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The Majority Report 08/05/19 - Bennett legislation to clean up coal ash becomes law

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Bennett legislation to clean up coal ash becomes law

Sen. Scott Bennett

A proposal by State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) to provide Illinois communities the protection they need from toxic coal ash pollution was signed into law last week.

“This was about preventing coal ash waste from threatening our water and our communities throughout the state,” Bennet said. “I am relieved that we now have the protections, regulations and financial assurances in place that we need to prevent more coal ash crises from happening in Illinois."

The new law addresses the closure of waste pits across the state filled with coal ash, a toxic byproduct of burning coal. There are approximately 25 known coal ash impoundments which are already closed in the state.

Bennett’s measure would establish processes to address the other 50-plus impoundment sites which have yet to close.

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Castro law bans employers from requesting salary history

Illinois Equity Pay Act signing

State Senator Cristina Castro’s bill strengthening the Illinois Equal Pay Act and tackling the wage gap was signed into law last week.

House Bill 834 prohibits employers from asking about salary histories when interviewing job applicants in an effort to reduce the effects of pay discrimination from past jobs.

“This new law addresses a wide range of people” said Castro (D-Elgin). “Men and women of all ages and backgrounds should have an equal chance to succeed, and that is what I will continue to fight for as a member of this General Assembly.”

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Munoz strengthens Scott’s Law to prevent roadway deaths

Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz

To prevent more tragic losses of emergency responders and highway workers, Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz’s (D-Chicago) legislation that strengthens Scott’s Law and finds a way to end senseless roadway fatalities was signed into law last week.

“There is no reason why officers and first responders can’t be safe while addressing an incident on the side of the road,” Munoz said. “It needs to be second nature for drivers to slow down and move over whenever any vehicle is stalled on the side of the road.”

This year, Troopers Christopher Lambert, Brooke Jones-Story and Gerald Ellis were killed in the line of duty when hit by vehicles while their patrol vehicles were stalled on the side of the road. The law was initially passed in memory of Lieutenant Scott Gillen.

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