Sometime today or tomorrow, the Illinois General Assembly ends the 2014 Spring session. We can report to you that a number of priorities advanced by the ACLU of Illinois during this session are on their way to Governor Pat Quinn. Among those measures moving forward:
Pregnancy fairness – The House and Senate both have approved House Bill 8, a measure that provides for workplace fairness for women during pregnancy. If signed into law, the measure will ensure that employers must provide modest accommodations for pregnant women during work hours – things such as being able to carry a bottle of water or sit on a stool. This is a great victory made possible with the help of Representative Mary Flowers in the House and Senator Toi Hutchinson in the Senate.
Anti-bullying – After months of tireless work, both houses have passed important anti-bullying legislation to the Governor. We know that nearly one in four students in Illinois report being bullied in schools. While the legislation does not mandate a specific policy for schools, it provides school districts with added tools and best practices to make our schools a safe, secure place for every child. We thank Representative Kelly Cassidy and Senator Heather Steans for their incredible devotion to moving this measure to the Governor.
Fighting racial profiling – Both houses acted to extend to 2019 traffic stop data collection by Illinois police departments and the State Police data that assists law enforcement management fight racial profiling. The measure – originally passed by President Obama when he was in the Illinois Senate – was guided admirably by Representative Daniel Biss and Senator Kwame Raoul.
Location Tracking -- Finally, the Governor will get a chance to provide additional privacy protections for Illinois residents after both the House and the Senate overwhelmingly approved Senate Bill 2808. The measure, advanced by Senator Daniel Biss and Representative Ann Williams, requires law enforcement to obtain a court order based on probable cause of crime before getting real-time location tracking information from our electronic devices, including smartphones and GPS devices. We hope that Governor Quinn will sign this measure into law.
As you can see, it has been an incredible session. We thank you for sending emails, making calls and following these measures as they have advanced. As always, we appreciate your participation.