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Governor Quinn Signs Law to Combat Cyberbullying

Press Release - Monday, December 29, 2014

CHICAGO - Governor Pat Quinn today signed a new law that makes it a crime to distribute private images without a person's consent. The law seeks to combat the growing epidemic whereby former romantic partners disseminate private images without the subject's consent. Today's action is part of Governor Quinn's agenda to protect the rights and privacy of the people of Illinois.

"Cyberbullying can have lasting and often devastating effects on a person, especially when it involves the distribution of very personal images," Governor Quinn said. "This shameful act can be as harmful as any other form of abuse. This law cracks down on perpetrators and will help prevent more people from becoming victims, most of whom are women."

Senate Bill 1009, sponsored by State Senator Michael Hastings (D-Matteson) and State Representative Scott Drury (D-Highwood), makes the non-consensual dissemination of private sexual images, also known as "revenge porn," a Class 4 felony. The law also removes any profit and voids any contract or agreement the offender may receive as a result of the illegal use of these images. According to the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, 90 percent of revenge porn victims are women. The new law is effective June 1, 2015.

"This is an important modernization of our laws that will protect people's lives and reputations from cyberbullying and intimidation," Senator Hastings said.

Governor Quinn today also signed Senate Bill 2809, a new law that will help terminate the pension benefits of public employees convicted of felonies. Sponsored by State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) and State Representative Elaine Nekritz (D-Northbrook), the legislation allows the Illinois Attorney General to intervene in cases like those involving former Chicago Police supervisor John Burge, who was convicted of crimes committed while on duty but was still able to receive his publicly funded pension benefits. Today's action is part of Governor Quinn's agenda to make government and public employees more accountable to the taxpayers. The new law is effective June 1, 2015.

Governor Quinn also signed legislation creating a TIF extension for the Village of Lansing to support development in the West Lansing area. House Bill 6303 is effective immediately.

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