“Henry’s Law” for expectant mothers in third trimester to obtain free parking placard signed into law

(Left to right) House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch (D-Hillside), House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs), Baby Henry’s parents Ben Marcum and Molly Dawson of Aurora, Illinois, and Rep. Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego).

Governor JB Pritzker signed legislation into law on August 20 introduced and passed by Assistant House Minority Leader Rep. Keith Wheeler, R-Oswego, which allows 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.

Under the law, women with a valid Illinois driver’s license who show documentation that they have entered the third trimester of their pregnancy are be able to receive a temporary 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 law will help protect all our working moms and their babies-to-be, especially during those harsh winter months when snow and ice heighten the risk for women walking from their car to go into work, to go shopping for their families, or to visit their doctor,” Representative Wheeler said. “Unfortunately, the inspiration for this new law, baby Henry Marcum of Aurora, his mother went into preterm labor at 21 weeks when he was born in November of 2019 and was only with us for about 60 minutes before he passed. This new law is a great way to honor his memory and to demonstrate that a life that only lasted one hour can make a huge difference in the lives of thousands of moms and babies across our state.”

House Bill 3027 was approved by the State Senate 59-0 on May 23 following passage in the House of Representatives by a vote of 111-0 on April 23. The bill had over 50 co-sponsors including Democrats and Republicans from every region of Illinois.