(Chicago, IL) August 31, 2009 – Gov. Pat Quinn has just signed into law 4 Illinois Council on Responsible Fatherhood (ICRF) bills that passed both houses of the General Assembly.
“As Chairman of the ICRF, I am pleased to have co-authored these bills. I want to thank legislators from both parties who helped pass these new laws,” said Jeffery Leving.
Mr. Leving summarized the highlights of the legislation:
SB 1628, sponsored by Sen. Iris Martinez and in the House by Rep. Deborah Mell, accomplishes two things: It amends the Paternity Act and other Acts, to insure that both parties be informed to their right to DNA testing before an adjudication of paternity can be made either through a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, court proceedings or by an administrative law judge. It also amends the visitation interference section of the Criminal Code and sets forth that it is now a criminal offense to deny the other parent their right to parenting time or custody time. Previously, only visitation interference was a crime. (Signed into law: August 11, 2009)
SB 1590, sponsored by Sen. Pamela Althoff and in the House by Rep. Sandra Pihos, and which was unanimously passed, allows children and non-custodial parents to use electronic visitation technologies such as email, telephone, internet and video conferencing. Illinois becomes the sixth state to pass Virtual Visitation Legislation and this can open the door to virtual visitation for incarcerated fathers in Illinois. (Signed into law: August 11, 2009)
HB 4008, sponsored by Rep. Jehan Gordon and in the Senate by Sen. Iris Martinez, includes the paternity provisions of SB 1628. It amends the Paternity Act to insure that both parties be clearly informed to their right to DNA testing before a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity is signed or the paternity order is entered by the court or administrative law judge. (Signed into law: August 14, 2009)
HB 2266, sponsored by Rep. Ken Dunkin and in the Senate by Sen. Iris Martinez, amends the visitation interference section of the Criminal Code with the use of terms used in family cases today (i.e. parenting time and custody time). (Signed into law: August 25, 2009)