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Inmates, renters find greater rights under newly signed bills

(WEEK) – immigrant renters and those in the criminal justice system will see greater rights with new laws signed by Governor Pritzker.

The Immigration Tenant Protection Act prohibits landlords from evicting or retaliating against a tenant based on their citizenship or immigration status.

This makes Illinois the second state in the nation to protect immigrants who rent property.

Pritzker said those who pay their rent shouldn’t have to worry.

“Where you were born has nothing to do with the ability to pay rent on time, which is what the relationship between a landlord and tenant should really be about.

Landlords are also not able to disclose – or threaten to disclose – tenant immigration status to any immigration or law enforcement agency.

The governor also signed laws focused on the criminal justice system.

Among them – expanding voting rights in jails.

The new law gives anyone in custody awaiting trial the opportunity to cast their ballots during elections.

It also requires the Department of Corrections and county jails provide voter registration applications and detailed information about their voting rights.

“In Illinois, a felony record does not keep them for exercising their right to vote and we want their voices heard,” said Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton. “And they now will know upon exiting our Illinois Department of Corrections that this is their right.”

The governor also signed a law today to create incentives for education and rehabilitation programs in the Department of Corrections.

Jason Howell

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