New law brings independence, transparency to legislative sexual harassment investigations

HB 138, sponsored by Rep. Jesiel and approved by both houses of the General Assembly and signed into law by the Governor on Friday, will close loopholes in existing law, especially with relations to the Illinois General Assembly, on issues of sexual harassment. The bill makes the office of Legislative Inspector General a full-time position, lengthens the window of time within which a survivor of sexual harassment may file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights, toughen harassment training for Illinois state legislators and their staff, requires annual reporting of sexual harassment reports, and makes other changes.

The new protections in the law are the result of numerous hearings and dozens of hours of testimony from victims and others. A full list of all of the reforms included in the bill can be found here.

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