Obama Passed Equal Pay Act In Illinois To Give 330,000 More Women Protection From Pay Discrimination.

Obama co-sponsored and voted for the Equal Pay Act which provided that no employer may discriminate between employees on the basis of sex by paying ages solely on the basis of the employee's gender. According to the AP, the "Illinois Equal Pay Act expands the federal Equal Pay Act of 1963 to give about 330,000 more women in the state protection from gender-based discrimination in pay" by applying the law to companies that employee 4 or more people, rather than the federal standard of fifteen. Obama attended the bill signing on Mother's Day of 2003. [93rd GA; SB 0002; 2003; Signed into law, 5/11/03, PA 93-0006; AP, 5/11/03; Chicago Tribune, 5/8/03; Chicago Tribune, 5/12/03]

Obama Passed A Law To Create The Victims Economic Security And Safety Act (VESSA), which helps victims of abuse seek treatment without losing their jobs.

Obama was the chief sponsor and voted to created the Victims' Economic Security and Safety Act. The bill provided that an employee who is a victim of domestic or sexual violence, or who has a family or household member who is a victim of domestic or sexual violence whose interests are not adverse to the employee, may take leave from work to address domestic or sexual violence by: seeking medical attention for, or recovering from, physical or psychological injuries caused by domestic or sexual violence to the employee or the employee's family or household member; obtaining services from a victim services organization for the employee or the employee's family or household member; obtaining psychological or other counseling for the employee or the employee's family or household member; participating in safety planning, temporarily or permanently relocating, or taking other actions to increase the safety of the employee or the employee's family or household member from future domestic or sexual violence or ensure economic security; or seeking legal assistance or remedies to ensure the health and safety of the employee or the employee's family or household member, including preparing for or participating in any civil or criminal legal proceeding related to or derived from domestic or sexual violence. The Chicago Tribune reported, "But VESSA, as it is known, allows time off for personal issues not covered by the FMLA and is designed to help victims keep their jobs." Obama said he sponsored the bill after being approached by several advocacy group for battered women. "They came to me and indicated how difficult it is for victims of physical and sexual abuse to deal with the repercussions of an assault and then try to balance it with work and everything else." [93rd GA; HB 3486; 3R P 58-0-0, 5/20/03; Signed into law 8/25/03, PA 93-0591; Chicago Tribune, 8/20/03; University Wire, 8/22/03]

Obama Passed Into Law a Requirement that Women And Minority Scientists/Engineers Be Represented And Consulted on Specific Technology and Science Efforts.

In 2007, Obama sponsored an amendment, which became law, to the America Competes Act requiring that minorities and females be represented and consulted during the development of innovation/competitiveness strategies at the National Science and Technology Summit (NSTS), on the President's Council on Innovation and Competitiveness, and elsewhere. [S.Amdts. 923, Agreed to by unanimous consent, 4/25/07; S. 761, Incorporated into H.R. 2272, which became P.L. 110-289, 8/9/07]

Obama Passed Into Law An Amendment Creating A Mentoring Program For Women And Underrepresented Groups At DOE.

In 2007, Obama sponsored an amendment, which became law, to the America Competes Act that established a mentoring program to support women and underrepresented groups as they progress through education programs proposed by the Department of Energy. The amendment was included in the final version of the bill that passed Congress and was signed into law. [S.Amdts. 905, Agreed to by unanimous consent, 4/25/07, S. 761, Incorporated into H.R. 2272, which became P.L. 110-289, 8/9/07]


Obama Passed The Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Database Act of 2005.

Obama co-sponsored a bill that would require the Attorney General to make publicly available in a registry via the Internet, from information contained in the National Sex Offender Registry or in state sex offender websites, specified information about sexually violent predators and persons convicted of a sexually violent offense or a criminal offense against a minor, who are required to register with a minimally sufficient state sexual offender registration program; and allow registry users to identify offenders who are currently residing within a specified radius of a given location. Requires registry information to include the offender's name, address, date of birth, physical description, and photograph, the nature and date of commission of the offense, and the date on which the offender is released from prison or placed on parole, supervised release, or probation. Linda Walker, Dru Sjodin's mother, said that Dru's Law "is a step in the right direction, but more work needs to be done to protect women and children. 'I think it has to stay in the forefront of our nation's agenda.' she said." [109th, S. 792, Passed by Unanimous Consent, 7/28/05; Referred to House Subcommittee, 9/19/05; Aberdeen American News, 10/6/06]

Obama Passed A Bill To Protect Children From Known Sex Offenders.

