SPRINGFIELD, IL - Businesses in Illinois that wish to incorporate societal and environmental impacts in decision-making would gain new legal protections under a new bill sponsored by State Senator Michael Frerichs (D - Champaign).
"This measure allows business executives to make decisions that may benefit the community or the environment and remove the risk of lawsuits for those decisions," Frerichs said. "Current law does not shield companies from certain litigation that may be brought about from a company making financial decisions with the consideration of outside stakeholders."
Senate Bill 2897 allows businesses to register with the State as "benefit corporations." According to the measure, benefit corporations must provide stakeholders with an annual report of the social and environmental impact of the business. Included in that report, the company must provide how the company sought specific public benefit and any hindrance to that public benefit.
The measure passed through the Senate today and moves to the House for further consideration. If signed into law, Illinois would be the eighth state to recognize benefit corporations. Currently, Hawaii, Virginia, Maryland, Vermont, New Jersey, New York and California have similar laws.