BeltSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Christopher Belt advanced a measure out of the Senate that aims to identify and correct inequities some individuals face when seeking loans, mortgages or other financial services.

“We should be welcoming and encouraging residents to take the steps needed to buy a home or own a small business, not deter them through unfair lending practices,” said Belt (D-Swansea).  “This legislation will help combat those issues and empower individuals with the financial tools and resources necessary to thrive.”

Senate Bill 3235 builds off previous legislation that incentivizes state-regulated financial institutions to meet the financial service needs of areas where there is a lack of access to affordable banking, credit for small businesses, reasonable interest rates, mortgages and other lending services.

The measure would mandate the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to conduct studies to identify areas in Illinois that show significant disparities in relation to race, ethnicity, gender and other protected characteristics in the area of financial services. Additionally, the bill would identify policies and procedures that may have discriminatory effects on underserved communities.

“This continues to show we are taking steps forward in ensuring economic equity and opportunity is attainable for everyone in the state,” said Belt. “No person should be left behind due to barriers to basic banking and credit services, and we will fight for that until it’s a reality.”

Senate Bill 3235 passed the Senate Thursday and now heads to the House.