Update: Civics Education in Prison Bill Moves to Full Senate Vote
House Bill 2541 (“Re-Entering Citizens Civics Education Act”) passed the Illinois House of Representatives on Wednesday, April 10 with a bipartisan vote of 102-9-1. Nearly a month later, it received unanimous and bipartisan support from the Senate’s Criminal Law Committee, which passed the bill out of committee on Tuesday, May 7. The bill now heads to the full Senate for a vote.
HB 2541, which was written with input from community members with criminal records, will provide re-entering citizens with a non-partisan, civics peer education program, which will cover the voting process, government systems, and current affairs. Importantly, this program is peer-taught, meaning it is taught by incarcerated citizens who are specially trained by established non-partisan civic organizations.
We are thrilled with the widespread support for this bill in the House of Representatives, and we are thankful to our many sponsors, including our chief sponsors Representative Sonya Harper, Representative Will Guzzardi, Senator Robert Peters, Representative Curtis J. Tarver, II, Representative Justin Slaughter, and Representative LaToya Greenwood. Thank you as well to Chicago Votes, Just Democracy Illinois, and Dr. Christina Rivers for their hard work and tireless advocacy for this bill.
To help us with next steps, you can continue to amplify HB 2541 using social media for the upcoming Senate vote. Follow the action using #HB2541 #UnlockCivics #CivicsInPrison and follow @ChicagoVotes and @ChgoCivilRights for updates.