SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – In response to reports of a nationwide increase of hate crimes, especially crimes targeting houses of worship and religious centers, state Rep. Stephanie Kifowit, D-Oswego, passed legislation out of the House, which provides greater protections and strengthened penalties against those convicted of committing these crimes. Her legislation passed with bipartisan support.
“I wanted to ensure we’re doing everything we can here in Illinois to prevent these acts of hate from occurring and protect minority communities,” Kifowit said. “My legislation focuses not just on punishing criminals who commit hate crimes, but the bill also offers victims the just compensation they deserve.”
Kifowit’s House Bill 2390 makes several changes to Illinois current hate crime law. Her bill extends hate crime protections to include the exterior and grounds of religious buildings. Community service ordered following a conviction must be performed in the county where the offender was convicted of the crime. Individuals convicted of committing hate crimes must attend in-person educational classes focused on discouraging hate crimes against the targeted group. Kifowit’s measure also gives judges the ability to determine a fair financial amount based on the severity of the crime and damages suffered by the victim. Parents and legal guardians would also be financially responsible for crimes committed by minors.
“The only way to combat and end hate crimes is through education and understanding,” Kifowit said. “I believe it’s necessary for those who commit hate crimes to have to learn about who they targeted and why their actions are wrong.”
Visit Rep Kifowit’s website
200-1S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
1677 Montgomery Rd.
Aurora, IL 60504
(630) 585-1357 FAX