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New penalties and protections to help at-risk populations

Published: Tuesday, May 20, 2014 11:18 AM

051914 js 0055SPRINGFIELD – Illinois State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) sponsored two bills that passed the Senate on Monday aimed at protecting adults with disabilities, children and individuals with severe intellectual disabilities.

 

 

 

Adult protective services update

The Illinois Senate approved follow-up legislation Monday to a 2013 reform package that overhauled protections for adults with disabilities.

The plan – sponsored Haine – protects the Illinois Department on Aging from being sued for enforcing the Adult Protective Services Act.

“This is follow through. We passed these safeguards last year, and we’re continuing to fine-tune protections for this at-risk population,” Haine said.

Last year’s legislation was triggered by a series of Belleville News Democrat stories reporting the failure of state agencies to protect against abuses of disabled adults.

One feature of the Adult Protective Services Act was an online registry of healthcare workers who have previously abused, neglected or financial explicated disabled adults under their care.

These workers are banned from being caregivers employed by the state or by organizations regulated by the state.

Haine’s proposal shields the Department and its employees from legal liability for posting healthcare workers information to the registry.

The plan, House Bill 4327, passed the Senate by a 50-0 vote. It now returns to the House for a concurrence vote.

New penalties for severe child, disabled abuse

Police in Illinois would be free to seize property of adults who severely abuse children younger than 13 years old under a plan approved by the State Senate on Monday.

Haine’s proposal gives police the authority to seize cars, boats or aircraft in cases where the owner causes bodily harm or disability or disfigurement to child or person with severe intellectual disabilities.

“Police and sheriff departments can already seize property for severe offenses. This plan extends it to some of the most deplorable types of crime,” Haine said.

The plan, House Bill 5523, passed the Senate by a 50-0 vote. It now returns to the House for a concurrence vote.

Biss’ local gov’t efficiency legislation advances

Published: Monday, May 19, 2014 04:27 PM

Measure would create a procedure for units of government to consolidate, save money

051914 js 0359SPRINGFIELD — State Senator Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) successfully asked his Senate colleagues today to approve a new procedure allowing units of local government to consolidate, potentially providing services more efficiently and saving tax dollars.

“Current law allows for the creation of street light districts, cemetery maintenance districts and other taxing bodies, but no way to combine them, even when their own governing boards believe consolidation would provide better value to residents,” said Biss, who has championed local government efficiency measures in the past. “The aim of this legislation is to remove barriers to consolidation while allowing these decisions to be made locally and openly.”

House Bill 5785 would allow 13 types of local government bodies, from county historical museum districts to tuberculosis sanitarium districts, to consolidate with adjacent districts or be annexed by a city or county. A majority of the members of the governing board or authority of each governmental unit involved would have to vote in favor of the change during a public meeting. Employees of the district being consolidated or annexed would be transferred to the new authority and would retain all labor and contractual rights.

“No state has more taxing bodies than Illinois,” Biss said. “If government units themselves believe their independent existence is unnecessary and that the taxpayers would be better served by a more efficient arrangement, the state legislature certainly shouldn’t stand in the way.”

The House of Representatives has already approved the legislation, but HB 5785 must return to the House for one more vote before going to the governor’s desk because the Senate added a minor amendment.

Google Glass demonstration at the Capitol

Published: Monday, May 19, 2014 03:21 PM

google-glass-demoSPRINGFIELD – Representatives from Google will be at the Illinois Capitol on Tuesday, May 20 demonstrating Google Glass. Google will show members of the Illinois Senate Transportation Committee features of its mobile computing headset from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. in Senate Conference Room 116.

State Senator Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) is sponsoring legislation that would ban the use of Google Glass and similar devices while driving. The proposal, Senate Bill 2632, creates similar rules to behind-the-wheel cell phone use aimed at curbing distracted driving.

WHAT:                 Google Glass demonstration

WHEN:                 Tuesday, May 20

     4:30 - 6:30 p.m.

WHERE:               Senate Conference Room 116

Members of the press are welcome.

Easier school transfers for military children passes Senate

Published: Monday, May 19, 2014 02:39 PM

“These families give up so much in order to serve in our military.  The least we can do is ensure that school transfers are as easy on their children as possible.” - Senator Melinda Bush

returning-national-guard-soldierRSPRINGFIELD - The hassles of transferring schools when moving to a different state are hard enough on a traditional family. These hassles are even harder and more frequent for military personnel who have children.

New legislation, passed out of the Illinois Senate by Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) today, would make school transfers easier for children of active duty military personnel.

Bush’s proposal ensures that military children who move to Illinois from other states remain in the same grade. If they were in 2nd grade, Illinois schools must also place them in 2nd grade.

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