Rep. Bos Bills Supporting Child Sex Victims & Ensuring No One is Forced to Die Alone Signed Into Law
LAKE ZURICH - Today, the Governor signed two pieces of legislation into law carried through the Illinois House of Representatives by State Representative Chris Bos (R-Lake Zurich). House Bill 4593 removes a loophole to hold those who sexually abuse children accountable. Senate Bill 1405 ensures a family member may be by the side of their loved one in their final moments while in a healthcare facility, even during a pandemic.
Bos, an advocate for victims of sexual exploitation, noted during the debate of HB 4593 on the House floor in February that the majority of the underage who are sexually exploited are victims of human trafficking who have been forced or manipulated into their sexual abuse. After the bill passed both chambers of the General Assembly, he said, "The unanimous passage of House Bill 4593 in both the House and Senate says to victims in a unified voice that we see you, we hear you and we will not let your abusers off the hook for their depraved actions."
Under HB 4593, those who pay for sex are no longer able to claim they did not know the person they solicited for sex was underage or was a person with an intellectual disability and use it as an affirmative defense. This change in the law places the burden on the exploiter who solicited the sex to prove they did not know their victim was underage or disabled, rather than placing the burden on the victim.
SB 1405 came about as a direct response to COVID-19 executive orders. The Governor's orders left no exceptions to allow for end-of-life visitation with a family member in a healthcare facility. Even as mitigation rules changed in response to the pandemic, residents in skilled nursing homes, extended care, or intermediate care facilities were denied even one visitor. Under SB 1405, at least one visitor, not including a member of the clergy, must be permitted to visit a loved one. Healthcare facilities are empowered to set safety guidelines and ensure that neither the patient nor visitor are endangered by the visit, but no longer could a family member be outright denied.
"No one should have to die without a family member by their side, and no one should be denied the right to comfort their spouse or parent in their final moments," said Bos. "Senate Bill 1405 becoming law will stop this from happening in the future and recognizes the dignity of every life.
"I want to express personal thanks the McGinnis family for their efforts. Their advocacy on behalf of their grandfather, Bob McGinnis, was an integral to helping Sen. McConchie and I advance this bipartisan law for the benefit of all Illinois families going forward."
Bos also expressed his thanks to State Senator Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods), who carried both pieces of legislation in the State Senate.
For additional information on HB 4593 or SB 1405, visit RepBos.com.