Held At Edwardsville Library on 3/20/2023 at 6:00pm
13 community members in attendance
Katie went over some bills and projects she and her party are working on.
- Childcare: $250 Million will be allocated for early childhood programs
- DCFS rules changed regarding staffing requirements
- Ins-Reconstructive Services HB1384: Getting insurance to cover reconstructive surgery for those impacted by violent crimes. (Bipartisan Support)
- Vaginal Estrogen Coverage HB4335 (died in session).
- Breast Milk Donation Bill HB2519. (Passed with Bipartisan support): Mandates Hospitals to pass out information re: Breast Milk Donation.
- Firefighters FMLA HB3908 – Drafted by the firefighters union, this bill would provide 6 weeks of paid Family Medical Leave for firefighters. The firefighters are having a difficult time recruiting women due to FMLA issues. Katie did not know the estimated tax burden this would have on local municipalities and said they are still working out the logistics. Local municipalities would need to budget for such a change but Katie said it would be difficult to get a firm cost estimate due to each municipality being vastly different. She said she will try to get more information regarding the financial liabilities as they work out the logistics.
- Teacher grooming: I did not catch the bill number for this, but Katie said she has not gotten the support she wanted. Katie said that the hold-up has been the Senate. They believe this bill would be duplicative.
- Sexual Assault by Deception HB2093 Did not pass
- Equitable Restroom/All-Gender HB1286 This bill would allow builders to construct all-gender, multi-stall bathrooms in public places. This bill created the most discussion.
- Misinformation of requirements as stated in the Synopsis: Katie stated that she was displeased with the misinformation repeated throughout IL regarding this legislation and received death threats due to this misinformation. When asked what misinformation she was referring to, she stated that there is no requirement for newly constructed buildings to have a multi-stall/multi-gender bathroom. The synopsis of the bill specifically states some newly constructed buildings would be required to install these types of bathrooms. Katie stated that the synopsis of this bill was incorrect. Since this language was used in the synopsis and left out of the bill, she was asked if she would add a requirement prior to passing the legislation. Katie stated would not require any newly constructed buildings to have a gender neutral bathroom.
- Gender Specific Bathrooms next to a Gender Neutral Bathroom: It was asked why gender specific bathrooms could not be constructed right next to a gender neutral bathroom. This would give people the option to choose whichever bathroom they felt most comfortable with. For example, LA Airport has 3 multi-stall bathrooms next to each other:
1 male, 1 female, and 1 multi-gender.
Katie stated that this current bill allows for such a design, however, I respectfully disagree.
The bill states, “If an all-gender multiple-occupancy restroom is newly constructed, any newly constructed, multiple-occupancy restroom located adjacent or in proximity to the newly constructed all-gender multiple-occupancy restroom must also be designated as an all-gender multiple-occupancy restroom.”
Katie stated that the architects who designed the bill have interpreted the bill as being able to construct gender specific bathrooms next to the gender neutral.
- We had a discussion about existing multi-stall gender-specific bathrooms being converted into gender neutral bathrooms.
- Urinals: For the sake of privacy, when asked for the specific dimensions of the urinal partitions, Katie was unable to give any specific dimensions of urinal privacy partitions. Katie said she doubts builders would install urinals. This bill does allow builders to install urinals in gender neutral bathrooms and there are no clear specifications on the privacy divider. Katie was told that children should not be exposed to male genitalia while using a public restroom. Some community members thought urinals should not be allowed unless they were in a completely enclosed room-style stall with a locking mechanism.
- Privacy/Safety: Safety and privacy concerns about young girls being in bathrooms with adult men were voiced. Louden County was used as an example. Other safety concern examples were given but Katie dismissed all of these concerns. She stated that a girl could be assaulted in any bathroom.
- Lobbyists/Witness Slips: Katie was asked why she felt the need to bring forth this legislation. She stated that law students at Loyola University wanted this bill brought forward. She admitted that this bill is supported by a number of lobbyists and also admitted there has been a lot of citizen opposition.
When asked if she knew how many people filed witness slips in support/opposition to this bill. She did not know the answer.
(352 proponents. 2633 opposed).
In the end, Katie was asked not to go any further with HB1286 for a multitude of safety and privacy concerns. She was reminded that she is a representative for district 112 and the bill she is representing is appeasing to Chicago and her Union Lobbyists.
10. Misleading Legislation Titles (Shell Bills) The meeting was finalized with a person expressing the concern over shell bills. Legislation that is identified by misleading titles. Katie acknowledged it was a problem but stated she had little control over this. She was asked if she could produce legislation preventing the mislabeling of legislation. She was not sure, but thought she could. Then said if she drafted a bill like this, she wasn’t sure if it would get “called up” for a vote. She was encouraged to act on this.