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Trotter seeks housing options for homeless youth

trotter 052617SPRINGFIELD – Today, legislation intended to grant homeless youth the option of using transitional housing independent of their parental status has passed the Senate. State Senator Donne Trotter (D-Chicago) is sponsoring House Bill 3212, which allows homeless minors aged 16 to 18 to live in transitional housing without being partially emancipated by a court of law or entering into family reunification. It changes the Emancipation of Minors Act and is an initiative of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.

“By providing homeless youth the opportunity to consent to living in transitional housing without parental permission, we grant them the opportunity to make conscious decisions about their future," Sen. Trotter said. "Youth in difficult situations may not be able to turn to their guardians for support and it is essential that we give them the necessary tools to find a safe place to live as they put their lives in order. Living without housing is difficult and we should do all in our power to lessen the housing changes faced by homeless youth; this legislation promotes that."

Trotter measure demanding payment of exoneree claims passes Senate

trotter 051917SPRINGFIELD – Today, legislation meant to create a continuous fund for claims by people wrongfully imprisoned passed the Senate. Senate Bill 1993 is vital to keep up these court-ordered claim payments. It has been nearly three years since the Illinois Court of Claims stopped paying these claims because of the budget stalemate.

The passing of this legislation through the Senate is only the first step in properly restoring court-ordered claims payments for those who have been unjustly sentenced to time behind bars. The budget impasse in Illinois has stopped the claim payments of 20 exonerated inmates owned a total of $3.4 million. Their suffering was caused by the failure of the justice system to properly dispense rulings, but if this bill passes the House we are one step closer to providing those exonerated with some closure and monetary compensation.  

State Senator Donne Trotter (D-Chicago), the sponsor of the bill, has called the legislation an important step in providing equity for people unjustly held in the penal system that have won in court:

“This is a critical piece of legislation that passed out of the Illinois Senate. It is our duty to ensure that those receiving claims for being unjustly incarcerated are compensated. These court-ordered claims can be used to rebuild their lives torn apart by convictions that never should have occurred. We need to be accountable to those that have been wronged by the penal system and found favorable claim rulings in a court of law. These court-ordered funds give relief to those who have been wrongly incarcerated in a timely manner. ”

Senator Donne E. Trotter is a Chicago Democrat and leading advocate for justice reform.

Trotter bill expands HIV testing for at-risk mothers

HIV testingSPRINGFIELD – Yesterday, legislation intended to offer additional HIV testing for at risk pregnant woman in their third trimester passed an important Senate committee. House Bill 2800 equips pregnant women with the another opportunity to know their HIV status during the prenatal stage to make informed decisions that will benefit them and in return reduce the risk of spreading the disease.

This crucial measure adds on to the Perinatal HIV Prevention Act by furthering efforts to provide vital information to pregnant at risk women. State Senator Donne Trotter (D-Chicago), answered the call to push for increased HIV testing opportunities among disadvantaged pregnant women to increase awareness:

“This is a significant piece of legislation that passed out of the Public Health Committee. It is vital that we increase HIV testing for at-risk pregnant woman in their third trimester as opposed to only testing in the first trimester to prevent the spread of disease. Too often we see the need to do more good in improvised communities as far as HIV testing is concerned and we ignore it, but no more. By offering additional prenatal testing, we decrease the chance of transmission to the infant.”

Trotter: Antiquated, unfair bond process hurts the poor

trotter 032017SPRINGFIELD – To end a system that punishes the poor, State Senator Donne Trotter is sponsoring a proposal that eliminates the state’s antiquated monetary bond process.

“Rather than providing all persons arrested an equitable opportunity to leave custody, it is only afforded to those who can pay the bond,” said Trotter, D-Chicago. “This antiquated bond process only increases the likelihood of low-income people being arrested for petty crimes and enduring harsher conditions than people from affluent backgrounds who commit the same crime. These trends of partiality toward people with wealth are prevalent in the justice system.”

The budget impasse has created a greater need for cost saving measures in Illinois. One area in great need of reform, said Trotter, is the prison system. The state squanders valuable resources on the holding of low risk offenders if they are unable to make bond.

The legislation is Senate Bill 552 which is in the Senate Criminal Law committee. An identical bill, House Bill 3717, has a hearing on Tuesday in the House Judiciary-Criminal Committee. These two pieces of legislature are critical in the fight against inequity in the justice system that hurts minorities and poorer families.

Senator Donne E. Trotter is a Chicago Democrat and leading advocate for justice reform.

Senator Donne E. Trotter


17th District
Assistant Majority Leader

Years served: 1988–1993 (House); 1993–Present (Senate)

Committee assignments: Energy and Public Utilities; Appropriations I; Executive; Appropriations II (Vice-Chairperson); Committee of the Whole.

Biography: Senior hospital administrator; born Jan. 30th, 1950, in Cairo; B.A., Chicago State University; M.J., Loyola University School of Law; married (wife, Rose), has four children.

Associated Representative(s): Marcus C. Evans Jr., Elgie R. Sims Jr.