State money will not be used to protect state legislators from sexual harassment allegations.
House Bill 4243, introduced by state Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, was signed into law Friday and prohibits the use of state funds to pay for silence or inaction in connection with an allegation or investigation of sexual harassment against a member of the General Assembly.
This includes district office allowances given to members to use largely at their discretion.
The legislation was prompted by news reports over the past year that revealed the existence of a federal fund financed by U.S. taxpayers that was used by congressmen for payments to people making allegations of harassment against members of Congress and staff.
"Under no circumstances should taxpayer funds be used to silence sexual harassment cases involving elected officials," McSweeney said. “This is an important and proactive step given the troubling culture of sexual harassment in Springfield. Illinois taxpayers will not have their hard-earned money spent on covering up incidents of harassment and abuse.”
HB 4243, now a law, passed both the House and Senate unanimously. It was sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Tom Cullerton, D-Villa Park.
It is effective immediately.
McSweeney represents the 52nd District, which covers parts of Crystal Lake, Cary, Fox River Grove and Oakwood Hills.