Illinois Radio Network: Illinois House passes ‘Homeless Bill of Rights’

SPRINGFIELD – Illinoisans who are temporarily or chronically homeless could have protection against discrimination if a “Homeless Bill of Rights” becomes law.

Sponsoring State Rep. Chris Welch (D-Hillside) says, “Basic rights such as the right to maintain gainful employment, to access public services and spaces, to access emergency medical care, and the right to vote on the same basis as others cannot be denied solely because someone is homeless or lists a shelter as their address.”

The only opposition during the House debate (May 10) concerned the right to vote and whether there would be enough precautions to forestall voter fraud perpetuated by homeless people.

“We’ll have to trust the local authorities,” Welch said. State Rep. David Reis (R-Sainte Marie) got a laugh out of that response.

S.B. 1210 has passed the House, 76-33.