“We are part of a movement that is strong and growing stronger! We are among thousands and thousands of people who want their voices heard in this capitol! We are Community Renewal Society! We are people of faith, called by God to speak our truth!”
Rev. Jason Coulter, CRS Board Member, proclaimed these words at our April 12 rally in the rotunda of the Illinois State Capitol where hundreds of faith leaders put their faith into action last Tuesday. We marched, chanted, and prayed outside the Governor’s office demanding a fair budget now! We met with legislators and asked them to: increase job opportunities for people with criminal records; improve police accountability; and enact a fair tax and fair budget that protect the most vulnerable.
While we were in Springfield, HB 4360, which will expand employment opportunities in schools for people with records, passed the House 64-47-01! We have worked for over three years on passing this legislation as part of the Restoring Rights and Opportunities Coalition of Illinois (RROCI). HB 4360 now moves to the Senate and includes the Governor’s recommended language from his amendatory veto of a similar bill last year. We celebrate this important victory.
Want to help keep the momentum going?
This week, the House will vote on another bill to increase job opportunities for people with criminal records in health care facilities, like nursing homes. Under current law, health care facilities cannot hire people with a “disqualifying” criminal record unless they are granted a waiver. Many people with a waiver, however, are still not getting jobs. Today, when an employer verifies an applicant's eligibility for employment, they see a red flag, even when a waiver has been granted. HB 4515 improves our waiver process by making it clear that people who have obtained a waiver can be hired.
Help us continue to speak our truth for justice. Over 500 employment barriers make it challenging for Illinois residents with records to find jobs and provide for their families.
Community Renewal Society is part of the Restoring Rights and Opportunities Coalition of Illinois (RROCI), with Cabrini Green Legal Aid, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, and Heartland Alliance.