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Families could act on gun violence warning signs under Raoul measure

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.

Raoul works to protect Illinois voters from cyber threats

Sen. Kwame RaoulCHICAGO - In light of the fact Russia’s cyberattack on the U.S. election system affected over 39 states, including Illinois during the 2016 general election, State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) will head a package of cybersecurity initiatives during the next legislative session.

“Now is the time to take extra cybersecurity precautions. We cannot have another attack on our electoral system,” Raoul said. “We must take direct action to protect our voters from security vulnerabilities within the electoral process.”

In Washington D.C., U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley co-sponsored the Protecting the American Process for Election Results (PAPER) Act, which provides assistance to states allowing them to strengthen cybersecurity defenses against intrusions in their electoral systems.

Raoul: Governor’s plan continues system of winners and losers

Sen. Kwame RaoulSPRINGFIELD —  State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) issued the following statement after voting to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1, an evidence-based school funding reform measure:

“Gov. Rauner’s changes to Senate Bill 1 continue a system in which there are clear winners and losers in education.

The governor’s plan would take nearly $500 million away from the hundreds of thousands of students in Chicago Public Schools who deserve the same chance at a quality education as every other child in the state.

I voted to uphold Senate Bill 1 today because it is the only plan that ensures fair funding for all Illinois students and takes steps to end the apartheid in our education system.”

Raoul prioritizes treatment over sentencing for trauma victims

Sen. Kwame raoulSPRINGFIELD —  State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) introduced legislation last week that seeks to find treatment for trauma victims accused of gun offenses rather than imposing harsh sentences on them.

“The trauma caused by violence in many communities often goes untreated and can have a lasting impact on victims, sometimes leading them to commit crimes themselves,” Raoul said. “Diversion programs to treat the underlying trauma will have a much more positive impact on these individuals and their communities than incarceration will.”

Sen. Kwame Raoul

Senator Kwame Raoul

13th District

Years served: 2004 - 2018

Committee assignments: Criminal Law (Vice-Chairperson); Judiciary (Chairperson); Public Health; Committee of the Whole; Energy and Public Utilities; Executive; Committee on Restorative Justice (Co-Chairperson).

Biography: Attorney; born September 30, 1964; Bachelor's degree from DePaul University; J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law; has two children.