Sauer Advances First Bill Through House Committee with Unanimous Vote

This week, State Representative Nick Sauer (R-Lake Barrington) advanced his first piece of legislation through the House Committee process by unanimous vote. House Bill 3169 updates various statutes throughout Illinois law to assist children that are in the care of the State.

“For several years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with foster children as a volunteer for the Royal Family Kids summer camp program,” said Sauer. “The life-changing experiences I’ve had through working with these children have helped me see how important it is to provide an environment that promotes positive interaction. One important way to promote positive interaction and help inspire children is by doing away with outdated legal terms that diminish a child’s self-worth. This legislation does that and I’m pleased my colleagues voted unanimously to advance to it to the full House for consideration.”

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to those in the care of the State as “wards” of the State, but recent information has found that the use of “ward” is outdated and perceived disparagingly by youth, which can have detrimental impacts on their development.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.”

House Bill 3169 was unanimously approved by a vote of 12-0 in the Human Services Committee. The bill is now up for consideration by the full Illinois House of Representatives, where Sauer hopes it will be quickly passed and advanced to the Senate. Learn more about the legislation, Click Here.

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