AAUW Naperville Legislative Update January 2023

Thank you to AAUW Naperville Area members and to our I-Act team members!! Your advocacy — whether filling out a witness slip, writing or calling your state legislators, attending a march or a rally, or voting your values — has made a big difference in Illinois! During the lame duck session of the Illinois legislature in January several of our public policy priorities were made into law!

  • The Protect Illinois Communities Act was signed into law on Jan. 10, 2023. This law bans the sale and distribution of assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, and switches in Illinois, effective immediately. We asked for your help with witness slips for this law earlier in December. Additionally, throughout the past several years, we have advocated for greater common sense gun laws. We asked for your help writing to Naperville City Council in support of the city’s assault weapons ban and we stood together to remember the victims of Uvalde in early June 2022. Illinois becomes the ninth state to enact such a ban. This law was designed to hold up to legal challenges, as other state laws also have.  Thank you! Your advocacy has helped make our communities safer and has tangibly made a difference in how we may feel about potential violence.

  • The Paid Leave for All Workers Act was passed! As you know, for several years AAUW Naperville Area has taken a lead across the state, working with a statewide coalition, to advocate for paid leave for all workers in Illinois. This policy is essential to economic justice and will reduce the gender wage gap. The Paid Leave for All Workers Act enables all workers in the state of Illinois (with some exceptions for collective bargaining agreements and students who work at their own universities) to earn up to 40 hours of paid leave to use for almost any reason. Paid leave is so important for all workers – to be able to stay home if they are sick, without fear of losing wages; to care for a sick child or family member or even a pet; to go to appointments; to spend time with a newborn. We are thrilled with this step forward, yet will continue to work for more weeks of paid leave so Illinois is more in line with other states and with almost every other industrialized country in the world.

  • The Patient and Provider Protection Act (PAPPA) also was signed into law during the January 2023 lame duck session. This law accomplishes many of our legislative priorities regarding reproductive health care in Illinois. It “shields reproductive and gender-affirming health care patients and providers from legal action originating across state lines in a post-Roe world where some states are moving swiftly to restrict such procedures. Also, it protects the Illinois licenses of health care providers licensed in multiple states who provide treatment legal in Illinois but which might cost them their license in a state where it’s not. And, it would prevent insurers from charging more for out-of-network care when in-network providers object to treatment on moral grounds.”  We join other state organizations in applauding this legislation.

  • Finally, your advocacy work to sunset the Invest in Kids Act made a difference! Extending this shadow voucher program, which diverts public school dollars to private schools, was not brought up during the lame duck session. We will continue to advocate for sunsetting this Act, as it was originally written, during the general session.

Thank you for your continued advocacy for AAUW’s public policy priorities.  Your work and your time matter!  You are making a big difference!