Spring 2014 Legislative Victories

The Illinois General Assembly adjourned the spring legislative session on May 30, 2014.  Join us in celebrating these victories!
 
This year we claim victory for something that did not happen.  Legislation we opposed, brought over from last year, to create new mandatory minimum prison sentences for gun crimes did not move in the spring session.  Instead, HJR 96, adopted by both House and Senate, creates the Joint Criminal Justice Reform Committee to examine the impact of the current sentencing structure, ensure that the enforcement and punishment of crimes does not disproportionately or unfairly affect certain racial, ethnic, or minority groups, and propose solutions to address the issues that exist within the current sentencing system.
 
Your e-mails, phone calls, and in-district meetings made a significant impact on slowing down and then stopping this legislation which popped up unexpectedly in the 2013 Veto Session. 
 
There are two other legislative victories of note:
 
The passage of HB 3814 puts a non-binding advisory question on the November 2014 ballot asking if the minimum wage should be raised to $10 per hour for adults in Illinois by January 1, 2015. The Raise Illinois coalition believes the referendum is an opportunity to move the conversation forward about raising the minimum wage while giving low-wage workers and families a voice.  Stay tuned for more information about the referendum and the importance of voting in the November election.
 
Our policy team worked in coalition with End Demand Illinois to pass SB 3558 to fund specialized services for human trafficking survivors. This legislation will create meaningful community-based services for survivors and encourage a more effective law enforcement response to the demand for sexual exploitation.
 
Thank you!  Your good work made a difference!
 
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