Meier accuses Davis of lying about adolescent counseling bill
Rep. Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) accused Rep. William Davis (D-Chicago) of lying about HB 1445, which would allow adolescents to be seen by a counselor for up to 12 sessions, instead of five, without informing their parents or guardians, it sure seemed like it.
“We debated this in committee, and I am still a strong believer that a parent (or) guardian has a right to know whether that child is disabled or not,” Meier said on May 31. “They have a right to know if they are seeing somebody. Wouldn’t you want to know that if you were the parent of that child?”
Not answering the question, Davis said he was not changing the law, just the number of sessions until notification. That is when the debate became heated, with Meier alleging that Davis was so adamant about the bill due to the pressure he was receiving from the Murray Parents Association.
“That’s who you are bringing into this conversation,” Meier said.
Davis said he still had not heard from the group, and Meier said he was lying.
“I know that they have contacted your office and talked to your staff,” he said. “Maybe you didn’t return that call.”
Meier made it clear he is not fighting for the Murray Parents Association. He said he is fighting for guardians all across the state who have a right to know that their child is being counseled, especially if “they are going to be part of the solution.”
Meier said he was offended that Davis lied about being contacted.
“You believe what you want to believe...," Davis said. "I know whether or not they reached out to me because if they had called, I would have called them back.”
Later on, Meier rose again to speak the truth.
“I am holding in my hand an email back from Elizabeth Kelly [dated] Friday, May 18, 2018…" Meier said. "'Hi Rita, I received your email and will get it to Rep. Davis. You have a wonderful weekend, too.'"
Like Meier, Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer (R-Jacksonville) also took issue with extending the number of sessions occurring before a parent or guardian is notified by a counselor who is treating their child. Again, Davis said the bill is already law, and he is only changing the timeframe.
“But you are saying they can go longer without talking to their parent or guardian, and that’s the person that is there to protect them,” Davidsmeyer said.
Concluding the debate, Davidsmeyer said he understood Meier's passion.
“And I understand what my friend Rep. Meier is going through since he has been fighting for these individuals for a long time,” Davidsmeyer said.
HB 1445 was held on the order of second reading.