Legislation co-sponsored by three McHenry County reps would create domestic violence task force

Bill is now under consideration by the Illinois Senate after passing the House unanimously

Legislation co-sponsored by multiple state legislators representing McHenry County that seeks to improve domestic violence laws in Illinois unanimously passed the House of Representatives in mid-April.

House Bill 3317, which was co-sponsored by state Reps. Suzanne Ness, D-Crystal Lake; Martin McLaughlin, R-Barrington Hills; and Dan Ugaste, R-St. Charles among 35 others, would create a task force to conduct a comprehensive study of current domestic violence laws in Illinois and look for ways to improve protections for victims of violence.

“Too often we hear tragic stories of domestic violence that make us wonder how a violent situation occurred and what could have been done to prevent it,” Ness said in a news release. “Creating a Domestic Violence Task Force allows us to work to ensure that all victims of domestic violence have access to the resources they need and to study the current laws and practices surrounding domestic violence situations, find solutions to fix any gaps in the system and provide more protections and support for victims of violence.”

If approved by the Senate and the governor, the task force would review and identify gaps in the process, operations and enforcement of domestic violence laws and submit a report to the governor and the General Assembly with its findings, according to the news release.

National and Illinois domestic violence data finds that on average nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner, Ness’s office said, citing the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence. One in three women and one in seven men have experienced some form of physical violence from an intimate partner, the data showed.

Ness represents District 66, which runs from Crystal Lake and Lakewood in the north through Lake in the Hills, Huntley and Algonquin into Kane County, where it also includes Gilberts, Sleepy Hollow and West Dundee. McLaughlin represents District 52, which includes Island Lake, Cary and Algonquin and runs south to South Barrington.

Ugaste represents House District 65, which falls mostly in Kane County but includes a small part of McHenry County as well. It covers all of Pingree Grove and portions of Batavia, St. Charles, Geneva, South Elgin, Elgin, Hampshire and Huntley.