Rep. Ugaste Condemns Legislation to Deny Illinoisans’ Access to the Courts

SPRINGFIELD – On Wednesday, State Representative Dan Ugaste (R-Geneva) condemned legislation in the House of Representatives and said it would impact the rights of Illinois citizens to have access to the courts. House Bill 3062 is legislation to limit any action brought against the State seeking declaratory or injunctive relief against State statutes, rules, or executive orders on constitutionality to the venues of Sangamon and Cook Counties.

“Rather than using an existing remedy to assist the Illinois Attorney General’s office with an abundance of cases, the state legislature has instead decided to limit a crucial right of millions of Illinoisans to challenge the constitutionality of laws from their home counties,” said Rep. Ugaste. “This takes away the rights of the constituents of 100 counties in Illinois by limiting their venues to just two places in our entire state. We must be more concerned about citizens’ rights in our state and I’m extremely disappointed to say that was not the case in Springfield today.”

HB 3062 applies to actions brought against the State or any State employees, officers, or agents acting in an official capacity. The actions must be based on alleged violations of the Constitution of the State of Illinois or United States. There is an exemption in the legislation for claims arising out of collective bargaining disputes between the State of Illinois and representatives of its employees.

“What’s also concerning about this legislation is how it impacts lower-income Illinoisans,” Rep. Ugaste continued. “Perhaps a person wants to challenge a state law and can only afford their local law firm. This denies them the opportunity to challenge the constitutionality of legislation that impacts their lives. We should not deny Illinoisans’ access to the courts and must work to preserve the rights of the people we serve with our best efforts.”