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It’s just a bill

Monday, Apr 16, 2018

* AFSCME press release…

Responding to a wave of assaults on state employees including child protection workers, mental health caregivers, juvenile justice specialists and correctional officers, the largest state workers’ union—the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFSCME—is backing new legislation to require state government to track and report employee injuries and related lost work days.

Recent high‐profile incidents—including the murder of a DCFS investigator and the stabbing of a supervisor, staff badly beaten at Chester Mental Health Center, and violence in prisons and juvenile justice facilities—have turned the spotlight on worker safety in four state agencies: Children & Family Services, Corrections, Human Services and Juvenile Justice.

Sponsored by Senator Mike Hastings, Senate Bill 3075 would provide data to help the General Assembly and other policymakers discern the scope of the problem and develop ways to reduce violence. Companion legislation (House Bill 4895) has been introduced by Rep. Mike Halpin.

State workers who have been injured on the job will testify along with AFSCME officials when the Hastings bill is heard in committee tomorrow (Tuesday, April 17).

* Speaking of that murdered DCFS investigator

A state bill aimed at delivering a harsher punishment for battering a Department of Children and Family Services or Adult Protective Services worker isn’t likely to be heard by legislators this year.

House Bill 4586 was introduced in February by state Rep. Tony McCombie, R-Savanna, in response to an attack on veteran DCFS worker Pamela Knight, 59, of Dixon in September.

The bill ups the battery charge to felony aggravated battery, punishable by four to 15 years in prison if the batterer, using anything other than a firearm, knowingly attacks a DCFS worker who’s performing his or her official duties, batters a worker to prevent the performance of those duties, or batters a worker in retaliation for performing those duties, causing great bodily harm or disfigurement. […]

This week, the bill was referred to the Judiciary Criminal Committee before being funneled to the Sentencing, Penalties and Criminal Procedure Subcommittee, where McCombie said it unfairly will be buried without consideration for the rest of the year.

As subscribers know, the Dems killed the bill last Friday because it enhanced penalties, and they’re quietly killing lots of those bills this year.

* Local editorial

We believe McCombie’s bill is a common-sense response to the horrible attack on Pam Knight.

That’s not how the Democratic majority on the Judicial-Criminal Committee saw it.

Politics most certainly played a hand in the bill’s defeat. Had the victim lived in a Democratic district close to or in the city of Chicago, the drumbeat for lawmakers to act would have been resounding.

But because the brutal beating occurred in far-off Northwestern Illinois, the Democratic majority found it easier to look the other way.

* Other bills…

* Committee advances bill allowing pharmacists to dispense birth control pills without a prescription

* Illinois lawmakers to vote on local net neutrality

* Bill aiming to shift state jobs back to Springfield clears House panel

* More Sports Betting Laws In 2018? Some Legislative Calendars Are Getting Short As Bills Are Left Hanging

* Walker’s Bluff Resort Project Hits A Snag

* Second Amendment supporters gather at Capitol to speak out against gun control

* GOP Senators “spit on Phyllis Schlafly’s memory” by voting for the ERA, family leader says

- Posted by Rich Miller        

5 Comments
  1. - JoanP - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 1:40 pm:

    “A state bill aimed at delivering a harsher punishment for battering a Department of Children and Family Services or Adult Protective Services worker . . . The bill ups the battery charge to felony aggravated battery . . .”

    A pointless, “feel good” bill.

    Battery to an employee of the State of Illinois who is performing her official duties is *already* aggravated battery, as is a battery to anyone that causes great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement.

    All this does is increase the punishment, and if you think that somebody’s going to worry about getting a minimum four instead of a minimum two before he takes a swing at a DCFS worker, I’ve got a bridge to sell you.


  2. - blue dog dem - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 5:17 pm:

    …they’re quietly killing lots of those bills this year…I guess Old Blues’ calling for tougher sentencing for gun crimes has no chance as long as Dems are in control.


  3. - Union Thug Gramma - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 5:27 pm:

    I don’t think that more punishment is the answer. More control is, why was this worker by herself? Why weren’t local law enforcement there? THAT’S where the bill should be. Not to say after the fact if someone is killed, we’ll give a harder sentence, but we need more protection when dealing with someone who has no problem attacking people…Let’s try protecting instead of attacking with legislation…more peopole may live that way.


  4. - Anonymous - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 8:36 pm:

    “We believe McCombie’s bill is a common-sense response to the horrible attack on Pam Knight.”
    Define “we?” Would that be the one-party clique that runs Whiteside County as their personal fiefdom? Democrat John Booker is endorsed for the next Sheriff by supposed Republican Kelly Wilhelmi, and they ran against each other in 2010. Can you spell corruption?

    “That’s not how the Democratic majority on the Judicial-Criminal Committee saw it.”
    Whiteside County board, where the beating occured, is at least two-thirds Democratic majority, and they don’t video tape the board meetings, because Democratic chairman Jim Duffy thinks they don’t need to. Talk about democracy and accountability?

    “Had the victim lived in a Democratic district close to or in the city of Chicago, the drumbeat for lawmakers to act would have been resounding.”
    Bashing “Chicago”, the favorite pastime of resentful people with chips on their shoulders. Where’s the justice for motorcyclist Bill Damhoff, killed by Whiteside deputy Jeffrey Wunderlich? That’s okay, the good old boys down at the courthouse in Morrison will protect him.

    “But because the brutal beating occurred in far-off Northwestern Illinois, the Democratic majority found it easier to look the other way.”
    Right, how about justice for Nate Edwards, the black man who was shot in the back by Rock Falls police? The “investigation” was handed over to Whiteside state’s attorney Terry Costello, so you can be sure that no police will be charged with anything. The Rock Falls cop’s name hasn’t even been released, that’ how the Klan works around there. How about equal justice under law for all citizen?


  5. - Rabid - Tuesday, Apr 17, 18 @ 8:01 am:

    Anonymous you forgot the deal with nick sheely, when they hid him in jail


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