A state Representative’s measure to require childcare facilities have plans in place to respond to an active shooter situation got out of committee with a promise to bring forward changes.

State Rep. Michelle Mussman, D-Schaumburg, said “House Bill 3495 would basically require that daycare centers in Illinois have some form of active shooter plan.”

“That’s something we require of school districts. Parents are always concerned with where their children are housed," she said. "With all the tragedy occurring in the news, they want as much peace of mind as they can get.”

State Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer, R-Jacksonville, said he understood the concept, but had concerns.

“But there are so many mandates that I have people that have been in [the childcare business] for 20 to 25 years, they’re not at the end of their career, and they are just giving up,” Davidsmeyer said. “They’re saying ‘we’re done providing daycare, we’re going to go somewhere else.’ So at some point, we’re going to mandate so many things that there’s not going to be daycare for people who want to go to work and for people who still want to have a family.”

The bill was heard in committee Thursday. Committee members raised concerns about the effect such a measure would have on childcare businesses’ insurance costs, regardless of the size of the operation.

Mussman promised changes to address those concerns.

“We want to make sure that the rules are appropriate,” Mussman said. “We want to make sure that the insurance coverage is appropriately accounted for. We want to make sure that there’s appropriate involvement of first responders. So we need a lot of feedback to get to a high-quality bill.”

Davidsmeyer said instead of making a law, he suggested passing a resolution for child care facilities to have active shooter drills.

“And they may do it on their own, but I think mandating it has certain liabilities that may actually affect business itself,” Davidsmeyer said.

Mussman also may include language requiring childcare facilities to have fire drills as well.

Staff Reporter

Greg Bishop reports on Illinois government and other statewide issues for The Center Square. Bishop has years of award-winning broadcast experience, and previously hosted “Bishop On Air,” a morning-drive current events talk show.