Springfield, Illinois – April 10, 2014

Springfield, Illinois – April 10, 2014

The AFSP Illinois chapter held its first state capitol legislative day on April 10, 2014 in Springfield, IL.  We were delighted that 21 advocates attended our event and met with their state senators and representatives.  We focused our advocacy on three bills. HB 5707 strengthens the anti-bullying provisions in the Illinois School Code by requiring comprehensive anti-bullying policies and the reporting of bullying incidents, both with oversight and assistance from the Illinois State Board of Education. HB 4207 extends the Illinois School Code’s computer bullying provisions to cyber-bullying that substantially disrupts the educational process or the orderly operation of a school, even if it takes place outside of school or uses non-school computers.  SB 3042provides that first responders killed “in the line of duty” includes those whose death was caused by self-harm when a mental health professional establishes that it was a result of active duty service.   Both anti-bullying bills passed out of the House the day we were in Springfield and are now in the Senate.  The first responder bill had passed out of the Senate earlier in the week.  Subsequent to our visit, AFSP advocates, including those who were unable to make the trip to Springfield, wrote their legislators asking them to support all three bills.