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Collins urges Rauner to sign law creating Illinois Council on Women and Girls

Senator Jacqueline Collins stood alongside her legislative colleagues and advocates recently to call on Gov. Bruce Rauner to sign a law creating a new council dedicated to the research and investigation of the social and economic factors that hold back women and girls in society.

“The Illinois Council on Women and Girls will study the things that hold back half of our population from achieving their full potential, and it will periodically report on ways we could tear down the barriers that hold back our sisters and daughters,” Collins said, addressing reporters at a press conference at the James R. Thompson Center. “In doing so, it will start the conversations that result in change. I urge Governor Rauner to be part of the change we want to see in the world and to sign House Bill 5544.”

Submitted to the governor June 19, the legislation, which passed the General Assembly with bipartisan support, must be acted upon within the next two weeks. Collins and partner organizations Women’s March Chicago, Cause the Effect, Planned Parenthood Illinois Action, Equality IL, CNOW, YWCA-Metro Chicago, Chicago Foundation for Women, United State of Women, Women Employed, Men4Choice, Northwestern Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing, HerStory Chicago and the Chicago Center for Arts and Technology all urged Rauner to sign the legislation rather than allow it to languish for two weeks before automatically becoming law.

“This is really the start of our activism, using social media to convey to the governor that he needs to sign the bill,” Collins said.

Check cashing fee changes more tightly regulated under new law

Regulators will be required to consider the impact on consumers and protected classes of citizens whenever making future rate changes to check cashing services under a new law by State Collins which was signed recently.

Check cashing services are often the only option available to the unbanked – those who don’t have access to a bank account due to factors like poverty or unstable work. For people living paycheck to paycheck, an initial deposit for a bank account might not be possible, or even physically reaching a banking institution might not be plausible. For them, the only option is often a check cashing service, which draws a fee. The check cashing industry had called for an increase in those fees.

Earlier this year, State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago) worked alongside consumer advocates to reach a regulatory compromise in the wake of a proposal from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) which prevented an across-the-board increase in the rates of check cashing services and lowered the rate on cashing government assistance checks.

The new law signed today mandates that regulators must consider the potential impact on protected classes of citizens in the event they set new rates going forward.

“This is a service used almost exclusively by those who don’t have access to a bank account for a variety of reasons, and whose income has been virtually stagnant since the recession,” Collins said. “These changes fall the hardest on those with the least. After seeing this pass the Senate without opposition, I’m gratified to see it become law.”

The legislation was Senate Bill 2433. It takes effect June 1, 2019.

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