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They’ll come back to it

Tuesday, Jun 18, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* WAND

Several Republican state lawmakers hope the Illinois Senate will vote on a plan during veto session to address sexual abuse by educators and authority figures in high schools.

While there are strong protections in place for students 17 and younger, sponsors told WAND News that educators and staff should be charged for sexual conduct with students between 18 and 23 years old.

Under House Bill 4241, teachers or authority figures who sexually abuse these students could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor for their first offense and Class 4 felony for any repeat offenses. […]

House Bill 4241 passed unanimously out of the House on April 19, but the measure failed to move after it arrived in the Senate.

Sen. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) said kids can’t afford to wait any longer for this issue to be addressed.

* Zo Li

The Illinois legislative session wrapped up late last month without tackling the pervasive issue of school ticketing, a practice where schools refer students to police to be disciplined for school misbehavior.

As a civil rights attorney at the MacArthur Justice Center, I’ve traveled around the state to witness the impact of these tickets. One of the first ticketing hearings I saw was in Joliet, purportedly for “disorderly conduct”: A girl with stomach problems disobeyed a teacher’s instructions to leave the bathroom, resulting in a referral to the police, an obligation to attend a hearing on a school day and a $150 fine.

Her experience is not unique. Across Illinois, tickets of up to hundreds of dollars are issued for things like littering, swearing or hallway scuffles — behaviors that schools should address internally with evidence-based solutions like restorative practices. […]

For years, advocates have been trying to pass a bill that will end the ticketing practice — and for yet another year, the state has been resistant. It’s long past time for the state to do the necessary work to reform discipline in schools.

* WAND

The Illinois Senate could pass a plan in November to phase out the sub-minimum wage for workers with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

Rep. Theresa Mah (D-Chicago) and many other lawmakers believe it is wrong that some people are paid as low as 50 cents per hour and only make $100 per month.

The proposal could create a special grant fund of $2 million to help community agencies transition away from the sub-minimum wages. The Dignity in Pay Act would eliminate the use of 14-C Certificates on July 1, 2029. […]

House Bill 793 passed out of the House on a bipartisan 78-30 vote with representatives voting present. This plan would need support from three-fifths of the Senate since a vote would take place after May 31.

* AG Update

After seemingly being declared dead for the second year in a row, a late legislative push sprouted new hope that the soybean would be designated as the official state bean of Illinois.

The original bill, sponsored by state Rep. Matt Hanson, D-Montgomery, passed the House last year but was gutted in the Senate. Hanson refiled the state bean language on a different bill this year. It once again passed unanimously out of the House in April. But it was once again knifed in the Senate in mid-May.

But, in a twist of fate, the “gut-and-replace” tactic was used in the waning days of session to resurrect the soybean’s chances of getting its due. […]

However, both Hanson and Sen. Doris Turner said they are committed to getting the legislation across the finish line during the fall veto session in November.

* WAND

The Illinois Senate left Springfield last month without passing a plan to improve security at libraries in response to recent violent threats. […]

People making threats to libraries would be charged with a Class 4 felony, similar to making threats to schools. House Bill 4567 also calls for the Secretary of State’s office to provide grants to libraries to improve their security. […]

This proposal passed out of the House on a 89-20 vote on May 21. Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias hopes senators can pass the legislation during veto session in November.

“Our librarians and libraries have faced an onslaught of threats and violence and ideological intimidation for simply serving their communities,” Giannoulias said. “We have seen an escalation of violence seeking to censor and restrict information. This is harmful, not only to these public servants, but to our democracy as a whole.”

       

9 Comments
  1. - DuPage Saint - Tuesday, Jun 18, 24 @ 11:06 am:

    Would be funny if Cloud Gate became the official bean of Illinois


  2. - Rabid - Tuesday, Jun 18, 24 @ 12:14 pm:

    Soybeans ain’t native, come from china. Navy beans or beanball


  3. - NonAFSCMEStateEmployeeFromChatham - Tuesday, Jun 18, 24 @ 12:29 pm:

    Considering that he nicknamed himself “Soy Boy,” I am shocked that Pat Quinn didn’t push for soybeans as the official state bean while he was Governor.


  4. - Macon Bakin - Tuesday, Jun 18, 24 @ 12:44 pm:

    Now that I know this I want a native state bean.


  5. - levivotedforjudy - Tuesday, Jun 18, 24 @ 12:53 pm:

    People 18 - 23 years old are adults. How would that work if they give consent?


  6. - Hannibal Lecter - Tuesday, Jun 18, 24 @ 1:08 pm:

    === People 18 - 23 years old are adults. How would that work if they give consent? ===

    It means that consent doesn’t matter. The basis for the charge would not be the age of the student, but the fact that the educator is in a position of power over the student. That means that educators should not have sexual relationships with students under any circumstances, even if the student is a legal adult and may consent.


  7. - @misterjayem - Tuesday, Jun 18, 24 @ 1:28 pm:

    “Across Illinois, tickets of up to hundreds of dollars are issued for things like littering, swearing or hallway scuffles — behaviors that schools should address internally with evidence-based solutions like restorative practices”

    Criminal penalties for adolescent foolishness does seem like a bad schooling policy.

    – MrJM


  8. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Jun 18, 24 @ 2:00 pm:

    ==== People 18 - 23 years old are adults. How would that work if they give consent? ====

    If you are in a position of authority it is already illegal. That means teachers, coaches, admins etc. Roughly 20 years ago there was a case down in central Illinois where the coach was caught with an 18 year old and was charged based on his status. He remains a convicted sex offender and must adhere to the rules as such.

    =Criminal penalties for adolescent foolishness does seem like a bad schooling policy.=

    By and large I agree. We don’t do it, but I have worked in schools that have. In my case it was for vaping. It isn’t simply a school decision either.

    In the cited story, I not that the source of information is a plaintiff’s attorney and some of the info may or may not be accurate.

    I will say that many schools and Boards and staff are at wits end with the increase in aggressive and belligerent behavior. Restorative practices are not always effective, especially with our most challenging repetive behaviors.


  9. - itsamess - Tuesday, Jun 18, 24 @ 2:14 pm:

    ====If you are in a position of authority it is already illegal. That means teachers, coaches, admins etc. Roughly 20 years ago there was a case down in central Illinois where the coach was caught with an 18 year old and was charged based on his status. He remains a convicted sex offender and must adhere to the rules as such.====
    JSMill always appreciate your insight. Currently no criminal penalty exists that I am aware of. Would you have a statute reference? Would like to hear more on that case as well. Can you provide the name if you know it?


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