SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Illinois could become the first state with a law giving Muslim-Americans a formal voice in state government.
The Chicago Tribune (http://trib.in/28JwKq2 ) reports that the bill approved by the Legislature would create a 21-member Illinois Muslim-American Advisory Council. It's awaiting Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's signature.The governor's office says he's reviewing it.
Muslim leaders say it would send a welcoming message to Muslims. The governor and legislative leaders would appoint council members.
Democratic Sen. Jacqueline Collins, a co-sponsor of the bill, says she hopes the council will be the first of many efforts to ensure that the governor considers minority perspectives.
Republican Rep. Barbara Wheeler voted against the bill last month. She says lawmakers shouldn't be wasting their time on "feel-good" legislation when Illinois is approaching one year without a state budget.