Illinois (ECWd) -
Leave it to the worst run state in the country to pass another law attempting to legislate bad human behavior.
Now before everyone goes nuts over what I am about to say, know that I do not believe anyone should be subject to sexual harassment in their place of employment, or anywhere else for that matter.
That being said, let's look at yet another Illinois law, which is a creation of those in Springfield who clearly are out of touch with reality, to include out of touch with our Constitution.
Certain members of our legislature were confronted this fall with allegations of sexual harassment. Allegations that had been ignored because of the process in place for complaints to be investigated. Upon public disclosure of these failures, presto, Madigan fills the vacant seat for Legislative Office of Inspector General so those complaints can now be heard, and then moves legislation through for mandatory sexual harassment training and mandated policy adoption for all units of government.
I call this type of legislation feel-good legislation that won't accomplish anything, other than putting a lot of taxpayer money in the hands of the lawyers.
For starters, why won't it accomplish anything?
Texting and driving, a true danger to our society, is probably worse today than the day they passed the law that says you can't do it. As an EMT and Fireman, we see the catastrophic results first hand, yet the law says you can't do it.
Drunk Driving? How many knew that 50% of the fatalities on New Year's day in 2014 were alcohol related? Between 1984 and 2014 crash fatalities in Illinois averaged 45% being alcohol-related. Although I agree alcoholism is a disease, the statistics point to the stupid human behavior being a major player when it comes to drunk driving. How does this happen when we have laws forbidding it?
Sexual harassment has no place in our society, yet we all know it happens. Upon getting exposed, the legislature passed a law forbidding the action. Does anyone find it ironic that the very group being accused, passed a law that forbids the very actions they were accused of? Do they expect us to believe their stupid human behavior is going to change because they passed a law?
Sexual harassment is cultural and I believe a disease in our society. For those that watch TV, it's hard to watch anything that doesn't exemplify the behavior. Over time, due to silence by both sides of the equation, it has become part of our culture to a point some have accepted it as part of our way of life. Our society has allowed itself to become desensitized as to what improper behavior really is.
Now we have a law on the books that forbids it. Don't you all feel better?
What happens if you break the law?
Whatever the public body determines as an appropriate consequence!
5 ILCS 430/70-5 - ...."The policy shall include, at a minimum: (i) a prohibition on sexual harassment; (ii) details on how an individual can report an allegation of sexual harassment, including options for making a confidential report to a supervisor, ethics officer, Inspector General, or the Department of Human Rights; (iii) a prohibition on retaliation for reporting sexual harassment allegations, including availability of whistleblower protections under this Act, the Whistleblower Act, and the Illinois Human Rights Act; and (iv) the consequences of a violation of the prohibition on sexual harassment and the consequences for knowingly making a false report."
In our legislature's brilliant rush to pass this law to once again regulate stupid human behavior, I wonder if they gave any consideration to what this was going to cost the taxpayers of Illinois? With approximately 7000 units of government, of which all are required to adopt an ordinance or resolution establishing a policy to prohibit sexual harassment, I suspect those who do this will have their attorney draft up the ordinance or resolution. Fair to say a large portion of those public bodies will ignore the law, (another problem for another article), while others will pay no less than $250 an hour to have the policy drafted.
If three-fourths of the public bodies in this state spend $250 in legal fees to have the policy drafted, that equates to $1.3 Million dollars of taxpayer funds spent on a policy to regulate stupid human behavior and leaves the punishment up to those adopting agencies.
My above reference to the legislature's being out of touch with reality and our Constitution is proven with this very legislation. They mandate an action by public bodies statewide.
I have one question for our lawmakers.
Since when can the government tell elected officials how they have to vote on matters before them?
You see the problem with this and many others laws passed in Springfield is the fact they are mandates that do nothing but contribute to the destruction of our Constitution and our votes. By forcing a public body to adopt any policy, they are basically stripping our elected officials of their right to vote "no" on a matter before them.
If the legislature wanted to pass a law that imposes a penalty for sexual harassment then that is where it should stop. The second they mandate any policy to be adopted by each unit of government they have stripped our elected officials of their rights to represent the people they serve.
As a Constitutional Republic, it appears to be high time to institute some civic education into our legislature as well as our educational system as it's clear we have gone off the rails.
Anyone that believes you can legislate stupid human behavior has no place passing laws in this state in my opinion.