Rep. Sauer Passes First House Bill with Unanimous Vote

Today, State Representative Nick Sauer (R-Lake Barrington) passed his first piece of legislation in the Illinois House of Representatives by unanimous vote. House Bill 3169 updates various statutes throughout Illinois law to support children that are in the care of the State.

“I’m pleased that my colleagues in the House came together to unanimously pass House Bill 3169 today,” said Sauer. “Every child benefits when we create an environment that promotes inspiring and positive interaction. For children in foster care, we can nurture this type of positive environment by ending the use of outdated legal terms that diminish their self-worth. House Bill 3169 helps us do this and I look forward to it reaching the Governor’s desk to be signed into law.”

Illinois has approximately 14,800 young people in the care of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). For decades, state statute has referred to those in the care of the State as “wards” of the State, but recent information has found that the use of “ward” is outdated and perceived disparagingly by youth, which can have detrimental impacts on their development. An Executive Order by Gov. Rauner directed DCFS to refrain from using the term “ward” unless required by state statute and instead use “youth in care.” To end the use of “ward” entirely, Sauer’s legislation changes several state statutes to change the terminology to “youth in care.”

Sauer noted he was immediately interested in sponsoring the legislation because of his experience as a volunteer for the Royal Family Kids summer camp program for foster children. He said the life-changing experiences he has had with the program over the years helped him see how important it is to provide an atmosphere of inspiration and stimulate self-worth for children in foster care.

House Bill 3169 was unanimously approved by a vote of 110-0 on the House Floor and now advances to the Senate, where Sauer hopes for the same expeditious passage. To Learn more about the legislation, Click Here.

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