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May 2021

With just four weeks left in the Illinois General Assembly’s legislative calendar, EI’s Policy Director Mike Ziri wants to share an update with you on the progress of several key bills that EI is leading or co-leading:

HB 9 – comprehensive birth certificate modernization legislation – passed the Illinois House 66-45. Equality Illinois thanks Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz for her leadership. We are proud to work on HB 9 with the Transformative Justice Law Project, ACLU of Illinois, Lambda Legal, and Chicago House and Social Service Agency. Sen. Laura Fine is championing the bill in the Illinois Senate.

HB 1063 – the HIV decriminalization bill – is an initiative of the Illinois HIV Action Alliance, which includes AIDS Foundation Chicago, Pride Action Tank, ACLU of Illinois, Equality Illinois, Illinois Public Health Association, and many more organizations and individuals. We thank Rep. Carol Ammons for her leadership in securing an overwhelming 90-9 vote in the Illinois House. Senator Robert Peters is sponsoring the bill in the Illinois Senate.

HB 2590 – passed the Illinois House 82-28. This bill would establish a uniform standard for name changes on marriage certificates. Equality Illinois and Chicago House and Social Service Agency are advocating for HB 2590. We thank Rep. Ann Williams for her leadership. Sen. Sara Feigenholtz is sponsoring HB 2590 in the Illinois Senate.

HB 3195 – would allow businesses the option of implementing gender-inclusive multi- occupancy restrooms to better serve their customers. The bill, which passed the Illinois House 63-43, was authored by attorney Justin Sia and supported by Equality Illinois and the Community Restroom Access Project (CRAP). We thank Rep. Katie Stuart for her leadership. Sen. Melinda Bush is the sponsor in the Illinois Senate.

SB 1730 – a corporate diversity, equity, and inclusion initiative – will require corporations in Illinois to annually report out on the LGBTQ inclusivity of their boards of directors. Businesses in Illinois already must annually report out on the race, ethnicity, and gender demographics of their boards. The bill passed the Illinois Senate 37-18. We thank Senate Deputy Majority Leader Emil Jones III for his leadership. SB 1730 is sponsored by Rep. Dan Didech in the Illinois House.

SB 2133 – passed the Illinois Senate with a bipartisan vote of 40-1 on April 29. Sponsored by Sen. Mike Simmons, the Illinois Senate’s first openly gay member, the bill would require ten state agencies to consistently collect demographic data, including sexual orientation and gender identity, from individuals who access major state programs. The resulting data will help state agencies and community organizations identify disparities and craft appropriate policy responses. Thank you to Sen. Simmons for his leadership. The bill now moves to the Illinois House, where it is sponsored by House Majority Leader Greg Harris. Howard Brown Health, AIDS Foundation Chicago, Center on Halsted,
SAGE, Pride Action Tank, Northwestern University’s Evaulation, Data Integration, and Technical Assistance Program, and Equality Illinois are advocating together for consistent sexual orientation and gender identity data collection across programs and services.