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It’s just a bill

Monday, Jan 24, 2022

* Rep. Kelly Cassidy touts a few of her new bills to constituents…

HB4164: Allows that a member of the General Assembly may visit the institutions, facilities, and programs of the Department of Corrections, upon request of the member, for the purpose of inquiring into the affairs and conditions of the Department. Currently, the law only allows this access to the Governor, and legislators must seek permission to visit which doesn’t allow for effective oversight.

HB4671: Will prevent juveniles under the supervision of the Department of Juvenile Justice from being sent to the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice due to failing rehabilitation treatment. It takes many people multiple attempts to get clean and address their sobriety issues. Finding a way to offer an alternative to jail for minors with solely drug offenses will help solve the underlying issue. Jail is not a forever solution and can just cause more strain on our systems while creating potential future offenders who could have turned their life around if given appropriate responses to treatment challenges

HB3659: Our Mandatory Supervised Release system is often a series of tripwires leading to reincarceration without much meaningful programming to assist with re-entry. To better focus the limited services available, this bill proposes removing mandatory supervised release as a condition of release for Class 4 felonies (the lowest level felony), allowing prioritization of services for higher need offenders.

* Center Square

As Illinois law stands today, parents can be charged with neglect if they leave children under the age of 14 home alone – even for a short time. The law is rarely enforced.

State Rep. Sue Scherer, D-Decatur, told The Center Square that people want the law changed.

“I have lots of constituents who have reached out to me about this,” Scherer said. “It’s causing a lot of hardship on our working families.”

She filed legislation in House Bill 4305 that will lower the home alone age in Illinois to 12.

* WICS

A new bill is looking to raise the legal age to get married in Illinois.

Soon, people under the age of 18 may not be able to walk down the aisle in the Land of Lincoln.

Age 16 is currently the youngest age you can tie the knot in Illinois, but you have to have parental consent.

Lawmakers say this is dangerous because as long as a parent signs off, the son or daughter can’t object to that union.

The bill is HB4704.

…Adding… Rep. Barbara Hernandez is also working on a child marriage bill. HB4588.

* Press release…

State Rep. Terra Costa Howard, D-Glen Ellyn, today introduced HB4699, which will make it possible for a person who wants to relinquish a newborn baby to call 911 and ask for a first responder to take the infant to safety, with no questions asked.

The new bill would amend Illinois’ Abandoned Newborn Infant Protection Act, which allows an unharmed newborn, up to 30 days old, to be handed over to staff at a hospital, emergency medical care facility, police station, firehouse, college/university police station, or Illinois State Police district headquarters, without fear of prosecution.

“When a baby is born in desperate circumstances, we need to do everything we can to make it possible for a new mother to relinquish that infant safely, legally, and responsibly,” Costa Howard said. “Just a few weeks ago, an infant died of exposure after being left outside an unstaffed firehouse in Chicago. With this bill, we can prevent that kind of tragic loss by making it possible to call a first responder to come in and take the baby to safety.”

Under the bill, a 911 dispatcher could send a law enforcement officer, firefighter, or emergency medical technician to respond to a call from a parent who is unable or unwilling to travel to a firehouse or other designated location to relinquish an infant.

“Since the Safe Haven law went into effect in 2001, 148 babies have been relinquished safely,” said Dawn Geras, one of the founders of the Chicago-based Save Abandoned Babies Foundation. “Sadly, there have been 90 illegal abandonments since then, and more than half of those infants died. We hope this new law will help to prevent any more needless infant deaths.”

Costa Howard said she hopes this bill will bring more public attention to the Abandoned Newborn Infant Protection Act. “We need to make sure that people know this law saves infants’ lives and also protects parents from potential criminal charges,” Costa Howard said. “Together, we can find safe new homes for these babies and bring new help to people in crisis.

* Press release…

State Rep. Maurice West, D-Rockford, introduced a bill earlier this month requiring Illinois schools to teach Native American curriculum beginning in the 2023 – 2024 school year. The bill aims to require the teaching of Native American curriculum in order to inspire students to respect the dignity of all races and peoples and to forever abandon discrimination.

“This legislation will ensure that our students learn about the Native American experience and contributions to the development of our country,” said West.

The legislation takes steps to guarantee that curriculum developed by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will be informed by federally recognized Native American tribes and individuals, especially those with ties to Illinois and the Midwest. The curriculum developed by ISBE will be implemented by school districts and will be monitored by the regional superintendent of schools for compliance.

