2023 State Legislative Look Back- We’re Back To Work!

The Illinois legislature is back to work and so are we!

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The Illinois State Legislature held its veto session in the weeks prior to and after Thanksgiving.

Bills passed included:

Criminal Justice: HB1095, a series of amendments and clarifications to the landmark SAFE-T Act, of 2021, addresses misinformation related to the Act, including clarifying the detention net, expanding processes for transitioning to cashless bail on January 1st, and specifying definitions of willful flight and danger, among other changes. Governor Pritzker signed the bill on December 6.

Menstrual Equity: House Bill 4218 ensures that menstrual products and underwear will be available free of charge to inmates and workers in the Department of Corrections.

Voting Rights: An amendment to HB 2406 allows the Chicago Board of Elections to keep 51 early voting sites open on Election Day for the 2023 municipal elections.

Lawmakers will return to Springfield for the lame duck session between Wednesday, Jan. 4 and Saturday, Jan. 7 and then back on Jan.10. We may see legislation to ban assault weapons and to mandate comprehensive sex education. What doesn’t get done during lame duck will be reintroduced in the 103 Illinois General Assembly which begins on January 11.

The following is a list of legislative efforts we are aware of currently that NCJW expects to support in the lame duck or 103 Illinois General Assembly:

Gun Violence Prevention: HB5885: The Protect Illinois Communities Act includes an assault weapons ban, raises the age of eligibility to apply for a FOID card to 21 with limited exceptions, and allows petitioners to request a Firearms Restraining Order for a term of one-year (currently the longest duration is 6 mos.). Gov. JB Pritzker says he wants the newly introduced legislation that would ban assault weapons to be passed by the Illinois General Assembly and on his desk so he can sign it before July 4, 2023 — exactly a year after the horrific mass shooting in Highland Park.

Comprehensive Sex Education: Possible efforts to bolster the previously passed Keeping Youth Safe and Healthy Act (SB818) by mandating implementation and/or advocating for further resources during the budget process.

Reproductive Justice:  Look for comprehensive legislation to protect abortion providers, to increase access to abortion and to protect abortion care seekers, including strengthening licensing protections for providers against claims from other states, expanding licensing provisions to increase service capacity by allowing physicians assistants and other providers to be licensed, strengthening extradition and privacy protection for care seekers.

Bodily Autonomy: HB4654: Health Care Cultural Competency. This initiative would establish cultural competency requirements as part of continuing medical education for a range of health care professionals. Based on available data as well as anecdotal stories, there is a need for health care cultural competency to improve patient experiences and outcomes. This type of education would  equip providers to affirmingly serve their patients, including patients from communities that have historically been excluded from affirming treatment and care. The legislation is the initiative of a working group of organizations that advocate for and support and affirm LGBTQ people, people living with HIV, people with disabilities, and communities of color.

Voting Rights: SB828: Expect legislation to restore voting rights to people in prison.

Support for Families: HB5029: Paid Family & Medical Leave, requires the Department of Employment Security to establish and administer a Family Leave Insurance Program that provides family leave insurance benefits to eligible employees.

For more information and to get more involved in advocacy contact:

Jill Lexier [email protected].

State Policy Advocacy Chair, Illinois