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The Majority Report 07/23/18 - Anti-violence initiatives become law


Anti-violence initiatives become law

Sen. Julie MorrisonTwo key gun violence-prevention initiatives sponsored by Senate Democrats were signed into law last week – one enacting a “red-flag” or lethal order of protection law, and the other establishing a 72-hour waiting period for all firearm sales in Illinois.

The red flag law, sponsored by State Senator Julie Morrison of Deerfield, allows authorities to put temporary distance between potentially volatile people and their firearms. Family members and police who are concerned about disturbing or threatening behavior by a person with access to a firearm can seek a court order requiring the person in question to temporarily relinquish his or her firearms and FOID card to law enforcement.

“In far too many of the mass shooting events that have taken place recently across our country, a family member identified threatening behavior in a loved one and didn’t know where to turn,” Morrison said.

The 72-hour waiting period for all gun sales is an expansion of Illinois’ existing waiting period for handguns and the 24-hour waiting period for all other rifles, shotguns and long guns. Sponsor State Senator Elgie Sims Jr. of Chicago called the cooling-off period an effective tool for keeping communities safe.

State Senator Dave Koehler: Red flag law balanced public safety with due process
State Senator Don Harmon: Rauner fails to address daily gun violence


Efforts to protect Quincy veterans advance

Quincy Veterans HomeTwo measures sponsored by Senate Democrats that will help protect veterans at state-run homes from deadly Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks were enacted last week.

The first expands the list of facilities operated and maintained by the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs to include the Sycamore facility in Quincy, allowing for temporary housing of veterans. The second will save lives by speeding up construction at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy by ensuring the Capital Development Board and Veterans’ Affairs have the resources to address a deadly public health crisis.

“Our veterans have dedicated their lives to keeping us safe,” said State Senator Tom Cullerton of Villa Park. “It’s our job to ensure they are able to live their golden years in a safe environment with the best possible care.”

In total, more than 50 residents at the Quincy home contracted the disease.

These veterans fought and sacrificed to protect our freedoms,” said State Senator Bill Haine of Alton. “Thanks to this bipartisan proposal, the state will now finally have the ability to prevent further deadly outbreaks at the Quincy Veterans’ Home.”


Raoul questions Crosscheck veto

Sen. Kwame RaoulState Senator Kwame Raoul of Chicago criticized the governor for vetoing a plan to end Illinois’ participation in the controversial Crosscheck voter registration system.

“I can only suppose that the governor’s veto was politically motivated, as this piece of legislation is a sensible way to protect voter information,” Raoul said. “We have heard from numerous experts that the Crosscheck system is unsafe and that it can be used as a tool to discriminate and suppress voters.”

The Illinois Board of Elections currently subscribes to two national voter database systems designed to help election authorities identify voters who may be registered in more than one state: the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program and the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC). Raoul’s Senate Bill 2273 would have removed Illinois from the Crosscheck system but allowed the state to remain in ERIC, widely viewed as the better system.

Cyber security experts testified to a joint committee last year that the Crosscheck system has several security concerns that make private information easily accessible. Additionally, many voting rights activists say that Crosscheck is a vehicle for discrimination at the voting booth.

State Senator Omar Aquino: Veto is an assault on minority voting rights
State Senator Jacqueline Collins: Crosscheck veto hurts all Illinoisans
State Senator Michael Hastings: Veto shows governor doesn't value voter protections


Illinois at 200

July 16, 1862To mark the countdown to Illinois’ bicentennial on Dec. 3, all this year the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus has published daily tributes to the people, places and events that have helped forge the state’s rich history.

From inventors and entertainers to our communities and the Capitol, Illinois has a lot to celebrate.

Last week’s bicentennial countdown featured the birth of the last surviving descendant of Abraham Lincoln in 1904, the birth of journalist and civil rights crusader Ida Wells in 1862, and the death of Illinois’ third governor, Ninian Edwards, of cholera in 1833.

To find all of our historical vignettes, visit I Like Illinois online, on Facebook and on Twitter. #IllinoisProud



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State Senator Kimberly Lightford, Maywood: As school discipline disparities worsen, Illinois has yet to require reforms | The Chicago Reporter

State Senator Dave Koehler, Peoria: Measure to help families of fallen soldiers signed into law | Central Illinois Proud

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