Resulting demographic data can be used to identify disparities and craft policy solutions
Legislation signed by Governor Pritzker to expand demographic data collection and reporting by the State of Illinois will help advocates and policymakers recognize and tackle disparities regarding marginalized communities’ access to and use of critical state programs and services, according to a coalition of LGBTQ civil rights, healthcare, and academic institutions. With this expanded data collection and reporting and subsequent analysis and research, the State and advocates can craft future policy solutions to solve problems facing Illinoisans, including LGBTQ people.
Under SB 2133, ten state agencies and the Illinois State Board of Education are required to report out on the aggregated age, sex, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and primary or preferred language demographic data of individuals who utilize major services administered by state government. SB 2133 builds upon the existing requirement in the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus’ educational pillar passed earlier this year that state agencies report out on racial and ethnic demographic data.
To effectively address health and social service disparities in Illinois, state agencies need to routinely and securely collect and publicly report the aggregated demographic data for individuals who access healthcare services and government programs. The LGBTQ community is diverse with unique and significant health disparities and barriers to healthcare that often lead to poor outcomes across behavioral and physical health. Research and personal stories show that the LGBTQ community faces significant disparities in the social determinants of health and barriers in accessing government-funded services and supports that would address those challenges. Currently, the State of Illinois does not require routine data collection on sexual orientation and gender identity that would help researchers, legislators, and community stakeholders address the health disparities and other disparities found within the LGBTQ community and among its subpopulations.
SB 2133 was sponsored by Illinois House Majority Leader Greg Harris and State Senator Mike Simmons. Advocating for SB 2133 are AIDS Foundation Chicago, Center on Halsted, Equality Illinois, Howard Brown Health, Pride Action Tank, SAGE, and Northwestern University’s Evaluation, Data Integration, and Technical Assistance Program. The advocates look forward to working with state agencies to implement the law over the coming years.