Olsen Legislation that Strengthens Penalties for Hate Crimes Signed into Law by Governor Rauner

In the wake of growing outrage over acts of violence and hate in Charlottesville, VA, Governor Bruce Rauner this week signed legislation that strengthens penalties for those who commit hate crimes in Illinois.

State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove), Chief Co-Sponsor of HB 2390, said the signing of the bill sends a clear message to those who would target others based on their race, color, creed, religion or other perceived classification that their behavior will not be tolerated.

“The nation is still reeling from the acts of domestic terrorism that occurred just two short weeks ago in Virginia,” said Olsen. “As lawmakers, we must do everything in our power to help prevent future instances of hate crimes. This is not a partisan issue; it’s a human issue. I was proud to serve as the leading Republican on this incredibly important piece of bipartisan legislation.”

HB 2390, signed into law on August 22 as Public Act 100-0260, increases the amount of damages for which a defendant can be held liable and also ensures that sentences for multiple convictions for hate crimes will be served consecutively rather than concurrently. The new law also includes an educational provision, so that rather than just being penalized for their crime, defendants will face an educational sentence so they may learn why their actions were wrong.

The bill received unanimous support in both the House and Senate during the spring legislative session.

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