HB 2493 – which already passed the House – would expand employment protections for those who have lost loved ones to violence

The bill now heads to the governor’s desk

SPRINGFIELD – The State Senate today passed HB 2493 in a bipartisan vote, which reforms the Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act (VESSA). This bill would expand eligibility for family members who have lost loved ones to violence, for those who are not otherwise eligible for bereavement leave under other laws. Victims would have 10 days of unpaid leave to grieve or make funeral arrangements, helping survivors heal and putting an end to cycles of victimization. HB 2493 is sponsored by Rep. Aaron Ortiz and Sen. Robert Peters, and was supported by crime survivors across the state. The bill now heads to Governor Pritzker for his signature. Pastor Clara Underwood Foreman, the Peoria chapter co-coordinator for Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice, released the following statement: 

“When somebody has lost a loved one or family member to violence, receiving just a bit of help in their recovery can make a world of difference. Today’s final passage of HB 2493 ensures that survivors won’t have to choose between grieving their loved ones, and keeping their jobs.  

Experiencing violence and loss can be overwhelming and destabilizing. But when we provide support to help people heal, we help to stop cycles of trauma so people can get their lives back on track. 

We thank Representative Ortiz and Senator Peters for continuing to fight for us so we can strengthen our communities, protect victims, and make Illinois safer.” 

The full text of the bill can be read here.

About the Alliance for Safety and Justice

The Alliance for Safety and Justice is a national organization that aims to win evidence-based new safety priorities in states across the country. It also brings together diverse crime survivors to advance policies that help communities most harmed by crime and violence, as part of Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice – its national network of over 100,000 crime survivors with thousands of members in Illinois. For more information, visit: or