House approves Wheeler bill to allow expectant mothers in third trimester to use handicap designated parking spots

The Illinois House of Representatives voted today to pass legislation introduced and sponsored by State Representative Keith Wheeler, R-Oswego, which would allow expectant mothers in their third trimester to obtain a free placard for their vehicle valid for 90 days permitting them to park in handicap designated spots throughout Illinois. The legislation is House Bill 3027.

If enacted into law, women with a valid Illinois driver’s license who show adequate documentation that they have entered the third trimester of their pregnancy would be able to receive a parking placard at no charge, similar to those provided to disabled persons, by visiting any of the more than 130 Driver Services facilities across Illinois operated by the Secretary of State.

“This is a small, but worthwhile initiative to help make day-to-day life a little easier for our moms-to-be,” Representative Wheeler said. “Nurturing a new life, particularly during the third trimester, can make it more difficult to get around. Consider, for example, how many expectant mothers who work throughout pregnancy have to trudge through treacherous snow-and-ice covered parking lots during winter to get to their job. This bill is a simple, common-sense idea to make Illinois more friendly for expectant moms.”

Co-sponsor Representative Jeff Keicher, R-Sycamore, expressed why he worked to help pass the bill: “Each of has had family members and friends experience the blessing of pregnancy, and we want them to enjoy every convenience along that journey. The reality is, many expectant moms run daily errands or doctor appointments and in some cases the reduction in stress on the mother is an important consideration. Being able to utilize a closer parking spot will be most helpful to expectant moms who carry the load on their own, both literally and figuratively, especially those who have other youngsters.”

House Bill 3027 now advances to the State Senate for consideration. The bill has over 50 co-sponsors including Democrats and Republicans from every region of Illinois.