Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB5544
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Full Text of HB5544  100th General Assembly




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1    AN ACT concerning State government.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the
5Illinois Council on Women and Girls Act.
6    Section 5. Findings and declaration of policy. The General
7Assembly hereby finds, determines, and declares the following:
8        (1) the number of women and girls, of all ages in
9    Illinois as of 2013, was close to half of the State's
10    population, at 6,560,187;
11        (2) approximately 13% of the total population of the
12    women are immigrants;
13        (3) Illinois women who work full-time, year-round,
14    earn 80 cents on the dollar compared with similarly
15    employed men;
16        (4) approximately 28.2% of those working in science,
17    technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields in
18    Illinois are women, compared with 28.8% nationwide;
19        (5) approximately 32.7% of women in Illinois have a
20    bachelor's degree or higher, which is an increase of about
21    8 percentage points since the 2000;
22        (6) women in Illinois who are unionized earn $122 more
23    per week, on average, than those who are not represented by



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1    a union;
2        (7) approximately 61% of women in Illinois are part of
3    the labor force, and 27.2% of businesses in Illinois are
4    owned by women;
5        (8) heart disease is the biggest killer of women in the
6    United States, and Illinois ranks 29 of 51 with a mortality
7    rate of 136.9 per 100,000 women, specifically, 133.8 for
8    Caucasian women, 79.8 Hispanic women, 186.1 for African
9    American women, 70.5 for Pacific Islander women, and 72.1
10    for Native American women;
11        (9) the female lung cancer mortality rates for women,
12    per 100,000, in 2011-2013, was 42.0 for Caucasian women,
13    11.6 for Hispanic women; 44.2 for African American women;
14    and 15.8 for Pacific Islander women;
15        (10) the female breast cancer mortality rates for
16    women, per 100,000, in 2011-2013, was 22.8 for Caucasian
17    women, 10.6 for Hispanic women, 32.6 for African American
18    women, and 11.5 for Pacific Islander women; and
19        (11) wide racial and ethnic disparities exist in
20    Illinois pregnancy-related mortality rates, which in 2013,
21    in deaths per 100,000 births, were 8.1 for Caucasian women
22    and 28.9 for African American women, and the severe
23    maternal morbidity rate for Illinois between 2011-2013 was
24    higher than the national rate;
25        (12) teen pregnancy is often unintended and can have
26    long-term negative health effects on future physical,



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1    behavioral, educational, and economic development of
2    mothers and children, and teen birth rates in Illinois are
3    significantly higher for African American and Hispanic
4    teens than for Caucasian teens;
5        (13) women who are transgender experience high rates of
6    discrimination, harassment, and violence in every aspect
7    of their lives, including health care settings, other
8    public accommodations, housing, and employment; and
9        (14) approximately 65.9% of women in Illinois are
10    registered to vote.
11    Based on the foregoing findings, the General Assembly
12determines and declares that it is the public policy of the
13State of Illinois to provide fair and equal access for women in
14Illinois to adequate healthcare, resources for professional
15and academic opportunity, and resources for safety and proper
16living conditions for them and their young children, paying
17attention to the variances of impact in these areas along the
18lines of race and ethnicity.
19    Section 10. Definitions. As used in this Act:
20    "Council" means the Illinois Council on Women and Girls
21created by this Act.
22    "Woman" or "women" means all persons of the female gender,
23including both cisgender and transgender persons.
24    "Transgender" describes persons whose gender identity is
25different from the gender they were assigned at birth.



