|Public Act 100-0913|
|HB5544 Enrolled||LRB100 20125 RJF 36163 b|
AN ACT concerning State government.
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
This Act may be cited as the
Illinois Council on Women and Girls Act.
Findings and declaration of policy.
Assembly hereby finds, determines, and declares the following:
(1) the number of women and girls, of all ages in
Illinois as of 2013, was close to half of the State's
population, at 6,560,187;
(2) approximately 13% of the total population of the
women are immigrants;
(3) Illinois women who work full-time, year-round,
earn 80 cents on the dollar compared with similarly
(4) approximately 28.2% of those working in science,
technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields in
Illinois are women, compared with 28.8% nationwide;
(5) approximately 32.7% of women in Illinois have a
bachelor's degree or higher, which is an increase of about
8 percentage points since the 2000;
(6) women in Illinois who are unionized earn $122 more
per week, on average, than those who are not represented by
(7) approximately 61% of women in Illinois are part of
the labor force, and 27.2% of businesses in Illinois are
owned by women;
(8) heart disease is the biggest killer of women in the
United States, and Illinois ranks 29 of 51 with a mortality
rate of 136.9 per 100,000 women, specifically, 133.8 for
Caucasian women, 79.8 Hispanic women, 186.1 for African
American women, 70.5 for Pacific Islander women, and 72.1
for Native American women;
(9) the female lung cancer mortality rates for women,
per 100,000, in 2011-2013, was 42.0 for Caucasian women,
11.6 for Hispanic women; 44.2 for African American women;
and 15.8 for Pacific Islander women;
(10) the female breast cancer mortality rates for
women, per 100,000, in 2011-2013, was 22.8 for Caucasian
women, 10.6 for Hispanic women, 32.6 for African American
women, and 11.5 for Pacific Islander women; and
(11) wide racial and ethnic disparities exist in
Illinois pregnancy-related mortality rates, which in 2013,
in deaths per 100,000 births, were 8.1 for Caucasian women
and 28.9 for African American women, and the severe
maternal morbidity rate for Illinois between 2011-2013 was
higher than the national rate;
(12) teen pregnancy is often unintended and can have
long-term negative health effects on future physical,
behavioral, educational, and economic development of
mothers and children, and teen birth rates in Illinois are
significantly higher for African American and Hispanic
teens than for Caucasian teens;
(13) women who are transgender experience high rates of
discrimination, harassment, and violence in every aspect
of their lives, including health care settings, other
public accommodations, housing, and employment; and
(14) approximately 65.9% of women in Illinois are
registered to vote.
Based on the foregoing findings, the General Assembly
determines and declares that it is the public policy of the
State of Illinois to provide fair and equal access for women in
Illinois to adequate healthcare, resources for professional
and academic opportunity, and resources for safety and proper
living conditions for them and their young children, paying
attention to the variances of impact in these areas along the
lines of race and ethnicity.
As used in this Act:
"Council" means the Illinois Council on Women and Girls
created by this Act.
"Woman" or "women" means all persons of the female gender,
including both cisgender and transgender persons.
"Transgender" describes persons whose gender identity is
different from the gender they were assigned at birth.
"Cisgender" describes persons whose gender identity is the
same as the gender they were assigned at birth.
"Gender identity" means a person's deeply felt, inherent
sense of who they are as a particular gender, such as female.
The Illinois Council on Women and Girls.
(a) There is hereby created the Illinois Council on Women
(b) The Council shall advise the Governor and the General
Assembly on policy issues impacting women and girls in this
State, including, but not limited to, the following goals:
(1) to advance the role and civic participation of
women and girls in this State;
(2) to put in place programs and advocate policies that
work to end the gender pay gap and discrimination in
professional and academic opportunities;
(3) to promote resources and opportunities for
academic and professional growth;
(4) to allow women and young girls to have legal
protections and recourse in cases of sexual harassment in
(5) to prevent and protect women from domestic
(6) to provide proper standards of healthcare, and to
study the disparate impacts on women as it pertains to
(7) to promote increased access to reproductive health
(8) to protect women who are transgender from violence
and harassment, and increase their fair and equal access to
culturally competent health care, housing, employment, and
(9) to disseminate information and build relationships
between State agencies and commissions in furtherance of
the Council's goals under this Act; and
(10) to give significant attention to the inclusion of
women of color in decision-making capacities and
identifying barriers toward parity, and for leadership
inclusion that works to realize America's founding
principles of equity and opportunity for all.
(a) The Council shall consist of 21 members. The Governor
shall appoint one member to be the representative of the Office
of the Governor. The Governor, the President of the Senate, the
Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Minority Leader of
the Senate, and the Minority Leader of the House of
Representatives shall also each appoint 4 public members to the
Council. The Governor shall select the chairperson of the
Council from among the members.
(b) Appointing authorities shall ensure, to the maximum
extent practicable, that the Council is diverse with respect to
race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, and
(c) Appointments to the Council shall be persons of
recognized ability and experience in one or more of the
following areas: higher education, business, law, social
services, human services, immigration, refugee services,
community development, or healthcare.
(d) Members of the Council shall serve 2-year terms. A
member shall serve until his or her successor shall be
appointed and qualified. Members of the Council shall not be
entitled to compensation for their services as members.
(e) The following officials shall serve as ex officio
members: the Lieutenant Governor, or his or her designee, and
the Chief of the Bureau of Refugee and Immigrant Services
within the Department of Human Services, or his or her
designee. Additionally, the Director, Executive Director, or
Superintendent of the following State agencies shall each
appoint one liaison to serve as an ex officio member of the
Council: the Department on Aging, the Department of Human
Rights, the Department of Children and Family Services, the
Department of Healthcare and Family Services, the Department of
Public Health, the Department of Labor, the Illinois State
Board of Education, the Illinois Board of Higher Education, and
the Illinois Community College Board.
(f) The Council may establish committees that address
certain issues, including, but not limited to, communications,
economic development, and legislative affairs.
(g) The Office of the Governor shall provide administrative
and technical support to the Council, including a staff member
to serve as the Council's ethics officer.
The Council shall meet at least once
per quarter. In addition, the Council may hold up to 2 public
hearings annually to assist in the development of policy
recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly, and
implement programming to meet its overall mission goals. All
meetings of the Council shall be conducted in accordance with
the Open Meetings Act. A majority of current non-ex-officio
members of the Council shall constitute a quorum.
The Council shall electronically
reports on its policy recommendations by June
30th and December
31st of each year to the Governor and the
General Assembly. The reports issued to the General Assembly
under this Section shall be filed electronically with the
General Assembly as provided under Section 3.1 of the General
Assembly Organization Act, and shall be provided to any member
of the General Assembly upon request.
The provisions of this Act are
severable under Section 1.31 of the Statute on Statutes.
This Act takes effect upon