“This legislation is a first step towards ensuring we are teaching our children how to properly respect the heritage and culture of Native Americans,” West added.

House Bill 4548 was filed on January 13th and is currently awaiting assignment to a committee.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

27 Comments
  1. - TheInvisibleMan - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 1:07 pm:

    Also ‘just a bill’

    HB4709 - Mark Batinicks bill submitted last Friday, attempting to go backwards on cannabis decriminalization and legalization.

    Nicknamed in only a little bit of jest, “The Diageo hard liquor bailout bill”.


  2. - Responsa - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 1:30 pm:

    The beauty of the safe haven law is the anonymity. They safely take in the newborn infant at Police Fire station/medical facility—no questions asked. Most people trusted that promise of anonymity. Giving an address via 911 for someone to come take the baby kind of defeats the purpose. SMH.


  3. - DuPage - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 1:32 pm:

    ===Age 16 is currently the youngest age you can tie the knot in Illinois, but you have to have parental consent.

    Lawmakers say this is dangerous because as long as a parent signs off, the son or daughter can’t object to that union.===

    The son or daughter can’t object to that union?? If they don’t want to get married, they can refuse.
    This change in the law would be a bad thing. If they want to step up and take responsibility by getting married, and the parents are OK with it, it should be allowed.


  4. - SaulGoodman - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 1:38 pm:

    Responsa… but this wouldn’t take away the anonymity. This would still allow for the anonymous drop-off. This just adds another option for a mother to safely give up their baby.


  5. - thechampaignlife - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 1:39 pm:

    ===as a parent signs off, the son or daughter can’t object to that union.===

    The person getting married cannot object to their marriage? That does not seem enforceable. Surely a judge would throw that out under common law if nothing else.


  6. - Amalia - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 1:55 pm:

    raising the age to marry is an important change to make. this is something that should be uniform throughout the nation. something like 9 states have no minimum age to marry, California might still be on that list. child marriage is often planned by parents. it’s wrong.


  7. - JoanP - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 2:01 pm:

    = They safely take in the newborn infant at . . . Fire station =

    Nope. I didn’t know this until I read about the tragic death of newborn who was left at a fire *station*, rather than a fire *house*, but there’s a difference. Fire stations are minimally staffed.

    It’s really a sad situation. Someone tried to do the right thing, and now they may be prosecuted.

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/breaking/ct-safe-haven-law-fire-station-drop-off-20220116-gutn673i5bbevhj62ybfqzkszm-story.html


  8. - Roman - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 2:36 pm:

    On Cassidy’s HB 4164, was a legislator’s request to tour a state prison denied at some point? Would make an interesting story, but wasn’t able to find anything on the google.


  9. - Michelle Flaherty - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 2:45 pm:

    Regarding child marriage …

    Missouri’s lax laws used to make it a child marriage destination for men who had impregnated children.

    From news coverage …

    That was the case for several 15-year-old girls married in Missouri in the last 10 years, the Kansas City Star reported, including 14-year-old Heather Strawn who became pregnant after her 24-year-old boyfriend gave her alcohol and had sex with her.

    Strawn’s father drove her and her boyfriend 17 hours, from their home state of Idaho, to marry in Missouri so that her child would not be born out of wedlock and her boyfriend would not be arrested for statutory rape.

    In several states — including Idaho, Iowa, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont — sex with a minor is not considered rape if the people involved are married.

    https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/child-marriage-missouri-us-statutory-rape/

    Before the recent change in MO law …

    “In Missouri, children as young as 15 can be married with the consent of just one parent — even if the other parent actively objects to the marriage — and children of any age can be married with a judge’s approval.”


  10. - Osborne Smith III - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 2:59 pm:

    Rep. Scherer’s bill makes sense. Illinois has one of the strictest minimum age laws in the nation. We are also one of only about a dozen states that still have a minimum age law.


  11. - Unconventional wisdom - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 3:04 pm:

    =A new bill is looking to raise the legal age to get married in Illinois.

    Soon, people under the age of 18 may not be able to walk down the aisle in the Land of Lincoln.=

    Are the proponents of this bill the same ones who say you can get an abortion under the age of 18 without notifying your parents?


  12. - Leslie K - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 3:05 pm:

    JoanP–fire station or fire house, the person put a baby in a duffle bag and left them in the snow. Exactly what this law has been trying to prevent. So much more education and outreach to be done…


  13. - thechampaignlife - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 3:12 pm:

    ===sex with a minor is not considered rape if the people involved are married===

    I assume you could include Illinois in that list. I presume an 18 year old who marries a 17 year old could legally have a child with that minor.

