SPRINGFIELD — Two local Illinois legislators who previously sponsored legislation to extend protections to DCFS and Adult Protective Services workers following the murder of DCFS Investigator Pam Knight in Carroll County in 2019, issued a joint statement Wednesday after learning of the murder of DCFS Investigator Deidre Silas in Sangamon County on Tuesday.
Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) and State Representative Tony McCombie (R-Savanna) issued this statement:
“Along with all Illinoisans, we mourn the loss of DCFS Investigator Deidre Silas. Deidre Silas, and Pam Knight before her, are not the only DCFS workers to be viciously attacked in recent years. We became involved in this issue because of Pam Knight. It’s tragically unfortunate that the need now exists to speak out on behalf of the next victim.
“The legislation we pushed so hard for would have removed the ambiguity when it comes to charges to make it clear that if you attack a DCFS or Adult Protective Services worker you would face the same penalty as if you attacked a teacher or a fire fighter.
“This initiative continues to be the first step in providing justice for these workers who put their lives on the line to protect the most vulnerable amongst us. May we all grieve their loss and hope, as we have before, that this never happens again. Our grief is not enough, though. We call upon our colleagues in the General Assembly to work with us to swiftly pass legislation protecting DCFS and Adult Protective Services investigators without further delay.”
House Bill 3933, the current version of this legislation, is stalled in the House Rules Committee. The first time this change was proposed was House Bill 4586, sponsored by McCombie and Demmer in January 2019.
When that effort failed to get the support of supermajority Democrats, the legislators refiled the legislation as House Bill 1482, Demmer’s and McCombie’s statement said.
This time the bill passed the House with bipartisan support before stalling in the Senate in 2021. McCombie and Demmer refiled the bill again as House Bill 3933 in the 102nd General Assembly.