Two new amendments to the Illinois Constitution, which were placed on the ballot by the General Assembly, were approved by voters on November 4.
These amendments are effective once the election results are certified.
1. Victims’ Rights Amendment (HJR CA 1): Known as Marsy’s Law, this amendment seeks to expand the rights of Illinois crime victims, giving them greater ability to enforce their rights in a court of law. The Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights would ensure crime victims are provided with information about hearings and plea negotiations, access to restitution and protections against alleged perpetrators. It would also allow victims the right to speak on their own behalf during a post-arraignment release decision, plea or sentencing, and would require the courts to taken into account the safety of a victim and his/her family when determining bail or a defendant’s release.
2. Voters’ Rights Amendment (HJR CA 52): This amendment prohibits any law that would disproportionately affect Illinois residents’ rights to vote based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, orientation, status as a member of a language minority, or income. The Senate sponsor of the proposed amendment indicated the intent was to prohibit adoption of voter identification laws in Illinois, such as requiring photo identification to cast a ballot.