SPRINGFIELD, IL — The Illinois legislature adjourned last week with a balanced budget for the first time in three years, and with legislation passed on several progressive priorities, including gun safety and state-level protections on immigration and health care.
“I am proud of much of the work we accomplished this spring session,” said Illinois state Senator Don Harmon, D-Oak Park. “We were able to pass legislation that protects immigrant communities, promotes gender equality, and advances criminal justice reforms. We also enacted gun safety legislation that would not have been possible in the past. But let us be clear: we have much work to do in order to truly protect our children and the people of Illinois, and we have the sole responsibility of continuing that work.”
Highlights of the 2018 spring session included passage of the following measures, all of which now head to the governor for his signature or veto:
- SB337, the Gun Dealer Licensing Act, requires state licenses for gun dealers.
- SB3256 establishes a 72-hour waiting “cooling off” period for individuals seeking to purchase a firearm.
- HB2354, the Firearms Restraining Order Act, empowers families and law enforcement to prevent gun tragedies by temporarily reducing access to guns for individuals found to be at risk of endangering themselves or others.
Protecting the Dignity of Immigrants:
- SB35 creates the Safe Zones Act, which protects undocumented individuals in public places like schools, libraries, hospitals and courts.
- SB34 creates the VOICES Act to protect immigrant survivors of domestic violence who bring their case to the police.
- SB3488, the Anti-Registry Act, prohibits state agencies from establishing a registry of individuals based on race, color, religion, immigration status, and other demographic information.
- HB4163 helps close the pay gap by ensuring women and people of color are not held back by their salary history.
- SJRCA 4 made Illinois the 37th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.
Access to Affordable Health Care:
- HB2624 puts in place protections for the Affordable Care Act by regulating short-term limited duration healthcare plans, should the Trump administration remove this federal protection in the future.
Improvements to Voting Access:
- HB4469 protects the fundamental right to vote for individuals held in jail who are not convicted.
Combatting Sexual Harassment:
- HB138 improves the process for staff, lobbyists, and legislators in the Capitol to have their ethics and sexual harassment complaints heard and addressed.