Legislation Would Ban Sex Offenders from Working at Carnivals

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A Springfield woman is urging lawmakers to require background checks for carnival workers and bar anyone who is a sex offender.

Lisa Farmer is pushing the legislation because her 15-year-old daughter was raped by a carnival worker three years ago at the Illinois State Fair.

Republican Senator Larry Bomke is backing the measure because he says sex offenders must be kept from working around children.

An advocate for the carnival industry says the proposal discriminates against transient workers and will hurt the state's amusement industry.

Bob Johnson of the Outdoor Amusement Business Association says Illinois would be the only state that requires ride operators to be reviewed by the state police. The state police also oppose the measure, saying it would cost about $250,000 in the first year alone.