Illinois State Rep. cosponsors bill to enhance DCFS worker protections

Published: Nov. 10, 2017 at 9:53 PM CST
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Illinois St. Rep. Tony McCombie is hoping to deter harm towards DCFS workers in her state.

“They're out there trying to keep families and children safe, so I feel it's our responsibility to protect them at the same time,” McCombie said.

She’s co-sponsoring a bill that would increase the penalties for someone who assaults a DCFS worker.

“It will increase their sentence from a Class 3 (felony) to a Class 1 (felony),” McCombie said.

The bill is a response to an incident that happened in October. During a welfare check in Carroll County, a DCFS worker was left in critical condition.

“The penalty is not really that high for the man who hurt her,” McCombie said.

Under current Illinois law, if convicted, the man would face up to five years in prison, but this bill would raise that time frame to up to 15 years.

“As a family member or a neighbor to hear that somebody who has so drastically hurt somebody, to have them only possibly going to be going to jail for five years is just crazy to think about,” McCombie said.

The state representative says she expects little resistance to this bill.

“It’s really a common-sense bill, and it's already in place for so many others that work with the public so this is just one more additional piece to it,” McCombie said.

And she hopes it keeps more workers safe in the future.

“I would like to think it's going to make somebody think twice, but they should be thinking twice regardless,” she said.

McCombie says she and others are drafting a letter to Speaker Madigan to push this bill through when the House reconvenes in January.