Protect our Children Initiative Introduced Today

House GOP members introduce legislation designed to protect children from violence at a press conference this morning. Watch video below:

State Representatives Jim Durkin and Dennis Reboletti along with House Republican Leader Tom Cross and other House Republican members introduced new legislation today that will help keep our children and our communities safe from violence.

Durkin said the measures in the “Protect Our Children” initiative target the greatest threats to our children’s safety – gang and school-related violence. Here is an overview of the legislative package:

  • HB 3217 increases penalties for gang-related gun offenses. It increases the minimum sentence for possession of a firearm by a street gang member from 3 up to 4 years and makes it a non-probationable offense. The legislation also requires 85% truth in sentencing for many gun offenses by felons and known gang members.

  • House Bill 3009 cracks down on gang recruitment in our communities. Illinois’ gang recruitment law currently requires prosecutors to prove that the defendant used force or coercion to recruit another person into a gang. This legislation adds two new felony offenses for recruiting adults (Class 4 Felony) or minors (Class 3 Felony) to join gangs that do not require proof of physical force.

  •  HB 1925 FA1 utilizes gun offense fines to enhance mental health reporting. A recent audit conducted by Auditor General Bill Holland found that due to deficiencies in the reporting of individuals with potentially disqualifying mental health conditions, State Police don’t always receive information needed to revoke or deny FOID cards. This proposal imposes an additional $50 fine on defendants convicted of certain firearm offenses to fund continuing education for circuit judges and circuit court clerks to improve the reporting of mental health prohibitors to the State Police.

  • HB 1978 FA1 improves conflict resolution education in schools. To help prevent school-related violence, this legislation ensures school districts will provide instruction and training in violence prevention and conflict resolution education as part of social-emotional learning standards for all students in grades pre-kindergarten through 12. The State Board of Education and local school boards are not required to implement these provisions unless funding is available from private sources, the State, or the federal government.