mollyslawIn March of 2012, Molly Young, a 21-year-old Carbondale resident, was found dead from a gunshot wound to the head in her ex-boyfriend’s apartment. When insufficient evidence was found to rule the incident either a homicide or a suicide to issue an indictment, Young’s family filed a civil suit against the boyfriend to seek justice for their daughter.

Justice never came to the Young family because, under Illinois’ current law, the statute of limitations on wrongful death claims is two years.

Legislation co-sponsored by State Senator Gary Forby (D-Benton), House Bill 6083, was signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner Tuesday to raise the statute of limitations on wrongful death claims to five years.

“The story of Molly Young is a tragic one. This family has yet to get answers they need for the closure and justice they deserve because, unfortunately, time ran out,” Forby said. “ I think this is an injustice to the family, and I don’t want similar stories to arise. When a death occurs as a result of violent and intentional conduct, two years is not enough time to fully investigate what happened and bring the culprit to justice.”

Another part of Molly’s Law signed Tuesday is House Bill 4715.

The measure will impose civil penalties for instances of a public body’s willful and intentional failure to comply with the Freedom of Information Act. This was in response to the Young family’s repeatedly blocked FOIA attempts to receive information about the case.

“FOIA requests are meant to provide transparency and give citizens information they need,” Forby added. “Under no circumstances should FOIA requests such as these be blocked. I hope this legislation will help bring the Young family the justice they deserve.”

Category: Recent News

Coal mine WyomingA measure to bring safer conditions to coal mines in Illinois was signed into law Friday. The legislation, Senate Bill 2813, was an initiative of State Senator Gary Forby (D-Benton).

Forby, a long-time proponent of the coal industry, said that this measure is aimed at making Illinois a more competitive market for the coal industry by updating safety regulations.

“Keeping workers safe on the job is one of the most important things we can do,” said Forby. “I have been around the coal industry my whole life and know how dangerous coal mines can be. If we want to keep the coal industry alive in Southern Illinois, we need to make sure our mines are safe.”

The bill amends the Coal Mining Act by adjusting regulations on mine safety and health to bring Illinois into parity with federal regulations set by the Mine Safety Act and Health Administration.

The law contains a number of updates to the safety regulations including:

  • Requires coal mine examination to take place within three hours prior to the beginning of a shift
  • If examiner finds more than one percent methane in the air, the examiner would be required to examine each seal before workers are allowed in the mine
  • Requires examination only in areas where a person is scheduled to work or travel under ground
  • Requires an examiner to inspect escape ways each day
  • Allows examiner to file reports by transmitting the results of the examination to the surface to store them in a computer
  • Allows an examiner to use a multi-gas detector rather than a flame safety lamp to test for gasses

Allows for telephone service or equivalent two-way communications, including text messages to be used to allow miners who become trapped inside a mine to better communicate their status to emergency services

The bill was signed by governor Bruce Rauner and goes into effect on January 1.  


Category: Recent News

Forby road construction projetsMillions of dollars worth of construction projects in Southern Illinois remain on track thanks to a state budget agreement Senator Gary Forby (D-Benton) helped approve.
The list of projects slated for construction includes:

  • A $6.3 million bridge replacement project in Union County at the Illinois 146 interchange
  • $1.4 million in funding to resurface Skyline Drive in Marion.
  • $800,000 in funding to repair bridge joints on the Mississippi River Bridge in Cairo

Those are a few of the Southern Illinois projects included in the agreement. Statewide, nearly $2 billion worth of construction would have shut down on July 1 if no budget was in place.

Senator Forby was part of the working groups that helped piece together the framework of a deal that lawmakers and the governor finalized on June 30.

“When thousands of jobs are on the line, I step up and do something about it,” Forby said. “Before we adjourned last month, we passed an important measure to ensure construction continues and these important jobs stay in Southern Illinois.”  

Category: Recent News

Forby Stopgap Budget

Senator Forby (D-Benton) joined colleagues from the House and Senate Thursday to pass a bipartisan, full K-12 budget that will ensure schools open on time this fall and that local schools have the resources they need to operate through the upcoming school year.

Forby expressed his relief that the governor temporarily set aside his agenda so that a budget agreement could be reached.

"Southern Illinois schools will not only open on time this fall, but we will finally see our fair share," Forby said. "It was a fight, but once the governor agreed to drop his demands, we were able to move forward on making sure our school children have the resources they need to succeed."

The budget also included funding for the Illinois Department of Transportation to ensure capital projects continue across the region.

"This was also about thousands of construction workers keeping their jobs and making sure infrastructure projects, which are vital to our local economy, continue,” Forby added.  

The measure contains funding to keep the Franklin County Juvenile Detention Center open, money promised to Alexander County to clean up flood damage and the following Capital Development Board projects:

  •  Upgrades to the Vienna Correctional Center in Johnson County
  • Replacement of the roofing systems for the Shawnee Correctional Center
  • Upgrades for the primary and emergency electric generators for the Illinois Youth Center in Harrisburg

“This is great for my district,” said Forby “These projects are long overdue, and I want to bring these projects home to my district. More construction projects mean more jobs, and that’s what we need in Southern Illinois.”

Category: Recent News

2016 Legislative Survey

Contact Us

Capitol Office:
417 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706 
(217) 782-5509

District Office:
903 West Washington, Suite 3
Benton, IL 62812 
(618) 439-2504


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