Text Size
Login
config

Holmes passes legislation to end statute of limitations for sexual assault

holmes 052119SPRINGFIELD – A measure from State Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) to remove the statute of limitations for any criminal sexual assault passed the Senate today.

A law was enacted in 2017 to remove the statute of limitations for criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse for victims under the age of 18 years old (PA 100-0080). Holmes’ House Bill 2135 would remove that limit for all victims.

“In the event of an individual choosing to pursue justice for their attack years after the event, or in situations where an investigation is delayed for some reason, we need to be sure justice is still accessible for any sexual assault victim,” Holmes said. “The possibility of a perpetrator not being brought to justice is a risk to public safety.”

Mary Ann Brzoska testified with Sen. Holmes in the Senate Criminal Law Committee earlier this month about her daughter’s experience after being raped at age 19 by two men. Three years later, an investigation is just now underway. Brzoska worries the statute of limitations could spare an attacker from prosecution if the pace of an investigation lags as it has in her daughter’s case.

“More than one-third of the 10-year statute of limitations has already passed, and I would hate to see another family face this situation with the pressure of delays,” Brzoska said. “If it has taken this long to get an investigation started, it seems possible time could run out. That’s not justice.”

House Bill 2135 will now go to the governor for his consideration.

Holmes works to overhaul child abuse reporting from psychiatric hospitals

holmes 051619SPRINGFIELD – After an October report from ProPublica revealed allegations of abuse and neglect of children at the Aurora Chicago Lakeshore Hospital, concerns were heightened about coordination between the Department of Children and Family Services and other state agencies.

State Senator Linda Holmes’ (D-Aurora) House Bill 831 requires better reporting to rectify those cases by require DCFS to notify the Director of Public Health and the Director of Healthcare and Family Services when they occur.

“After DCFS found neglect and sexual abuse by staff, as well as failure to provide a safe environment and to monitor these children’s care and medication at this psychiatric hospital, it became obvious more oversight is needed to prevent this from happening,” Holmes said. “Federal and state investigations have revealed these tragedies and we must do everything we can to stop it.”

Holmes measure updates animal welfare law for shelters, foster groups

holmes 041719SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) has passed legislation in the Senate to address a number of issues regarding animal shelters and foster groups, licensing fees and feral cat programs.

Senate Bill 61 increases licensing fees and fines under the Department of Agriculture for the first time since 1971. It also changes rules regarding adopted dogs and cats and the facilities that provide foster homes and transport pets for adoption.

“This group of animal welfare measures brings several rescue and shelter issues up to date for Illinois,” Holmes said. “So many pets find their forever homes through these facilities and fostering arrangements. This legislation can serve to increase the potential for that to happen while providing the Department of Agriculture with more resources to oversee these programs and facilities.”

In addition to increasing license fees and administrative fines, Senate Bill 61 as amended does the following:

  • Changes definitions of terms related to animal shelters, rescue and transport groups and their functions;
  • Addresses licensed animal groups’ Trap, Neuter, Release/Return (TNR) programs for sterilized and microchipped feral cats;
  • Clarifies the limits of two litters of animals under eight weeks old in foster homes;
  • Removes a permit fee of $25 for foster homes.

Senate Bill 61 includes input from the Illinois Department of Agriculture, Best Friends Animal Society, Illinois Humane Society and the Illinois Animal Control Association.

With bipartisan approval in the Senate, Senate Bill 61 now moves to the House for consideration.

Holmes measure would allow local school districts to make decisions on charter schools

holmes 041119 3SPRINGFIELD – Right now, a state agency can overturn a local school board’s decision to deny a charter school application in their school district. Under a proposal from State Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora), that decision would remain in local hands.

Senate Bill 1226 would change the charter school application process to abolish the State Charter School Commission and ensure locally elected school boards and parents would decide if a charter school is good for their community. The plan puts all existing charter schools authorized by the commission under the authority of the Illinois State Board of Education beginning June of 2020.

“This proposal is about local control and accountability for charter schools as they exist for public schools,” Holmes said. “The existing commission has overturned local school boards and I believe those decisions belong in the community, not at the state level.”

A local appeal process for charter schools already exists, eliminating the need for a state commission. Local voters also have the option of considering a charter school on the ballot of an upcoming election.

With bipartisan approval in the Senate, the measure now moves to the House for consideration.

Sen. Linda Holmes

holmes-15

42nd District

Years served:
2007 - Present

Committee assignments: Agriculture (Vice-Chairperson); Committee of the Whole; Executive; Labor; Local Government (Chairperson); Telecommunications & InfoTechnology.

Biography: Elected to the Senate in 2006; born March 16, 1959, in Chicago; received a bachelor's degree from the National College of Education (now National-Lewis University); First woman president of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry; Full-time state legislator.

Associated Representatives:
Linda Chapa LaVia
Stephanie A. Kifowit