McConnaughay wants to ease process for Humans Services Department patients to get IDs
Sen. Karen McConnaughay (R-St. Charles) wants to make it easier for patients released from Department of Human Services (DHS) custody to obtain a state identification card.
SB2903, sponsored by McConnaughay and presented by Sen. Dave Syverson (R-Rockford) at the March 13 Senate Human Services Committee meeting, is a Department of Corrections initiative that requires the secretary of state to issue a standard identification card upon conditional release from DHS custody with specific requirements.
"This is very similar to something that was passed a couple of years ago from the Department of Corrections,” DHS representative JB Meir said at the meeting. “It basically just allows an easier avenue for those that are released from our custody in state-operated psychiatric hospitals to be able to go out and get a valid state ID.”
A state ID is critical to those transitioning back into the community to be able to find employment services and apply for benefits, if they haven’t already, and use those benefits.
"We want to make it as easy as possible for them," Meir said.
Sen. Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove) questioned the costs involved.
“I assume the cost for issuing these IDs is pretty minimal,” Oberweis said.
Meir said though DHS defers to the secretary of state on the cost, after proposing the bill and working on the language, DHS does not forecast an identification card costing much.
“Maybe a couple hundred at $15 a pop is not going to have a fiscal impact on the secretary of state,” Meir said.
Oberweis liked the idea so much that he noted how to take it one step further.
“This is a good pilot program and maybe we can do these for voters in the future who don’t have a driver's license ... issue that type of ID for those people,” Oberweis suggested.
SB2903 passed 6-0 and will now move to the Senate floor.