By: Gabi Mintrup
Hard work pays off! On the afternoon of March 20, 2021, Governor David signed his very first bill into law. H-B-13, written by Sen. Maddie DeGraff and Rep. Leland Pan of Metea Valley High School, will require all state correctional facilities to have a drug rehabilitation program.
Governor David spoke incredibly highly of the bill: “I think this is a landmark bill for the state of Illinois.” He elaborated that this bill will allow the correctional system to be “the institution for rehabilitation it was meant to be.”
When asked why he chose this as his first bill to sign into law, Governor David stated, “I think this is a bill that tackles numerous issues.” He continued on to say, “Mass incarceration disproportionately affects minority groups … I think that by tackling this issue of mass incarceration we move forward to a more socially just and racially just world.” This lines up with the Governor’s number one priority of “Racial and Social Justice” as stated in his press release yesterday evening, so it is no surprise that he chose to pass this piece of legislation first.
Bill Sponsors DeGraff and Pan are thrilled that the Governor chose to sign their bill this afternoon. Sen. DeGraff sponsored a bill related to correctional system reform last year as well, so she discussed how this is an issue that is very important to her. She excitedly said, “We’ve been working toward it all year … so it’s really exciting, and it means a lot.” Rep. Pan added that one of their motivations is to “make sure that we are educating people that really need help and giving them a second chance.”
The first bill signing of the year went off without a hitch, and Sponsors DeGraff and Pan, along with Governor David, are very happy to have been a part of it.