Obama co-sponsored a bill to improve the national program to register and monitor individuals who commit crimes against children or sex offenses. The bill would require the Attorney General to maintain a National Sex Offender Registry at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as a National Sex Offender Public Registry. The bill would also require adults or juveniles who are convicted as adults of sexually violent offenses, certain offenses against minors, or other specified crimes (covered individuals) to provide specified information to designated persons in their domicile, work, or school states for the rest of their lives (with specified exceptions). The bill would require such an individual, initially and thereafter as specified, to register with and appear before such designated persons to provide identification, home, work, school, and vehicle information and to have a photograph and fingerprints taken. [109th, S. 1086, Passed by Unanimous Consent, 5/4/06; Held at desk, 5/8/06]

Obama Passed Law Expanding Rights Of Alleged Victims of Sexual Assault.

Obama sponsored a bill and voted to amend the Criminal Code of 1961 to eliminate the 48 hour time requirement after the collection of the sample in which an alleged sexual assault survivor must return to the hospital performing the sample analysis of all controlled substances and alcohol ingested by the alleged victim a signed written authorization in order to have the sample analysis performed. [93rd, HB4771, 2004, Third Reading: 5/19/2004, PA 93-0958 8/20/2004] Obama Passed A Law To Make Administering A Date Rape Drug Aggravated Battery As Well As An Aggravating Offense To Criminal Sexual Assault.

Obama sponsored a bill and voted to amend the Criminal Code of 1961 to provide that administering a controlled substance to a person without his or her consent for nonmedical purposes constitutes aggravated battery.

The bill provided that delivering a controlled substance to a victim without his or her consent as part of the same course of conduct as the commission of criminal sexual assault or criminal sexual abuse is an aggravating circumstance that enhances these offenses to aggravated criminal sexual assault or aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Further amends the Criminal Code of 1961. [90th GA, SB 1224, 3R P 54-0-0, 3/24/98; HA 1 Concur P 55-0-1, 5/20/98; PA 90-0735, 8/11/98] Obama Passed A Law to Expand the Definitions of "Sex Offender" and "Sex Offense" and Mandate Offender Disclosure.

Obama sponsored a bill and voted to amend the Sex Offender Registration Act to include in the definition of "sex offender" a person who is convicted or adjudicated for a sex offense under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

The bill included in the definition of a "sex offense", a 3rd or subsequent conviction for public indecency or a conviction for custodial sexual misconduct or permitting sexual abuse of a child if these offenses are committed on or after the effective date of this amendatory Act. The bill provided that the sheriff shall disclose sex offender information to the boards of institutions of higher education or other appropriate administrative offices of each non-public institution of higher education located in the county where the sex offender is required to register, resides, or is attending an institution of higher education. [92nd GA, HB 5874, 3R P 55-0-0, 5/7/02; Adopt CC Report P 54-0-1, 5/31/03; PA 92- 0828, 8/22/02]

Obama Passed Law To Require EMS For Sexual Assault Survivors To Include Coverage For Emergency Contraception.

Obama was the chief co-sponsor and voted for adding, as an additional criterion for IDPH approval for a hospital's plan for emergency services for sexual assault survivors, that the plan must provide sufficient protections from the risk of pregnancy by the sexual assault survivor. Bill requires that hospitals providing such services develop and implement protocol that ensures that each sexual assault survivor receives medically and factually accurate information about emergency contraception. [92nd GA; SB 0114; 2001; Signed into law 7/25/01, PA 92-0156]

Obama Passed a Bill Eliminating Good Behavior Time For Sex Offenders.

