August 20, 2012
For Immediate Release
Gov. Quinn Urged to Sign the “Steven Watkins Bill” into Law
CHICAGO - The “Steven Watkins Bill” has recently passed the Illinois House committee and
the deadline for the Governor to act on this bill is Tuesday, August 21, 2012. I strongly urge
Governor Quinn sign this important bill into law. This critical bill provides non-custodial fathers
a strong defense against the very serious problem of visitation abuse in our state.
Senate Bill 3823, known as the “Steven Watkins Memorial Act”, was passed in the wake of the
tragic shooting death of Steven Watkins while he was picking up his daughter for court ordered
visitation in Cass County.
As Chair of The Illinois Council on Responsible Fatherhood, I feel strongly that the Governor’s
signature of Senate Bill 3823 would be an important milestone. It would discourage custodial
parents who unilaterally ignore visitation orders, providing penalties including suspension of the
violator’s driver’s license, monetary fines, and jail time.
Steven Watkins was a beloved resident of Cass County who was shot to death as he arrived to
pick up his daughter for court ordered visitation. His daughter’s mother removed the child to
Florida. To date, Steven’s parents have been denied court ordered visitation with their
Visitation abuse plagues non-custodial parents throughout Illinois. We must prevent tragedies
like the one that has befallen the Watkins family. I look forward to the Governor’s signature on
the “Steven Watkins Memorial Act” and I know that it will set a powerful example for other
About Jeffery M. Leving
Jeffery M. Leving (http://dadsrights.com) was named one of “America’s Best Lawyers” by
Forbes Radio. He authored two previous groundbreaking books: Fathers’ Rights and Divorce
Leving was recently honored in Resolution No. 995 by the Illinois House of Representatives for
his “forward-thinking initiatives in the field of law and father’s rights.” The House of
Representatives resolved that Leving “serves as a model of hard work, integrity, and dedication
for the people of the State of Illinois.”
For more information, please contact Jennifer Whiteside at 312-296-3666.