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SPRINGFIELD—A new law sponsored by Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr. (D-Chicago) will hold businesses that erroneously publish criminal history records accountable.

The plan requires companies that make errors on criminal history reports to correct them within five business days.

“Errors on criminal history reports can wreak havoc on a person’s life,” Sims said. “It can cost them a job or make it hard for them to find proper housing. This law will ensure companies that publish this information fix mistakes in a reasonable amount of time or face consequences for their negligence.”

Senate Bill 1599 expands the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act so that a person or entity that publishes a person's criminal record information on a criminal history report that charges a fee for removal or correction of the information must correct any errors within five business days after notification of the error.

A person who faces harm as a result of a failure to correct published criminal record information within that time frame is entitled to damages of $100 per day, plus attorney's fees. 

“I am grateful to my colleagues and the governor for taking this issue seriously and helping to prevent loss of opportunities for people throughout the state,” Sims said. “This new law will help Illinoisans better protect their reputation and quickly correct any issues.”

SB 1599 was signed into law Tuesday and is effective Jan. 1, 2020.