Governor Bruce Rauner today signed House Bill 6083 and House Bill 4715, the bills known as Molly's Law. These bills strengthen Illinois' Freedom of Information Act and extend the period of time in which a victim's family can file a wrongful death lawsuit where the act is intentional and violent in nature.
"Today is an important day for Illinois families seeking justice," Gov. Rauner said. "This bill provides families a longer timeframe to bring wrongful death actions against perpetrators of intentional violent crimes and gives families access to the necessary public information to find closure in a loved one's death."
Molly's Law is comprised of two pieces of legislation, HB 6083 and HB 4715. HB 6083 extends the statute of limitations for wrongful death cases and allows a lawsuit to be brought within 5 years after the date of the death or within one year after the criminal case against the perpetrator concludes.
In addition, House Bill 4715 provides for additional fines – up to $1,000 per day -- in cases where a public body fails to comply with a court order resulting from a FOIA action. It also incentivizes public bodies to act in a timely manner in response to binding opinions from the Attorney General in FOIA cases.
"Today's signing of Molly's Law by the Governor is a victory for Molly Young's family," said Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro), chief sponsor of both bills. "I want to thank the Governor for his attention to this very important issue and for traveling to southern Illinois to sign Molly's Law today. I also want to thank Molly Young's father, Mr. Larry Young, who traveled to Springfield to testify on behalf of Molly's law to help ensure its passage."
Senator Christine Radogno, the legislation's sponsor in the Senate, echoed Rep. Bryant. "The Young family was tenacious in their pursuit of this legislation. They worked with Rep. Bryant to help other families avoid a battle with bureaucracy in the pursuit of justice for their loved ones and closure in these circumstances," Radogno (R-Lemont) said.
In May 2015, a judge dismissed a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Larry Young ruling he failed to file the lawsuit within two years of Molly's death.
HB 6083 and HB 4715 go into effect on January 1, 2017.