Following a regulatory compromise that set new rates on check cashing services, including lowering the rate on government assistance checks, legislation passed the General Assembly without opposition this month requiring industry regulators to consider the impact on consumers and minority communities in future rate changes.  

State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago) worked alongside consumer advocates to reach the regulatory compromise in the wake of a proposal from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) which would have raised rates on check cashing services like those at a Currency Exchange. The measure now awaiting the governor’s signature would define a number of socioeconomic factors that regulators must consider in the event they set new rates going forward.

“I’m pleased to see this compromise meet with success in the General Assembly without opposition,” Collins said. “This is a service used almost exclusively by the unbanked – those who don’t have access to a bank account for a variety of reasons, and whose income has been virtually stagnant since the recession. We must ensure that this process – which determines what rate to charge the people who can least afford such services offered to bank accountholders for free – is closely regulated and its import carefully considered.”

For people living paycheck to paycheck, an initial deposit for a bank account might not be possible, or even physically reaching a banking institution might not be plausible. For them, the only option is often a check cashing service, which draws a fee.

Senate Bill 2433 calls for IDFPR to consider the impact on consumers and whether an increase in the rate schedule will disproportionately impact anyone on the basis of any protected categories defined in the Illinois Human Rights Act.

In response to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s amendatory veto of House Bill 1468, in which he called for a reinstatement of the death penalty, State Senator Jacqueline Collins issued the following statement today:

“Just as darkness cannot drive out darkness, death cannot deter death. The day Governor George Ryan declared a moratorium on the death penalty in Illinois was a day humanity prevailed over brutality,” Collins said. “The state is tasked with dispensing justice, but it should not be in the business of taking away the gift of life. This move by Governor Rauner is shortsighted and shocking in its cynicism. I oppose his recommendation and I urge all my colleagues and all those who value life to voice their opposition as well.”

001collinsSPRINGFIELD – Secretary of State Jesse White has announced more than $15 million in funding to libraries statewide through Illinois Public Library Per Capita, including libraries in the 16th Senate District.

“Libraries are a public investment in enrichment and opportunity for all,” said State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago). “Grants like these help our libraries continue to provide everything from reading programs for young people to assistance for job seekers in our communities.”

Per Capita grants like the ones awarded in the 16th District help fund library expenses such as materials, personnel, equipment, electronic access, telecommunications and technology.

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Senator Jacqueline CollinsSPRINGFIELD – To continue pushing for equality and break down the social and economic barriers that continue to hold back women, State Senator Jacqueline Collins advanced a new measure that would focus state resources on researching and implementing policies to help women and girls in Illinois.

Senate Bill 3402 would create the Illinois Council on Women and Girls, a group that would advise the governor and the General Assembly on policy issues with a female focus. The council would be required to issue twice-yearly reports on its policy recommendations by June 30 and Dec. 31 of each year. The Senate State Government Committee approved the measure Wednesday.

“The Illinois Council on Women and Girls would focus on finding those areas of systemic disadvantage or bias in our policies and seek realistic ways of reforming them,” Collins said. “I urge my colleagues in the Senate to take this step toward knocking down the barriers that stand in the way of our sisters and daughters.”

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