The state Senate has approved legislation that would replace Illinois’ eavesdropping law of 1961, sending the bill to Gov. Pat Quinn for approval. The legislature found itself needing to make changes to the law after the state Supreme Court deemed it unconstitutional earlier this year, saying it violates free speech.
The legislation, which passed the senate 46 to 4, looks to prevent “private conversation” from being recorded secretly, but also decriminalizes the recording of “conversations that cannot be deemed private,” like fans “yelling” at a sports arena” or “a loud argument on the street.”
Police body cams came up as a topic of conversation during discussion of the bill, with state Sen. Tim Bivins (R-Dixon) saying the bill does nothing to address privacy issues that could crop up when such devices are used.
“Law enforcement and the public are demanding we have body cameras, and most in law enforcement are in favor of this,” Bivins said. “If ever there was a sense of urgency in our country, it’s right now. To delay discussion and to delay dealing with this is a disservice, and we need to address it as quickly as possible.” Bivins voted against the measure.
The bill, which has previously passed through the House, is now moving to Quinn’s desk for approval.