Obama sponsored and passed a bill to amend the County Jail Good Behavior Allowance Act by stipulating that any convict may not receive time off for good behavior if he has been incarcerated for sexual assault or aggravated sexual abuse. [91st GA, SB 0485, 3/11/99, 3R P; 54-1-2; P.A. 91-0117, 7/15/99; Senate Floor Transcript, 3/11/99, p. 74]

Obama Passed Law To Extend Statute Of Limitations On Certain Sexual Offenses.

Obama was the chief co-sponsor and voted for bill extending the statute of limitations for several criminal sexual offenses, including aggravated criminal sexual assault. [91st GA; HB 0329; 1999; Signed into law 8/11/99, PA 91-0475]

Obama Passed Law To Authorize The Violence Against Women Act Of 2005.

Obama co-sponsored a bill that would authorize increased appropriations for FY2006-FY2010 for grants to combat violent crimes against women, revise provisions specifying purposes for grants to include use for underserved populations and for forensic medical exams of sex offense victims, increase set aside amounts for grants to Indian tribal governments and U.S. territories and possessions, prohibit law enforcement officers, prosecutors, or other government officials from requiring sex offense victims to submit to a polygraph examination as a condition for proceeding with an investigation or prosecution of a sex offense. The bill would establish a sexual assault services program, directing the Attorney General to make grants to states, territories, and tribal entities for rape crisis centers or other programs and projects to assist those victimized by sexual assault, culturally specific community-based organizations for various services on behalf of sexual assault victims, and state, territorial, and tribal sexual assault coalitions. The bill would also award grants to accredited schools of medicine to develop interdisciplinary training and education programs that provide health professions students with an understanding of, and clinical skills pertinent to, domestic violence, sexual assault, and dating violence. [109th, HR 3402 (S. 1197), Passed by Unanimous Consent, 12/16/05; PL 109-162, 1/5/06]

Obama Passed Law To Increase Penalties For Repeat Domestic Offenders.

Obama was the chief co-sponsor and voted for House bill providing that domestic battery or a violation of an order of protection is a Class 4 felony if the defendant had a prior conviction for certain enumerated offenses, including first degree murder, aggravated domestic battery, and criminal sexual assault. A person commits stalking if he or she has been previously convicted of stalking another person and knowingly (on one occasion) follows that same person or commits certain threatening acts against that person or that person's family. [92nd GA; HB 4081; 2002; Signed into law 8/22/02, PA 92-0827]

Obama Passed Law To Increase Penalties For Committing Battery In Or Near A Domestic Violence Shelter.

Obama was the chief co-sponsor of and voted for bill providing that a person commits aggravated battery if he or she (or the person battered) is in a domestic violence shelter, or if the person battered is within 500 feet going to or from the shelter. [92nd GA, SB 0175, 3/29/01, 3R P; 55-0-0; P.A. 92-0516, 1/1/02; 91st GA, SB 1406, Session Sine Die, 1/9/01]

Obama Passed Law Improving "No Contact" Court Procedures in Domestic Abuse Petitions.

Obama helped amend the Civil No Contact Order Act, including simplifying the forms for filing a petition. The law allows for the court to appoint counsel to represent the petitioner if the respondent is represented by counsel and changes what a civil no contact order may contain. [93rd, HB4395, 3R: 57-0-0, 5/5/04; PA 93-0811, 7/26/04]

Obama Passed Law Requiring Clear Language be Included in Emergency Orders of Protection.

Obama co-sponsored and helped pass a law that requires the government be specific about the restrictions placed on the recipient of an emergency order of protection. This legislation prevents perpetrators of domestic violence from claiming ignorance of the law. [93rd GA, SB2495, 3R: 57-0-0, 3/25/04; Concurrence: 53-0-0, 5/26/04 PA 93-0944, 8/17/04]

Obama Passed Law Raising Standards Related to Domestic Violence.

Obama sponsored a bill and voted to amend the Nursing Home Care Act and the Hospital Licensing Act to require licensees under those Acts to comply with standards relating to domestic violence established by the Joint Committee on Accreditation or other accrediting organizations approved by the Department of Public Health. [91st GA, SB0850, 1999, PA 91-0163, 99-07-16]