The following press release was issued by the office of Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch:
WESTCHESTER, Ill. – To help youth have a better understanding of their legal rights, state Rep. Chris Welch, D-Hillside, is sponsoring legislation to ensure that students are read their rights before police questioning and require that parents are notified before interrogation.
“Students deserve equal protection under the law,” Welch said. “Unfortunately students can unknowingly implicate themselves and other students without a full understanding of what their legal options are. Parents deserve the right to protect their children and to help them make an informed decision when talking to the police.”
House Bill 4191 provides that a student must be informed of the right not to answer any question or to make any statement in the presence of a police officer. A parent or guardian of the student must be notified of their opportunity to be present during the questioning. Additionally, students must be informed of their right to have a parent, a guardian, or an attorney present. Students should also be aware that any statement made in the presence of a police officer may result in an arrest, warrant, or disciplinary action in school.
“Children cannot be expected to handle situations that they are not mentally equipped to deal with alone,” Welch said. “Law enforcement will still have the authority to take necessary action in cases of emergency. This will help strengthen our justice system by providing a comfortable space for students to cooperate with authorities and help provide accurate information. Students should not be led into discussions without understanding the rights they have and parents are made aware of what’s going on.”
In addition to HB4191, Rep. Welch has filed or will be filing several other bills this session. HB4192 disqualifies banks and savings and loan associations that have not achieved a federal Community Reinvestment Act rating of outstanding record of meeting community credit needs from serving as a depository of state moneys. Specifically, this bill requires banks to add more automated teller machines in low income and moderate income communities. HB4288, the Water Rate Protection Act, will protect suburban communities from unfair City of Chicago water rate increases. HB4292 amends the Trustees of Schools Article by specifically allowing the school board of any school district to withdraw from the jurisdiction and authority of the trustees of schools of the township. Rep. Welch will also be filing a bill to allow for the consolidation of River Forest Township with the Village of River Forest which could potentially save River Forest taxpayers thousands of dollars. To view Rep. Welch’s legislation, please visit www.ilga.gov.
The 2014 session of General Assembly begins on Wednesday, January 29, 2014with Governor Pat Quinn delivering his annual State of the State address. As always, Rep. Welch will provide weekly updates in his electronic legislative report.