement and post-adoption services to expand under Peters' new law

Published: Friday, July 26, 2019 01:26 PM

child nurse 031819SPRINGFIELD – Access to services available to post-placement and post-adoption children will be expanded thanks to a new law sponsored by State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) that was signed by the governor today.

“As a child of adoption myself, I experienced first-hand the importance of these services to youth in care,” Peters said. “I have been fully committed to improving the lives of youth in care during my time in the Senate, and this new law will give kids who are adopted or placed in foster care a better ability than I had to access the helpful services they require.”

The law, which was House Bill 3587, will:

  • add 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”;
  • expand the requirements of the Department of Children and Family Services to establish and maintain accessible services;
  • require DCFS to establish and maintain a toll-free number to respond to public requests about the service; and
  • require 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, which has argued the legislation will better ensure successful adoptions and lower the rate of children being returned to state care.

The bill passed both chambers of the General Assembly with unanimous support and is effective immediately.  

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