State Rep. Deanne Mazzochi Co-Sponsors Legislation to Strengthen Penalties for Attacks Against DCFS Agents

State Representative Deanne Mazzochi (R-Elmhurst) has signed on as a co-sponsor of legislation that would strengthen criminal penalties for those found guilty of battering an employee of the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS) while, or as a result of, performing duties of their job.

HB 4147 extends to DCFS workers the same protections already afforded to police officers and firefighters, by making an attack on a DCFS worker an aggravated battery and a Class 1 Felony. The aggravated battery classification subjects perpetrators to stronger sentences.

According to Mazzochi, HB 4147 was filed earlier this year in response to a brutal attack that led to the death of a DCFS worker who was taking a child out of an unsafe home and into protective custody. “DCFS workers protect the most vulnerable children in our state and their duties often put them in harm’s way,” said Mazzochi. “We have elevated the available penalties for those who would harm a police officer or firefighter who is acting in the line of duty, and our DCFS employees are deserving of the same protections.”

Since its filing, HB 4147 has garnered strong bipartisan support by 40 co-sponsors in the House. However, the bill remains in Speaker Mike Madigan’s House Rules Committee and has not been scheduled for a hearing.

“I am frequently asked why we keep hearing that one Chicago state representative, Mike Madigan, is an obstacle to Illinois reform,” added Mazzochi. “His House Rules Committee routinely quashes reforms that may benefit our most vulnerable—even if bipartisan support is behind it in the General Assembly and the State as a whole—because he needs to keep a few precious votes of one political faction or another in his caucus to stay in power. That sacrifices good policy to the will of political insiders.”