The legislative year began with the Democratic supermajority’s blockade of any new measures designed to keep Illinois communities safe by cracking down on criminal activity. Even at a time when our state was experiencing an escalation in carjacking, mob retail theft and violence, the Democratic leadership would not budge on new protections. At least at first and not until Rep. Chesney and others pushed back and forced a new direction.
Throughout the last year, Rep. Chesney has kept up the pressure on Democratic colleagues to do more to protect the public. He was unapologetic in calls to repeal the SAFE-T Act that was contributing to the violence, and in his demands for passage of legislation to keep communities safe. Ultimately, legislators from both sides of the aisle joined Rep. Chesney in compelling the House leadership to finally take some action. While the failed SAFE-T Act was not repealed, a few bills did trickle out for a vote. Several of them were co-sponsored by Rep. Chesney and passed both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly. These measures protect children from predators, strengthen rape laws, crack down on human traffickers and target carjackers. They now await the Governor’s signature:
- HB601 – Prohibits the use of any device designed to unlock or start a vehicle without the possession of a key, or that captures or duplicates a signal from a key fob to unlock or start a vehicle.
- SB3019 – Makes it illegal for a child sex offender to knowingly operate, manage, be employed by, or be associated with any carnival, amusement enterprise, or county or State fair when persons under the age of 18 are present.
- HB4593 – Increases the penalty for solicitation of a sexual act from a person who is under the age of 18.
- HB5441 – Strengthens Illinois’ consent laws to ensure survivors can seek justice for sexual assault. The bill provides that “unable to give knowing consent” also includes when the victim has taken an intoxicating substance causing the victim to become unconscious of the nature of the act, even if the accused did not provide the intoxicating substance.
The wellbeing of Illinois residents continues to be a top priority for Rep. Chesney and he won’t stop fighting for their safety and security.