peters 041823SPRINGFIELD – A measure increasing the baseline financial penalty for civil rights violations sponsored by State Senator Robert Peters passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

“Discrimination has unfortunately been on the rise,” said Peters (D-Chicago). “Victims of civil rights violations don’t ask to be discriminated against and deserve every bit of compensation they can get.”

House Bill 2248 would allow state claims for violations of federal civil rights acts to be heard in any court with jurisdiction. The measure also provides that Illinois courts may award no less than $4,000 in damages.

Under Peters’ measure, violators are liable for damages for past, current, and future monetary losses, emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life and other non-monetary losses.

“You can’t put a price on remedying emotional distress, especially when caused by discrimination,” Peters said. “This measure doesn’t seek to put a price on rectifying discrimination but instead ensures those suffering as a result of discrimination receive a financial offset to help them move forward with their lives.”

House Bill 2248 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee and will now head to the Senate floor for further consideration.