Pritzker signs LGBTQ-inclusive jury service non-discrimination legislation

CHICAGO — On Aug. 9, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a law that will protect LGBTQ Illinoisans from discrimination in jury service, according to Equality Illinois. “Serving on a jury is a fundamental obligation of American democracy. Now, like other pro-equality states, Illinois will protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in jury service,” said Michael Ziri, Director of Public Policy at Equality Illinois, the state’s civil rights organization for LGBTQ people. “This new law will bring our judicial system nearer to eliminating discrimination and ensuring equal protection under the law.

New law bars discrimination of LGBTQ people in assisted living

SPRINGFIELD — On Aug. 9, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a law that bars discrimination against LGBTQ people in senior and assisted living facilities. The law states that no minority group as defined under the Illinois Human Rights Act shall be the subject of discrimination by an owner, licensee, administrator, employee or agent of an assisted living facility. The law goes into effect immediately. The bill was passed in May.

Pritzker signs LGBTQ Inclusive Curriculum bill

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed HB 246 over the weekend, which ensures that LGBTQ history will be taught in Illinois Schools. The bill was an initiative of Equality Illinois, the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, and the Legacy Project and is supported by the Illinois State Board of Education and a broad coalition of statewide and local educational, civil rights, health, and civic organizations. It would require the inclusion of LGBTQ historical contributions in any textbooks purchased through block grants from the state. Any group listed under the Illinois Human Rights Act would be highlighted. It goes into effect on July 1, 2020.

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Prtizker signs Youth PrEP Bill into law

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the Youth PrEP Bill into law on Wednesday. The new law allows Illinois youth 12 years old and older to obtain preventative health care services for STDs or substance use disorder without getting parental permission, including pre-exposure prophylaxis PrEP). 

The bill was sponsored by State Rep. Lamont Robinson (D-Chicago) in the House and State Sen. Robert Peters (D-Chicago) in the Senate. and supported by the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. “Young people don’t wait to have sex until they’re 18, and HIV doesn’t wait either. This legislation will help ensure young people under the age of 18 have easy access to an incredibly effective and safe HIV prevention tool,” said Jim Pickett, AFC’s Senior Director of Prevention Advocacy and Gay Men’s Health, in a statement on Wednesday.

U.S. Rep. Davis still opposed background check legislation

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) told CNN he still opposed a background check bill calling it a “partisan show bill,” despite shootings in Chicago, El Paso and Dayton over the weekend. 

CNN said the bill passed the House earlier this year but has stalled in the Senate. “I would not consider changing the vote that I made because that bill was nothing but a partisan show bill. That bill wouldn’t have addressed the problems that we see with fixing what Democrats even call a loophole,” Illinois Rep. Rodney Davis told CNN’s John Berman on “New Day.” From CNN:
The bill, HR 8, would require background checks on all firearm sales in the country. Currently, only licensed gun dealers must perform background checks for anyone seeking to purchase a firearm, but most unlicensed sellers do not.

Bill would give Illinois youth access to PrEP

SPRINGFIELD — A bill waiting for Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s signature would give Illinois teens as young as 12 access to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). NPR Illinois reported that the bill was sponsored by State Rep. Lamont Robinson Jr. (D-Chicago). It would allow youth to get access to PrEP without needing a parent’s or guardian’s permission. From NPR Illinois:
“Unfortunately, within our youth in the black and brown community, we’re seeing an increase in HIV rates, and so this bill saves lives essentially,” Robinson says. “It is a safety net.”

Pritzker signs law that removes time limit on sex crimes prosecution

SPRINGFIELD — On Friday, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed legislation that removes the statute of limitations on prosecuting crimes of sexual violence. The Southern Illinoisan reported that the signing eliminates a 10-year limit on initiating prosecution for criminal sexual assault, sexual abuse and related crimes. From The Southern Illinoisan:

Carrie Ward is executive director of the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault. She says the law is important because some victims of sexual violence are too traumatized or preoccupied with rebuilding their lives to push prosecution. The law takes effect Jan. 1.

Pritzker signs gender-neutral bathroom bill into law

SPRINGFIELD — On Friday, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill that requires all single-person public restrooms to gender-neutral. 

WAND 17, an NBC affiliate in Decatur, reported the bill, Senate Bill 556, amends the Equitable Restrooms Act. The TV station reported that each single-person restroom should have signs indicating “all gender” or “gender-neutral.” It applies to existing and future buildings and health inspectors will be make sure businesses comply. 

It goes into effect immediately, WAND 17 reported.