This bill is critical in the ongoing fight to address the barrage of health and human service disparities directly affecting low-income and communities of color. According to Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago), this bill targets several layers of inequalities. “This bill addresses the disparities in behavioral health services, which includes mental health and substance abuse services,” Hunter said. “Further, this bill provides improvements in children’s health care services, women’s health care services, care for older adults, public health, the accessibility of health care services and addressing racism which includes implicit bias in human and health care services.”
This bill is part of the continued and assertive efforts of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus to combat systemic racism. The bill also looks to provide the needed and equitable assistance to communities that have historically been harmed by systems of injustice.
This bill now sits on the desk of Governor J.B. Pritzker. As concerned citizens and the broader faith-based community, I implore you to contact your state lawmakers and representatives. Tell them that Governor J.B. Pritzker needs to sign this bill into law to level the playing field for all Illinoisans. Information regarding HB 158 bill can be obtained at the official website of Illinois Voices for Children and Illinois Senate Democrats.
Rev. Beverly Dukes, Policy Coordinator
United Voices for Children