CourtroomSMSPRINGFIELD – Victims of human trafficking will now have the ability to seal their criminal records under a new law passed by State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) and signed today.

“We know most victims of trafficking are being forced to commit crimes by their trafficker,” Hutchinson said. “Allowing the sealing of criminal records gives survivors more ability to move past their abuse and exploitation and towards recovery and a chance at a normal life.”

The new law, contained in House Bill 5494, creates a petition process that will allow trafficking victims to petition for the immediate sealing of criminal records upon completion of their sentence. Previously, only charges that result in an acquittal or dismissal are eligible for immediate sealing.

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04242018CM0832RSPRINGFIELD – Law enforcement officers who sexually abuse or rape individuals in custody could face charges under a new law passed by State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights).

“The general public should have complete faith that law enforcement officers are held to the same standards as everyone else in our society,” Hutchinson said. “No one person should be immune to consequences for their actions, and our laws should reflect that reality.”

The new law, contained in House Bill 5597, would expand the definition of custodial sexual misconduct to include law enforcement officers who engage in sexual conduct with an individual in police custody. Illinois is one of 34 states that allow police officers to evade sexual assault or rape charges by claiming that sexual activity with someone detained or in custody is consensual.

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04172018CM0638RSPRINGFIELD – Companies doing business with the State of Illinois will be required to have a sexual harassment policy protecting workers under a new law signed today and passed by State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights).

“The State of Illinois should be a leader in ensuring sexual harassment is not tolerated in our state,” Hutchinson said. “Every year, hundreds of companies team up with the state to provide services to our residents. We need to ensure these individuals performing state work are protected and know sexual harassment is not tolerated in Illinois.”

The new law, contained in Senate Bill 405, requires all companies that make a bid or offer for a state contract have a sexual harassment policy in place. Additionally, the law requires companies that claim EDGE tax credits to include their sexual harassment policy in their annual report to the state.

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SupremeCourtSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) released the following statement this morning after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against public sector unions in the Janus v. AFSCME case:

“Today’s court decision will have a direct impact on the income, health benefits and overall standard of living for thousands of public workers and their families across our nation. These are workers who care for our children, protect our environment and keep us safe.

“At a time of historic inequity in our economy, this is the latest blow to working families that will have a ripple effect for decades to come. It also shows us that partisan gamesmanship in Washington is continuing to enrich special interests at the expense of working families.”

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