On Tuesday, the Government Operations Committee, under acting chairman Stephanie Kifowit, refused to send on to the Committee of the Whole a non-binding resolution proposed by Alderman Chris Beykirch which would call upon the State of Illinois to enact and enforce a parental notification law. Today, Beykirch called a special meeting of the Buildings, Grounds and Infrastructure Committee to discuss the issue. Also sitting on the BGI Committee are Aldermen Richard Irvin and Rick Lawrence. Lawrence has proposed a parental notice ordinance which Irvin and Beykirch have endorsed. I am here live-blogging today’s BGI meeting. 3:00 p.m. Beykirch opens the meeting noting that the committee has been informed by city attorney Alayne Weingartz that they cannot vote on the resolution. He goes on to read the resolution:
RESOLUTION CALLING FOR THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS TO ENACT A PARENTAL NOTIFICATION LAW THAT CAN BE UPHELD IN A COURT OF LAW WHEREAS, the City of Aurora has a population of more than 25,000 persons and is, therefore, a home rule unit under subsection (1) of Section 6 of Article VII of the Illinois Constitution of 1970; and WHEREAS, subject to said section, a home rule unit may exercise any power and perform any function pertaining to its government and affairs for the protection of the public health, safety, morals and welfare; and WHEREAS, the City of Aurora has heard from multitudes of residents that were unaware it is currently legal in this state for their minor children to receive medical treatment without parental notification or consent. WHEREAS, the State of Illinois enacted a Parental Notification Law that is not currently enforced and is said to be unenforceable in a court of law in spite of the fact over thirty states in the United States have active & enforceable Parental Notification Laws. WHEREAS, a minor child is already restricted by law from having their ears pierced or to be tattooed, to receive or possess an aspirin in school, or to engage in other activities that they are deemed too immature to participate in; and all these have been enacted by state law. WHEREAS, the City Council foresees the need to protect the health and safety of our minor children, and to further protect the abilities of families to be primary in their children’s welfare. Furthermore, we notify neighboring municipalities to be concerned about the same and hereby approve this resolution to alert them. NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council of the City of Aurora, Illinois calls on all Elected Officials of the State of Illinois to act at once to provide the people of this State with an enforceable Parental Notification Law that provides no minor child shall receive any medical treatment without notification of a parent or legal guardian except in the case of emergency and allowing for judicial review only in special cases involving abuse, potential abuse or parent or guardian incapacity.
3:10 p.m. After opening remarks in support of protecting children by Lawrence and Irvin, Beykirch notes, “Never once have I ever seen a resolution as simple of a non-binding resolution, a letter being sent to Springfield, held up in this way.” He goes on to comment on the strange behavior of Aurora Township Democrats chairman Alex Arroyo at the G.O. meeting Tuesday. Beykirch also notes that in the past many resolutions have been passed by the City Council without ever going to a committee. 3:15 p.m. Beykirch confronts Kifowit’s public contention that he’s a liar (as quoted in the Beacon). Alderman Lawrence proposes that the Committee vote on the resolution and then pass it on to Government Operations—Beykirch likes the idea. 3:20 p.m. Lawrence notes that a pro-choice neighbor of his is working on setting up a meeting with Planned Parenthood to talk about the resolution, the ordinance and the protection of children. 3:25 p.m. After some discussion, the committee considers voting that they’re resolved to see the parental notice resolution through in the G.O. Committee, with a request that they hold a special meeting next week, so the resolution can be presented at the next Committee of the Whole. Lawrence compliments Beykirch for sticking his neck out on this one, noting that in the past he has been critical of Beykirch, but that he really admires and appreciates all the Beykirch is doing on this matter. 3:30 p.m. The Aldermen agree that they wish to send this resolution to municipalities all over the state. 3:35 p.m. The committee decides to simply request that G.O. hold a special meeting on the resolutoin . The meeting is adjourned.