The Chicago-based child advocacy group Voices for Illinois Children wants Illinois lawmakers to consider how their policies might worsen racial and ethnic disparities.
According to a spokeswoman, state Sen. Kimberly Lightford, a Maywood Democrat, is expected to introduce a measure that would create a “racial impact note” – where a lawmaker could ask for additional information tacked onto a bill that would estimate the impact on minorities.
They would be similar to fiscal notes that detail how a policy would affect the state’s finances.
Tasha Green Cruzat - Voices for Illinois Children President – says the law is needed to help correct years of unjust Illinois policies such as inequitable school funding and disparities in academic opportunities.
The Illinois House approved similar legislation last session with no opposition, but it never got a vote in the Senate.
”These policies have been ingrained and, we don't recognize them outright because they're so embedded, and it's become a way of life, and we don't focus on fixing those inequities,’ Green Cruzat. “So, it's important that we take a big step in making sure that we address the the inequities that continue to exist
“I think in Illinois for very, very long time we've been focused so much on some of the things that I think are plaguing our state, such as our financial condition, I think that we get so embedded in those issues that we don't really focus on children and families and particularly children of color.”
If approved, Green Cruzat said, such a law would be the first of its kind in the nation.