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1    "Cisgender" describes persons whose gender identity is the
2same as the gender they were assigned at birth.
3    "Gender identity" means a person's deeply felt, inherent
4sense of who they are as a particular gender, such as female.
5    Section 15. The Illinois Council on Women and Girls.
6    (a) There is hereby created the Illinois Council on Women
7and Girls.
8    (b) The Council shall advise the Governor and the General
9Assembly on policy issues impacting women and girls in this
10State, including, but not limited to, the following goals:
11        (1) to advance the role and civic participation of
12    women and girls in this State;
13        (2) to put in place programs and advocate policies that
14    work to end the gender pay gap and discrimination in
15    professional and academic opportunities;
16        (3) to promote resources and opportunities for
17    academic and professional growth;
18        (4) to allow women and young girls to have legal
19    protections and recourse in cases of sexual harassment in
20    the workplace;
21        (5) to prevent and protect women from domestic
22    violence;
23        (6) to provide proper standards of healthcare, and to
24    study the disparate impacts on women as it pertains to
25    diverse demographics;



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1        (7) to promote increased access to reproductive health
2    care;
3        (8) to protect women who are transgender from violence
4    and harassment, and increase their fair and equal access to
5    culturally competent health care, housing, employment, and
6    other opportunities;
7        (9) to disseminate information and build relationships
8    between State agencies and commissions in furtherance of
9    the Council's goals under this Act; and
10        (10) to give significant attention to the inclusion of
11    women of color in decision-making capacities and
12    identifying barriers toward parity, and for leadership
13    inclusion that works to realize America's founding
14    principles of equity and opportunity for all.
15    Section 20. Council members.
16    (a) The Council shall consist of 21 members. The Governor
17shall appoint one member to be the representative of the Office
18of the Governor. The Governor, the President of the Senate, the
19Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Minority Leader of
20the Senate, and the Minority Leader of the House of
21Representatives shall also each appoint 4 public members to the
22Council. The Governor shall select the chairperson of the
23Council from among the members.
24    (b) Appointing authorities shall ensure, to the maximum
25extent practicable, that the Council is diverse with respect to



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1race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, and
3    (c) Appointments to the Council shall be persons of
4recognized ability and experience in one or more of the
5following areas: higher education, business, law, social
6services, human services, immigration, refugee services,
7community development, or healthcare.
8    (d) Members of the Council shall serve 2-year terms. A
9member shall serve until his or her successor shall be
10appointed and qualified. Members of the Council shall not be
11entitled to compensation for their services as members.
12    (e) The following officials shall serve as ex officio
13members: the Lieutenant Governor, or his or her designee, and
14the Chief of the Bureau of Refugee and Immigrant Services
15within the Department of Human Services, or his or her
16designee. Additionally, the Director, Executive Director, or
17Superintendent of the following State agencies shall each
18appoint one liaison to serve as an ex officio member of the
19Council: the Department on Aging, the Department of Human
20Rights, the Department of Children and Family Services, the
21Department of Healthcare and Family Services, the Department of
22Public Health, the Department of Labor, the Illinois State
23Board of Education, the Illinois Board of Higher Education, and
24the Illinois Community College Board.
25    (f) The Council may establish committees that address
26certain issues, including, but not limited to, communications,



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1economic development, and legislative affairs.
2    (g) The Office of the Governor shall provide administrative
3and technical support to the Council, including a staff member
4to serve as the Council's ethics officer.
5    Section 25. Meetings. The Council shall meet at least once
6per quarter. In addition, the Council may hold up to 2 public
7hearings annually to assist in the development of policy
8recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly, and
9implement programming to meet its overall mission goals. All
10meetings of the Council shall be conducted in accordance with
11the Open Meetings Act. A majority of current non-ex-officio
12members of the Council shall constitute a quorum.
13    Section 30. Reports. The Council shall electronically
14issue semi-annual reports on its policy recommendations by June
1530th and December 31st of each year to the Governor and the
16General Assembly. The reports issued to the General Assembly
17under this Section shall be filed electronically with the
18General Assembly as provided under Section 3.1 of the General
19Assembly Organization Act, and shall be provided to any member
20of the General Assembly upon request.
21    Section 97. Severability. The provisions of this Act are
22severable under Section 1.31 of the Statute on Statutes.
23    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon



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1becoming law.