Pledge to continue working on statewide rules for officer-worn cameras

Raoul, Nekritz secure passage of eavesdropping reformsSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) and State Representative Elaine Nekritz (D-Buffalo Grove) secured passage today of a carefully crafted eavesdropping measure that respects reasonable expectations of privacy while allowing people to record conversations that are clearly public, including law enforcement encounters in public places. At the same time, the legislation’s chief sponsors pledged to continue working to allow the use of uniform-mounted cameras by police officers.

Read more: Raoul, Nekritz secure passage of eavesdropping reforms

“I stand ready to continue the process of negotiating constitutional reforms that protect public employees as well as core services.”

Raoul responds to pension reform rulingSPRINGFIELD — State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th), co-chair of a conference committee that sent a compromise plan for pension reform to the courts last December, issued the following statement in response to Sangamon County Circuit Court Judge John Belz’s opinion that the measure does not pass constitutional muster:

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101714RaoulCHICAGO — State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) and State Representative Elaine Nekritz (D-Buffalo Grove) will co-chair a hearing tomorrow on body cameras —devices law enforcement officers can attach to their uniforms to record their encounters with the public — and how a new eavesdropping law Raoul and others are negotiating could affect their use. The joint meeting of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees will take place tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. in Room C-600 of the Bilandic Building in Chicago.

“As we craft a commonsense, constitutional eavesdropping law, I believe it’s extremely important to have a public discussion about how body cameras and their footage can be used,” said Raoul, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee. “It’s a matter of striking a balance between privacy concerns and the need to protect officers while also holding them accountable.”

Read more: Raoul to co-chair hearing on police body cameras Eavesdropping law rewrite could affect how body...

051713js1171brSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) issued the following statement on the National Council for Compensation Insurance’s request for a 4.5 percent reduction in workers’ compensation insurance premium rates for Illinois businesses:

"Two years ago, Rep. John Bradley and I brought lawmakers, labor and the business community together to negotiate a solution to an exceedingly complex and divisive problem: the high workers’ compensation premiums that were hampering the state’s economic growth and job creation.

Today, Illinois businesses have already saved $315 million in premiums. Now, with an additional 4.5 percent reduction on the horizon, they stand poised to save $110 million more, with an overall 13.3 percent drop in rates since the reforms were implemented. The outlook is promising for further savings and an even better Illinois business climate.

The continued success of workers’ comp reforms demonstrates that there’s no substitute for sitting down at the negotiating table, taking each other’s concerns seriously and doing the hard work of hammering out an effective compromise."

032013br0266rSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) issued the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the federal Defense of Marriage Act:

"Forty-six years after Loving v. Virginia, which affirmed the marriage rights of interracial couples, the U.S. Supreme Court again struck a blow against laws that discriminate against people based on whom they choose to marry. Today, a majority of justices held that the Defense of Marriage Act — which prohibited same-sex couples, even those who are married in the eyes of the states in which they reside, from accessing federal marriage benefits — is contrary to the Constitution’s equal protection clause. I wholeheartedly applaud this decision. But it does not absolve Illinois lawmakers of responsibility; our work has just begun. Because same-sex couples in this state may enter into civil unions but not marriages, the federal rights and responsibilities of marriage do not apply to them – even after today’s ruling. It is now more critical than ever that the House pass the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, as the Senate did in February, so the commitments same-sex couples make to each other are recognized as marriages under both state and federal law."