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Illinois House passes bill protecting local libraries from rising threats

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) — Illinois lawmakers hope they can pass a plan in the final days of session to improve security at libraries due to the recent rise of violent threats. 

There were at least 22 bomb threats made against libraries across the state during 2023 that required response from local and state police. 

People making threats to libraries could soon be charged with a Class 4 felony, similar to someone making a threat to a school. The legislation would also allow the Illinois Secretary of State’s office to provide grants to local libraries to enhance their security.

“School libraries and libraries across the state should not be subject to threats by anyone,” said Rep. Anne Stava-Murray (D-Downers Grove). “This is a place for learning and can be a safe haven where students and people who have nowhere else to go can learn and thrive.”

The proposal passed unanimously out of the House Judiciary-Criminal Committee Tuesday morning. It passed out of the House on a 89-20 vote before state representatives adjourned Tuesday night.

House Bill 4567 now moves to the Senate for further consideration.