SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Alarmed at the atrocities committed by Russia in its unwarranted invasion of Ukraine, state Rep. Lindsey LaPointe, D-Chicago, has introduced a comprehensive response package that welcomes Ukrainian refugees to Illinois, terminates state investment in Russian interests and creates a Money Laundering in Real Estate Task Force to target illicit overseas investment.
“It’s heartbreaking to see the images and video coming out of Ukraine, where innocent civilians have been caught in the crossfire of a cruel and unnecessary war,” LaPointe said. “This is not a situation where we can sit back and ignore what’s happening. As countries around the world impose tough sanctions on Russia, it’s clear that we have an ability here at home to make an impact as well. It’s time for Illinois to do its part.”
As one of the most comprehensive state responses in the country, LaPointe’s House Bill 1293 addresses the war in Ukraine through three primary actions:
It puts Illinois on a path to divest from Russian stocks and sovereign debt, including money that is in the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) and funds the Illinois State Board of Investment (ISBI) oversees. Systems not controlled by the state, including the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) are urged to follow the state’s lead. Russia’s war ally Belarus would also be targeted for divestment.
Additionally, LaPointe’s proposal grants the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) emergency rulemaking powers to create a Ukrainian Refugee Resettlement Program that could provide health care, mental health services and English language assistance to Ukrainian nationals who are granted temporary protected status or refugee status.
Furthermore, the plan develops a Money Laundering in Real Estate Task Force charged with assessing the exposure of residential, industrial and commercial real estate sectors in Illinois to illicit Russian money, including luxury real estate in Chicago and properties downstate.
LaPointe’s proposal builds on the response from residents across Illinois who have stepped up to send donations and humanitarian aid to Ukrainians.
“Illinois should be a leader in welcoming and supporting Ukrainian refugees and their families,” state Rep. Delia Ramirez, D-Chicago, said. “Nobody should have to endure the violence and trauma Ukrainians are facing. As the State Representative of Ukrainian Village, I stand in solidarity and call on our state to streamline the process to help these families in need, both here and Ukraine, and encourage residents to donate and support however they can.”
“The world is making a strong statement against Russian aggression, and there’s zero reason Illinois should be investing or supporting Putin’s regime in any capacity,” state Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea, said. “We have a moral imperative to make our priorities clear, let’s pass this package.”