2022 Legislative Agenda
Equality Illinois is leading or co-leading with partners efforts to advance the following legislative initiatives during the 2022 session of the Illinois General Assembly:
Birth certificate modernization (HB 9)
Sponsors: Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz and Sen. Laura Fine
Permits self-attestation in order to correct the gender marker on a birth certificate (removing the requirement for a healthcare provider’s note).
Allowing gender-inclusive multi-occupancy restrooms (HB 3195)
Sponsors: Rep. Katie Stuart and Sen. Melinda Bush
Allows public and private entities to implement gender-inclusive multi-occupancy restrooms if they want.
Health Care Cultural Competency (HB 4654)
Sponsors: Rep. Dagmara Avelar and Sen. Ram Villivalam
This initiative would establish cultural competency requirements as part of continuing medical education for a range of health care professionals. Based on available data as well as anecdotal stories, we know there is a real need for health care cultural competency in order to improve patient experiences and outcomes. We also believe this type of education would best equip providers to affirmingly serve their patients, including patients from communities that have historically been excluded from affirming treatment and care. The legislation is the initiative of a working group of organizations that advocate for and support and affirm LGBTQ people, people living with HIV, people with disabilities, and communities of color.
An initiative of AARP of Illinois, AIDS Foundation Chicago, Center on Halsted, Equality Illinois, Howard Brown Health, Pride Action Tank, and SAGE, this legislation creates a three-year Commission on LGBTQ Aging, establishes an LGBTQ Older Adult Advocate at the Illinois Department on Aging, and require providers that are funded by or contract with the Department to complete LGBTQ older adult awareness and competency training.
LGBTQ people and people living with HIV face unique challenges as they age because of a lack of affirming resources and services and stigmatization. In October 2021, AARP of Illinois and SAGE analyzed these issues in a ground-breaking report, Disrupting Disparities: Solutions for LGBTQ Illinoisans Age 50+. The solutions in this legislative initiative are based on findings in the report as well as years of work by advocacy organizations and direct service providers that serve LGBTQ older adults and older adults living with HIV in Illinois. This initiative would keep Illinois moving forward as a leader in advancing equity and affirming care for LGBTQ older adults and older adults living with HIV.
Equality Illinois also supports the work of our partners:
Extending the African-American HIV/AIDS Response Fund (HB 5549)
An initiative of the Black Leadership Advocacy Coalition for Healthcare Equity (BLACHE), HB 5549 will ensure the African-American HIV/AIDS Response Fund’s existence through 2050 and allow the Fund to be used to support at least one Black-led Center of Excellence HIV Biomedical Resource Hub. It is imperative that public resources are directed to reducing disparities and ensuring access to prevention and treatments. The African-American HIV/AIDS Response Fund helps support that mission. The Fund was established by Public Act 94-0797 in 2006. The Fund supports programming and initiatives to reduce the disparity of HIV infections between Black Illinoisans and other communities impacted by the disease.
Voting in Prisons (SB 828)
Advanced by Chicago Votes, this bill would restore voting rights to people incarcerated in Illinois prisons. LGBTQ people are disproportionately impacted by the prison system. According to the Movement Advancement Project, 7.9% of adults in prisons are LGBT, and 20% of youth in juvenile detention facilities are LGBT. Put differently, LGBT adults and youth are twice as likely to be incarcerated as non-LGBT adults and youth. When incarcerated, LGBTQ people – all people in prisons, in fact– are denied the right to vote.
Name Change Modernization (HB 2542)
This bill would bring our state’s overly-restrictive name change law in line with the majority of other states and help transgender and gender-expansive individuals and survivors of human trafficking to live safer and more authentic lives by removing the ten-year waiting period and the lifetime ban. The bill is led by trans advocates, the ACLU of Illinois, Chicago House and Social Service Agency, the Transformative Justice Law Project, and the Chicago Bar Foundation.
Increasing Access to PrEP and PEP through Community Pharmacies (HB 4430 and SB 3209)
This initiative will allow pharmacists to prescribe, dispense and administer HIV prevention drugs — including Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) to people at risk and Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) for people who may have been recently exposed to HIV — without a prescription from a provider. Additionally, pharmacists would be able to order and conduct laboratory tests to determine if PrEP is the most appropriate course of care
Ending the HIV epidemic in Illinois means maximizing the use of all prevention strategies in our toolbox including PrEP and PEP. PrEP is a prevention program that involves adults and adolescents with a negative HIV status taking prescription medications to prevent HIV acquisition through sexual contact. PEP is a prevention method where HIV-negative adults and adolescents take medications to stop HIV transmission within 72 hours (about 3 days) of a single high-risk exposure.
This initiative is the work of a coalition with AIDS Foundation Chicago, Illinois Pharmacists Association, Howard Brown Health, Equality Illinois, the Illinois Retail Merchants Association and other stakeholders.
Stay tuned to this page. We will update the list of bills we support as initiatives are introduced.
Last updated: January 26, 2022