Springfield, IL… A measure introduced by State Representative Margo McDermed (R-Mokena) to mandate the tracking of sexual assault kits was overwhelmingly approved by the Illinois House of Representatives.
Rep. McDermed previously passed legislation in 2017 to create the Sexual Assault Evidence Tracking and Reporting Commission with the goal of determining how to implement an electronic evidence tracking system. The recommended changes to law and policy that will help implement such a system outlined by that Commission have been incorporated in to House Bill 1440. HB 1440 mandates that the Department of State Police establish a tracking system and that it conforms to the recommendations in the Commission’s report.
“Other states like Michican have recently implemented their own tracking system and we were able to use their knowledge, as well as that of other stakeholders, like police officials and victim’s rights advocates, to help inform the bill,” Rep. McDermed said.
The Illinois State Police recently announced that they were taking proactive steps on this issue, but HB 1440 is necessary to implement a uniform statewide tracking system and mandate participation and compliance by all stakeholders. The bill does not allocate any new funds, instead the tracking system will be funded through the Illinois State Police budget. Once implemented, victims will be able to privately and securely monitor their kits.
“An electronic tracking system is an important step towards the larger goal of reducing the significant evidence backlog,” Rep. McDermed continued. “While the bill does not mandate turnaround times, it will give victims some peace of mind knowing where and when their evidence is as it progresses through the system. Victims can take solace in knowing their kits are not lost in the system.”
HB 1440 passed the Illinois House on a unanimous 112-0 vote. It now moves to the Senate where it is sponsored by State Senator Dan McConchie (R-Lake Zurich).