Rauner signs law expanding investigative period for sexual harassment complaints
Gov. Bruce Rauner encouraged the General Assembly to take concrete steps to eliminate sexual harassment in the State Capitol as he signed House Bill 137, which will allow the legislative inspector general to investigate complaints past a one-year statute of limitation, a release from Rauner's office said.
“This bill represents a positive but small step toward addressing the pressing issue of sexual harassment in the Capitol,” Rauner said in the release. “It ensures that a vacancy in the Office of the Legislative Inspector General does not allow for complaints and reports of victims to go unheard.”
The Office of the Legislative Inspector General sat unfilled from December 2014 to earlier this month, meaning that complaints raised in that period were not investigated before the one-year period for investigations expired. The new law remedies that, but Rauner encouraged the General Assembly to go further and ensure that the inspector general has a throughout mandate and adequate authority.
“The General Assembly should now look to meaningful reforms of its ethical oversight structure to ensure that the new legislative inspector general has robust and independent investigatory and enforcement power,” Rauner said in his statement. “I am putting my signature to House Bill 137, but look forward to working with members of the General Assembly willing to take the next steps toward greater independence, transparency, and enforcement mechanisms for the legislative inspector general.”