Legislation would prevent criminals from working at fairs, carnivals


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) - Those with certain criminal convictions would be banned from working at carnivals and fairs under proposed legislation.

Senate Bill 3240 would give the Department of Labor power to penalize and fine anyone that owns or operates a carnival, fair, or amusement park and fails to do a background check on potential employees.

Current law requires ride operators to pass a background check, but state law says those checks should be entrusted to carnival operators, not the state.

Blayne Benefield was killed in 2014 in Farmer City by two brothers who worked for Big H Amusements. The company was required to do checks for ride operators, but not other employees. Both brothers had criminal records. The younger brother pleaded guilty to the sexual assault of a minor one year before the murder.

The bill has passed the Senate Licensed Activities and Pensions Committee and now goes to the full Senate for consideration.

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