Cavaletto’ s Grandparents Bill Passes

Rep. John Cavaletto testifying for Grandparents’ Rights bill (HB 4607) in the Judiciary – Criminal Committee.

State Representative John Cavaletto (R-Salem) announced that his bill to give grandparents the right to take grandchildren across state line for medical treatment has been resurrected.

Unexpectedly, House Bill 4607 was released and received a hearing in the Judiciary – Criminal Committee in the Illinois House this week and Friday morning it passed unanimously out of the House.

“I guess it’s true when they say nothing is ever really dead in the Illinois legislature,” commented Rep. John Cavaletto, Republican Spokesperson for the Elementary & Secondary Education: Licensing, Administration & Oversight Committee. “I have been working on this issue for six years on behalf of the grandparents’ group in my area who have custody of grandchildren for various reasons but are not allowed to care for them properly because taking them to St. Louis for medical care makes them criminals.”

This legislation would amend the Criminal Code of 2012 and establish that a grandparent may not be criminally or civilly liable for a violation of the Kidnaping and Related Offenses Article of the Code when the grandparent transports a child to another state for medical care or treatment if the grandparent reasonably believes that: (1) the child needs emergency medical care or treatment because of injury or illness; (2) a medical provider is not located within a short distance from the child’s residence in this State; and (3) failure to transport the child to another state will risk further illness or injury to the child.

The law would also provide that the Department of Children and Family Services may not place a child described in this provision in its custody or foster care on the basis that the child is transported to another state under circumstances described in this provision.

“There have been cases where the state has taken custody away from grandparents using a ‘kidnapping’ charge against a grandparent when all they were doing was providing the best medical care they could by taking their grandchild across the state line to a hospital or medical specialist not available in Illinois,” added Rep. Cavaletto. “This bill is about keeping families together and keeping children out of ‘the system,’” concluded Cavaletto.

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