"Protecting the children of Illinois is one of my most important
jobs," Blagojevich said. "Parents need to trust that they can send
their child to school and day care without worrying that they could
be harmed by a convicted sex offender. As a father, I am pleased to
sign these bills that will make our laws protecting kids from sexual
predators even stronger."
House Bill 2671, sponsored by state Sen. Michael Noland, D-Elgin,
and state Rep. Fred Crespo, D-Chicago, prohibits sex offenders from
serving as election judges and requires election authorities to
check the names of their election judges against the state's sex
offender registry. While Illinois state law prohibits child sex
offenders from being within 500 feet of where children gather, it
was discovered that several sex offenders had been serving as
election judges in Cook County schools. House Bill 2671 goes into
effect Jan. 1, 2009.
"Our children are our most precious resource," said Noland. "We
need to put every protection in place to make sure that when a child
goes to school, they are safe from sex offenders. I thank the
governor for signing this legislation which takes our protections
one step further."
The governor also signed
House Bill 3399, which was sponsored by
state Sen. Antonio Munoz, D-Chicago, and state Rep. Michael K.
Smith, D-Pekin. This law specifically defines the parameters of the
existing 500-foot boundary that a sex offender is required to obey.
The clarification will aid law enforcement by creating a more
specific point of measurement, making it easier to prosecute
violators of the 500-foot requirement. This law also takes effect
Jan. 1, 2009.
"This legislation will help to clarify current law so child sex
offenders cannot be closer then 500 feet from a school or other
location where children are present, such as a park or a recreation
facility," said Munoz. "Every child deserves a safe environment.
With the governor's signature, we will come one step closer to that
[to top of second column]
House Bill 1998, the third bill the governor signed Thursday,
allows the Illinois State Police to create and maintain a Statewide
Missing Sex Offender Database site on the Web to make information on
missing or unaccounted for sex offenders available to the public.
This cooperative approach between the state police, the attorney
general and other law enforcement agencies will provide an
easy-to-access tool for the public. House Bill 1998 was sponsored by
state Sen. Kirk Dillard, R-Westmont, and state Rep. Michael K.
Smith, D-Pekin, and is effective immediately.
House Bill 4207 restricts registered sex offenders from renting
or leasing property that they own to a tenant with children if they
are also living in the same building. The legislation was sponsored
by state Sen. Iris Martinez, D-Chicago, and state Rep. JoAnn Osmond,
R-Antioch. It will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2009.
In an effort to continue to increase safety at day care
facilities, Blagojevich signed
House Bill 4402, sponsored by state
Sen. Kirk Dillard, R-Westmont, and state Rep. James Meyer,
R-Naperville. The law adds "day care home" and "group day care home"
to the definition of places where it is unlawful for a registered
sex offender to operate, work or volunteer. Violators of this law
can be charged with a Class 4 felony.
"These laws will further assist law enforcement agencies in
protecting our children from convicted sex offenders," said Illinois
State Police Director Larry Trent. "In addition, we are eager to set
up the new Web site which will provide the public more information
about sex offenders whose whereabouts are currently unknown. I thank
Gov. Blagojevich for taking these important steps in the fight to
protect our children from these potential predators."
Throughout the governor's administration, he has signed several
pieces of legislation into law to tighten restrictions and
registration of sex offenders and define parameters to better help
citizens track sex offenders residing in their communities.
[Text from file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]