SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA)– One Illinois Democrat is accusing the Speaker of the House of trying to water down sexual harrasmsent legislation.
Former senator and gubernatorilal candidate Dan Biss is calling out House Speaker Michael Madigan for trying to weaken a Senate bill.
A bipartisan group of senators recently announced they passed a bill in their chamber that would better prevent sexual harrasment in the workplace. It aims to limit non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) that could deter workers from reporting harassment.
“We don’t want a situation where NDAs or non-dispargement clauses act in itself as silencers which then turns into the protection of the perpretrator. and it’s complicated,” said Senator Toi Hutchinson of Olympia Fields.
The bill is backed by the Chamber of Commerce and senators cleared it unanimously. Over in the House, however, lawmakers said they will be examining the bill. Representatives Kathleen Willis, Natalie Manley, and Greg Harris said in a statement: “Senator Bush’s legislation contains many elements which will be reviewed and and evaluated alongside ethics and human rights issues proposed by members of the House in our effort to to develop the most comprehensive legislation possible.”
The statement led some to believe the House could come be working on a rival bill that waters down the objectives of the Senate bill. Former senator Dan Bliss tweeted:
“What’s happening is this: Mike Madigan is trying to kill sexual harrassment legislation because he doesn’t want anything to change. Let’s make sure he doesn’t get away with it.”
Biss said Madigan could avoid voting on the bill by promoting a rival sexual harrasment measure sponsored by three Madigan allies in the house.
A spokesperson for Speaker Madigan said he has no comment concerning the Biss’ tweets but the statement from the House members shows they are willing committed to examining sexual harrasment in the workplace. Biss is simply sounding the alarm on what the House could be up to but so far we yet to see that evidence at this point of the legislative session.