Bryant Introduces “Molly’s Law” to Strengthen FOIA, Wrongful Death Laws

Family members and friends of Molly Young’s family  joined Rep. Terri Bryant and House Republican Leader Jim Durkin for a press
conference in Carbondale on Saturday. Bryant has introduced HB 6083, dubbed “Molly’s Law”

Carbondale….State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) joined House Republican Leader Jim Durkin on Saturday at the Carbondale Civic Center to announce that she has introduced legislation aimed at strengthening Illinois’ Freedom of Information Act, and change the timeframe in which wrongful death lawsuits can be filed. Bryant says the change in the law is meant to aid victims’ families in their pursuit of the truth about the death of their loved one.

“Today, I am proud to stand beside Larry Young, Molly Young’s father, who has been fighting since the death of his daughter in 2012 to gain information on the investigation into her death,” Bryant said. “Larry approached me last year with some thoughts on how we can strengthen our laws to aid families dealing with these terrible situations, and I was happy to explore ways in which we could help.”

Rep. Bryant responds to questions from reporters at Saturday’s press

HB 6083, titled “Molly’s Law” states that public bodies that willfully and intentionally fail to comply with Court orders to release information through FOIA can be penalized up to $10,000 for each occurrence. If the public body fails to comply with the court’s order after 30 days, under HB 6083 the court would impose an additional $1,000 penalty for every day the violation continues. 

Additionally, the newly introduced legislation changes language in regard to the state’s Wrongful Death law. Current law states that a wrongful death suit must be brought within 2 years of the death of a decedent. Rep. Bryant’s bill changes the law to say that a lawsuit would be able to be brought within 2 years after the discovery of evidence that indicates that a wrongful death may have occurred.

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin joined Bryant and the Young family for the press conference and talked about the importance of this change in the law for families in the future. 

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin answers a question from reporters
during Saturday’s press conference in Carbondale.

“Due to the length of time that the investigation into Molly Young’s death has taken, the statute of limitations on wrongful death lawsuits expired. I don’t believe this is a unique situation as other families have sadly stood in Larry Young’s shoes,” Durkin said. “This change in law will allow sufficient time for a determination of death to be made in future cases.  The changes that “Molly’s Law” makes will help families in these situations with accessing public information and allow sufficient time to investigate what really happened. It’s a victim’s rights bill I’m glad to stand with Larry Young and Rep. Bryant today to lend my support to their efforts.”