House Progressive Caucus Endorses Senate Bills, Urges Vote on Reproductive Health Act

Illinois House Progressive Caucus
State Rep. Carol Ammons (D-Urbana) speaks during a news conference in February, 2019, in Capitol in Springfield to announce the formation of a new progressive caucus which will push for the legalization of cannabis and campaign finance reforms this legislative session. She was joined by (from left) Rep. Anne Stava-Murray, Rep. Gary Harris (D-Chicago), Rep. Robyn Gobel (D-Evanston), Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago), Rep. Theresa Mah (D-Chicago), Rep. Lamont Robinson (D-Chicago), Rep. Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago) and Rep. Delia Ramirez (D-Chicago). (Photo: Jerry Nowicki, Capitol News Illinois)

Springfield, IL-(ENEWSPF)- For the second time this session, members of the House Progressive Caucus announced their support for a package of legislative measure pending before the House. These bills, which have passed the Senate, tackle environmental justice, immigrant rights, criminal justice reform, and other subjects.

The group also urged the House to call HB 2495 (Cassidy), the Reproductive Health Act, for a vote, issuing the following statement:

At this moment of unprecedented attacks on reproductive rights across the country and the imminent threat of Roe v. Wade being overturned by the Supreme Court, Illinois must continue to be a leader in protecting women’s health. That’s why passing the Reproductive Health Act is so important. Right now, there are a number of punitive anti-choice laws on the books in Illinois that are only blocked from enforcement because of Roe. We must remove those laws from the statute books to protect women even if that decision should be reversed.

Caucus members also discussed numerous other initiatives they will be focusing on in the final days of session.

Representative Mah described legislation to protect immigrant renters from abusive landlords. Rep. Guzzardi spoke about the need for a major investment of capital dollars in affordable housing construction. And Rep. Ammons discussed SB 1786, the “License to Work Act,” which would end the practice of revoking people’s drivers licenses for non-driving violations like parking tickets or fines.

“With this package of bills, the Progressive Caucus is living up to its mission of providing liberty, equity, fairness, and justice for all Illinoisans,” Rep. Ammons said. “We’ll be working diligently to ensure these bills get to the Governor’s desk.”

The Progressive Caucus co-chairs are Reps. Guzzardi, Mah, and Ammons. Its secretary is Delia Ramirez and its treasurer is Celina Villanueva. Other members include Reps. Feigenholtz, Harris, Gabel, Cassidy, Williams, Martwick, Moeller, Stava-Murray, Gong-Gershowitz, Robinson, West, Mason, and Ortiz.

SUPPORT: HB 2495 (Cassidy) — Guaranteeing the right to safe, legal abortions in Illinois. The bill repeals dormant provisions in law that could criminalize abortion if Roe v. Wade should be repealed.

SUPPORT: SB 1429 (Gong-Gershowitz) — Ensuring that immigration status may not be used to intimidate victims and witnesses from seeking justice through our civil courts. 

SUPPORT: SB 9 (Ammons) — Enforcing the cleanup of coal ash repositories around the state. Coal ash piles contain high levels of carcinogens and cause dire environmental hazards to our state’s natural resources.

SUPPORT: SB 1524 (Ammons) — Allowing the Treasurer’s office to create a low-cost student loan program. This program will allow students to borrow for college at reasonable rates and to avoid predatory practices from for-profit lenders.

SUPPORT: SB 1166 (Ramirez) — Removing the citizenship requirement from various professional licenses allowing DACA recipients and Legal Permanent Residents to be able to apply for licenses and jobs in these areas. The fields include plumbing, water and well pump installation, liquor, and coal mining.

SUPPORT: SB 1735 (Ramirez) — Allowing recipients of cash support from anti-poverty pilot programs to continue to receive government assistance. 

SUPPORT: HR 255 (Guzzardi) —  Calling on the legislature to appropriate $1 billion in capital expenditures for affordable housing. The Caucus views affordable housing as a key priority in the potentially forthcoming capital bill.

SUPPORT: SB 1290 (Mah) — Providing protections for immigrants seeking housing. The bill would ensure that landlords cannot discriminate against tenants on the basis of their immigration status, and that tenants can safely report criminal activity and habitability issues on the part of their landlords. 

SUPPORT: SB 1319 (Mah) — Providing protections for seniors, including LGBT aging adults, residing in nursing homes. 

SUPPORT: SB 1786 (Ammons) — Eliminating driver’s license suspension as a penalty for most non-driving violations. Those offenses include: failing to pay parking, compliance, or tollway tickets, fines, or fees; being judged to be a “truant minor”; criminal trespass to a vehicle; and a handful of other non-driving violations.

SUPPORT: SB 145 (Villanueva) — Requiring any candidate for President or Vice President of the United States to disclose five years of income tax returns in order to be eligible to run in Illinois.

This is a release from the Illinois House Progressive Caucus.

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