CHICAGO, Ill. (WTVO) — On Friday, Gov. JB Pritker signed a law that will create a new racial classification for Arab-Americans on reporting data within state agencies.

The legislation amends the Uniform Racial Classification Act to create a “Middle Eastern or North African” category.

“Here in Illinois, we are committed to instilling the values of inclusion and equity in every department of state government,” said Pritzker. “That’s why this legislation is an important step in ensuring proper representation for every individual in our great state. When it comes to distributing resources and providing support from our state’s agencies, we need to be sure every single Illinoisan is accounted for—leaving no one behind.”

The category will accompany White, Black or African-American, American Indian, Alaska Native, Asian, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander when reporting statistical data on ethnic or racial categories.

The law goes into effect on July 1st, 2025.