    Ultimately, if it is to be allowed at all, the minor should probably be emancipated from their parents first. If the court approves that, then they could be free to marry with the legal rights of an adult.


  14. - Michelle Flaherty - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 3:18 pm:

    Unconventional Wisdom …

    The sponsor of the highlighted legislation is Sosnowski and his 2021 version of this issue included co-sponsors Chris Miller, McCombie, Batnick and Chesney.

    So, to your question, no.


  15. - Amalia - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 3:25 pm:

    https://www.theguardian.com/film/2021/jun/01/knots-a-forced-marriage-story-review-bleak-overview-of-coercion. Forced marriages in a variety of groups. Good to have a state change. A national age of consent is the standard in other countries. makes you question the differences in States and wish for a national standard in the USA.


  16. - Unconventional wisdom - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 3:27 pm:

    =The sponsor of the highlighted legislation is Sosnowski and his 2021 version of this issue included co-sponsors Chris Miller, McCombie, Batnick and Chesney.=

    So you are saying that these members of the GA voted yes on the abortion bill I referred to?
    If so, that is very interesting to say the least.

    Please respond. Thanks.


  17. - Michelle Flaherty - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 3:53 pm:

    The answer to your question Unconventional Wisdom, — are saying that these members of the GA voted yes on the abortion bill I referred to? — is “no” they did not. These members — Sosnowski, McCombie, Miller, Chesney — don’t vote “yes” on much of anything.


  18. - Da big bad wolf - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 4:24 pm:

    Unconventional wisdom I don’t understand what HB2467 has to do with HB4704. Can you explain?


  19. - Pete Mitchell - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 4:41 pm:

    Roman - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 2:36 pm:

    On Cassidy’s HB 4164, was a legislator’s request to tour a state prison denied at some point? Would make an interesting story, but wasn’t able to find anything on the google.

    Only during the thick of covid


  20. - Mary - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 5:07 pm:

    Costa-Howard’s bill is an attempt to make noise given her legal efforts to return a child back to the mother who left the kid to die in the cold. https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-2011-11-30-chi-custody-hearing-for-mother-who-abandoned-baby-in-wheaton-20111130-story.html


  21. - Unconventional wisdom - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 6:28 pm:

    =Unconventional wisdom I don’t understand what

    Would one not think it rather contradictory to allow for abortions to those below 18 years of age without parental consent while raising the age to get married?

    Don’t understand what you don’t understand. Hopefully I have explained it.


  22. - Unconventional wisdom - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 6:40 pm:

    =

    - Michelle Flaherty - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 3:53 pm:

    The answer to your question Unconventional Wisdom, — are saying that these members of the GA voted yes on the abortion bill I referred to? — is “no” they did not. These members — Sosnowski, McCombie, Miller, Chesney — don’t vote “yes” on much of anything.=

    So what is your point? It certainly is not relevant to my original comment and seems to be more of a deflection.


  23. - Yooper in Diaspora - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 10:47 pm:

    While I like the idea of including direct work with federally-recognized tribes in educating children about Native Americans (House Bill 4548), it’s important to remember that many Native Americans are not registered with tribes. I am not speaking of those with distant Cherokee ancestry, but urban Indians (working with Chicago’s American Indian Center would be another good idea), among others. As someone (white) who grew up in a Michigan reservation town, I have been startled by how little basic awareness most in the US have of Native Americans, but would not want to reinforce a notion that the only authentic Native Americans are those enrolled with tribes (this seems especially important, given Illinois’ history with taking Native lands). This taps into a complex conversation among Native Americans themselves–explored by some contemporary Native literary writers.


  24. - filmmaker prof - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 1:54 am:

    Yooper, your concerns are very valid. However, Native Americans are rife with imposters, or Pretendians, so requiring tribal enrollment at least guarantees the person is not an imposter.


  25. - Da big bad wolf - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 10:26 am:

    “Would one not think it rather contradictory to allow for abortions to those below 18 years of age without parental consent while raising the age to get married?”

    Allow? The US Supreme Court “allowed” minors to get abortions in 1976.


  26. - Da big bad wolf - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 10:28 am:

    HB2467 wasn’t about parental consent.


  27. - Da big bad wolf - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 10:34 am:

    HB 2467 has nothing to do with HB4704 except they are both Illinois bills. One is now law.
    What is contradictory about the two?


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