Madigan says his bill would also empowers state inspectors general and ethics commissions to investigate allegations, and assess fines of up to $5,000 for incidents of harassment, moves that have support from both Republican and Democratic leaders. "These corrective actions are a first step in changing the unacceptable culture that has existed for too long." he said.
During an emotional hearing Tuesday, activist Denise Rotheimer accused Sen.
Silverstein resigned from the Majority Caucus Chair post effective immediately, Cullerton said in a news release.
"What I dealt with, Silverstein, I ended up six weeks in a crisis", Rotheimer said. "I lost 20 pounds, my hair fell out".
A crime-victims advocate told an Illinois House committee Tuesday that a powerful state senator sexually harassed her previous year as they were working together on legislation, causing her so much mental anguish that she dropped 20 pounds and lost her hair. I had no control in the situation.
"He had so much power over me and the mind games he played", she continued.
The accusations came during a House Personnel and Pensions Committee hearing where a group of women discussed sexual harassment they experienced in their careers in IL politics.
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House Speaker Mike Madigan is introducing legislation to expand sexual harassment protections by mandating training for all lawmakers and lobbyists and creating a task force to study further changes. Silverstein (D-Chicago) of sexually harassing her. "I will await the commission's results".
Madigan introduced his measure after a group of women in IL politics last week made public a letter sharing their accounts of sexual harassment in Springfield. Signatures piled up last week on an open letter describing harassment and intimidation for women trying to negotiate legislation and work on campaigns.
Since her daughter's rape, Denise Rotheimer has worked to pass laws protecting victims.
At one point, she said, Silverstein killed the bill she was advocating - legislation to provide legal representation for crime victims - because he thought she had a boyfriend. She said she has more than 400 pages worth of Facebook messages from Silverstein that document her allegations. "He used it as a means, like a carrot, where he had power over me and he would have meetings with me because he liked to look at me, he thought I was pretty, he would tell me I'm intoxicating, I'm intimidating, I look like a movie star, always pointing out how I looked", Rotheimer said.
"I want him to answer for it and to know that it is wrong", Rotheimer said, referring to Silverstein.
Rotheimer said she was told to file a complaint with the inspector general's office, but when she filed a complaint there, she was sent back to Cullerton's office. He added: "I apologize if I made her feel uncomfortable".