At the end of each session in Springfield, bills that pass the legislature end up on Gov. Pat Quinn's desk awaiting his signature. We'll keep track of those that make it into law.
Creates “Caylee’s Law,” making it a felony to fail to report the death or disappearance of a child within 24 hours – SB 2537 was named after the case of Caylee Anthony, whose disappearance was not reported to authorities until a month after it happened. Caylee was eventually found dead. Her mother, Casey Anthony, was found not guilty of first degree murder. The legislation stipulates that the bill applies to the disappearance of a child under 13 years old, and that a caseworker can also be considered a “public official” to report a disappearance to. At least eight other states have introduced similar legislation. Some critics have argued that it could hurt innocent parents.
Require behavioral health screenings for people with mental health and substance abuse disorders – HB 3893 expands the services reimbursed under the State’s medical assistance program to include behavioral health screenings for individuals with mental health and substance abuse problems. These required screenings will be used to consider at an individual’s need for intervention or treatment. The language of the legislation particularly notes that substance abuse and mental health problems must be considered together. Mental health activists applauded that approach, saying often only one of the two issues is diagnosed. In addition, activists have argued that individuals with substance abuse issues should not be criminalized, as they may have mental health problems.
Individuals can be placed on the sex offender registry for luring or attempted luring of a minor – HB 5280 adds another offense that will get an individual’s name placed on the publicly available electronic sex offender registry. As well as having one’s name publicly accessible, the registry also places limitations on where an individual can live in relation to schools and playgrounds. Even though the attempted luring of a minor would not necessarily result in a sexual assault, an individual’s name would still be placed on the registry.