CPR, AED training measure signed into law
In 2008, a suburban high school senior went into cardiac arrest after school. Although an external defibrillator machine was only 40 feet away, no one used it because no one knew how. Tragically the girl died.
Her parents have since pushed for required training on the devices that are already in schools and many other public buildings. This year, their hard work and advocacy paid off. They partnered with State Senator John Mulroe and State Representative Dan Burke in pushing through a new law that the governor just signed.
"Fifty percent of schools in Illinois already do this without being required, because they understand that the training can help save lives," said Senator Mulroe (D-Chicago), who is Chairman of the Senate Public Health Committee and who sponsored the proposal in the Senate. "We already require schools to have AED machines. Why wouldn't we teach students how to use them?"
Water safety package heads to the governor
State Senator Julie Morrison's (D-Deerfield) water safety plan - the product of months of hearings, a careful study of other state's best practices and bipartisan compromise - has passed the Illinois General Assembly. It now goes to the governor for his consideration.
"A few commonsense safety precautions can help keep Illinois' waterways safe for children and families," Morrison said.
"We require people who drive cars to earn licenses. It's only reasonable to require boat operators to have some basic training. We require people to use headlights when they drive at night. Flying flags when you're towing an inner tuber or water skier serves the same purpose."
Marriage equality comes to Illinois
The long wait for marriage equality in Illinois is finally over.
On June 1, Illinois became the 16th state to officially extend marriage benefits to same-sex couples. The path to this progressive step forward began more than a year ago, on Valentine's Day 2013 when the Illinois Senate took the first vote signifying that Illinois was indeed ready to change.
The courts had stepped in recently to speed up the process in many Illinois counties, but the statewide standard for all 102 counties took effect June. 1.
"This is a day to celebrate the hard work of so many Illinois families whose commitment to human rights and basic fairness made this moment possible," said Senator Heather Steans (D - Chicago), the lead sponsor in the Senate.
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