2023 Session Recap

The 2023 Spring Legislative Session concluded in May during which the ACLU of Illinois and our partners worked on legislation on a range of issues to advance our civil rights and liberties.


HB 1596: Gender Inclusive Child Welfare Statute 

Sponsors: Rep. Lakesia Collins and Sen. Mike Simmons 
Status: Signed into law on June 9, 2023

Amends various child welfare and juvenile court statutes to reflect gender-inclusive language in laws relating to children and families to promote equality and respect for all individuals. The legislation takes a first step in responding to an Illinois Auditor General report from 2021 that urges the Department of Children & Family Services to affirm and recognize hundreds of young people in their care.

HB 3425: Amendment to Anti-Bullying Law

Sponsors: Rep. Margaret Croke and Sen. Sara Feigenholtz
Status: Signed into law on June 9, 2023

Expands existing protected categories in the anti-bullying law to include “pregnancy, parenting, socioeconomic status, academic status, physical appearance, homelessness,” requires school administrators to notify parents or guardians within 24 hours of a report of bullying and creates the Illinois Bullying and Cyberbullying Prevention Fund to provide grants to schools for anti-bullying programming.

HB 3038: Improved Data Collection in Civil Asset Forfeiture

Sponsors: Rep. Will Guzzardi and Sen. Omar Aquino
Status: In the originating chamber

Civil asset forfeiture laws allow the government to permanently take property away from someone, even if they are not arrested or convicted of a crime. In 2018, Illinois passed significant reforms, but there is more that needs to be done to conduct an accurate assessment of the impact of these laws. HB 3038 improves both the substance and process of data collected about these cases statewide by collecting information to track the life cycle of an entire civil asset forfeiture case, from initial seizure through disposition and disposal of the property.

HB 4093 (Previously HB 3603): Protect Health Data Privacy Act 

Sponsors: Rep. Ann Williams 
Status: In the originating chamber

Helps safeguard the privacy of every Illinoisans' sensitive health information by implementing new privacy protections that requires entities to be more transparent with consumers about their data collection practices, create and publish a health data policy and get consent before storing, sharing and selling data. Protecting health information is critical, especially in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to recklessly take away the constitutional right to abortion.

SB 1478: DCFS Youth Right to Counsel

Sponsors: Sen. Ann Gillespie and Rep. Lakesia Collins 
Status: In the House after passing Senate unanimously

Illinois is one of only 7 states that does not guarantee counsel to any youth in care. SB 1478 amends the Juvenile Court Act to establish a statutory right to counsel for youth in Department of Children & Family Services’ (DCFS) care so youth in care are treated like every other party to the DCFS court case.

Collage of images

SB 1830: Reducing Barriers to Recovery  

Sponsors: Sen. Elgie Sims
Status: In the originating chamber

Led a coalition of community-based organizations to eliminate the failed policies of the “War on Drugs” by reclassifying the charge for simple possession of all drugs from a felony to a misdemeanor and providing access to drug treatment for those who are arrested.

Collection of Images