Springfield, IL... Legislation introduced by State Representative Dwight Kay (R - Glen Carbon) that would strengthen requirements for reporting potential child sex abuse to authorities passed unanimously from the Illinois House. The bill was introduced in response to the child sex abuse scandal at Penn State.

"The Illinois House took a step today to close our state's reporting law loopholes, similar to Pennsylvania's, that enabled the coaching staff at Penn State to hide the alleged child sex abuse for so long. The law, which passed unanimously, will require higher education personnel, athletic personnel, and early intervention providers to report potential child sexual abuse instead of choosing to stay silent," said Rep. Kay.

Under the current Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act, individuals holding certain occupations are required to report to the Department of Children and Family Services a reasonable belief that a child they have encountered in in their official capacity has been abused or neglected. Rep. Kay's legislation will strengthen the current law by explicitly defining additional individuals as mandatory reporters.

House Bill 3887 will make the following changes:

* The Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act will apply to personnel of institutions of higher education. Current law uses the language "school personnel", which is not always interpreted to apply to colleges and universities.

* The Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act will apply to personnel of recreational or athletic programs or facilities. Current law only applies to recreational program or facility personnel, but does not specifically make reference to athletic coaches or staff.

* Adds "Early Intervention Providers", as defined by the Early Intervention Services System Act, to the list of individuals subject to the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act.

House Bill 3887 passed by a vote of 116-0-0 and will now go to the Senate for consideration.

Like RiverBender.com on Facebook!

Print Version Submit a News Tip