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  WINDY CITY TIMES

EI announces legislative agenda
2017-03-15

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Equality Illinois ( EI ) announced its 2017 legislative agenda—a package of bills the organization aims "to advance the civil rights protections of LGBTQ Illinoisans in the criminal-justice system, improve representation on public boards and commissions and assist transgender Illinoisans," according to a press release.

The organization added that Equality Illinois Director of Public Policy Mike Ziri has been working in the state capitol with legislative partners and allied organizations to get the following bills passed:

—SB 1761: This legislation, which state Sen. Daniel Biss ( D-Evanston ) and Rep. Litesa Wallace ( D-Rockford ) are sponsoring, would curtail use of a panic defense in murder cases.

—SB 889 and HB 2431 seek to establish non-discrimination protections in jury service in Illinois on the bases of several classifications, including gender identity and sexual orientation. State Sen. Toi Hutchinson ( D-Olympia Fields ) and Rep. Emanuel Chris Welch ( D-Hillside ) are sponsoring this proposal.

—SB 1670 is designed to encourage the development of LGBTQ Illinoisans for public service. State Sen. Scott Bennett ( D-Champaign ) is sponsoring this bill.

—HB 1785 would modernize the standard for a person to change the gender marker on their birth certificate. State Rep. Greg Harris ( D-Chicago ) is the bil's sponsor.

Also, EI's agenda includes participation in the Responsible Budget Coalition campaign to secure a fair state budget supported by reasonable revenue sources. The organization is also working against two anti-LGBTQ measures—SB 64, a religious-freedom legislation; HB 664, which would force transgender students to use separate restrooms and locker rooms from their peers in schools.

Read more about the legislative priorities at EqualityIllinois.org/2017-legis/ .


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