State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) has signed on as the lead Republican for anti-hate crime legislation filed in Springfield.


“Sadly, hate crimes are on the rise in Illinois and across the country,” Olsen said. “Those who would attack others, verbally or physically, based on their race, color, creed, religion or other perceived classification, need to know their behavior will not be tolerated and that the consequences for such actions will be severe.”


HB 2390 would increase the amount of damages for which a defendant can be held liable and includes language that would ensure that sentences for multiple convictions would be served consecutively rather than concurrently. The bill also includes an educational provision, so that rather than just being penalized for their crime, defendants would face an educational sentence so they could learn why their actions were wrong.


“Two weeks ago I stood with Governor Bruce Rauner and a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers as we announced that Illinois will be working with the Simon Wiesenthal Center to expand anti-hate education for Illinois K-12 students,” said Olsen. “HB 2390 supplements those proactive measures involving our youth with enhanced penalties for those who choose to commit crimes motivated by bias or prejudice against any group or classification of people.”


HB 2390 was recommended for approval by the House Judiciary-Criminal Committee in March and is expected to be considered by the full House when lawmakers return to Springfield later this month.