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Fleeing accident scene to carry harsher penalties under new Crowe law

Published: Monday, August 19, 2019 11:54 AM

car accident 081919SPRINGFIELD – A measure that imposes stricter penalties on distracted drivers who cause a fatal accident and flee the scene without reporting it championed by State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) was signed into law last week.

“Fleeing the scene of an accident is irresponsible, potentially fatal for an injured person at the scene and can slow down the efforts of investigators. We have to discourage it,” Crowe said.

Crowe’s measure adds an aggravating factor to sentencing considerations for those who cause an accident by being under the influence of alcohol, drugs or distracted by an electronic communication device and then flee the scene.

Senator Crowe and the Madison County’s State’s Attorney’s Office partnered up to shape this legislation to ensure justice for victims and their loved ones.

“Our office sees the devastation a family goes through after losing a loved one unexpectedly in a car accident, and then as it worsens when justice isn’t served to the driver who refused to report the crash,” said Crystal Uhe, Madison County First Assistant State’s Attorney. “Sen. Crowe worked tirelessly with us to craft this measure to address this growing issue, and we couldn’t be more proud to have a hand bringing those accountable to their consequences.”

Aggravating factors can influence a court’s decision to include an imprisoning sentence or increase the chance for a more severe sentence.

Senate Bill 1750 goes into effect Jan. 1, 2020.

Munoz measure responds to issues with asphalt plant in McKinley Park

Published: Monday, August 19, 2019 11:04 AM

asphaltplant 081919SPRINGFIELD – Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago) led legislation that was signed into law on Friday in response to an oversight by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency that left McKinley Park residents blindsided by the construction of an asphalt plant in their neighborhood.

“The public has every right to know when a facility that may affect their health is moving into their community,” Munoz said. “There is no reason why McKinley Park residents weren’t given ample notice regarding the asphalt plant, and we don’t want to see another community put in the same situation.”

Last year, McKinley Park residents received only a two week notice before construction on an asphalt plant began. Munoz held a town hall in July to discuss the issue with the community resulting in the new law.

Senate Bill 1847 requires the IEPA to provide notice when a permit is required to construct a new facility to the state senator and state representative of the district where the construction is to occur and post the information on its website, searchable by ZIP code.

A permit is required to construct any facility capable of causing or contributing to air and water pollution or designed to prevent air and water pollution. If no action is taken by the IEPA within 90 days of filing the application, the permit is considered issued.

The measure goes into effect January 1, 2019.

Belt law will require Medicaid screening for inmates upon being released

Published: Monday, August 19, 2019 10:52 AM

belt 052819SPRINGFIELD – To help inmates transition out of prison, State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Centreville) sponsored legislation to require the Department of Corrections (DOC) to screen inmates for Medicaid eligibility before being released, which was recently signed into law.

At this time, the Unified Code of Corrections requires the Department of Corrections (DOC) to give inmates the opportunity to apply for Medicaid at least 45 days before they are discharged and requires DOC to assist them in filling out their application.

“Assisting inmates with Medicaid screening will help reduce the chronic disease rate, which is a major cause of death and disability in Illinois,” Belt said. “We are trying to help inmates from recidivating and one of the best ways to do that is do ensure medical treatment is available upon discharge. This is of utmost importance as it will give them the chance to maintain their health when reintegrated into society.”

Under this proposal, officials of the correctional institution or facility will have a committed person assigned to assist eligible inmates in completing a Medicaid application to ensure they begin receiving benefits immediately upon release.

Senate Bill 1744 takes effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

Bertino-Tarrant’s measure to cover hearing aid costs for seniors now law

Published: Monday, August 19, 2019 10:51 AM

hearingaids 081919PLAINFIELD – Illinois seniors may soon be better able to cover the cost of hearing aids, due to a new law championed by State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood).

Bertino-Tarrant’s measure, House Bill 3503, requires insurance companies to offer optional coverage for hearing instruments and any related services for all individuals when they are prescribed by a hearing care professional. It was signed into law on Friday.

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