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Jacobs provides statement on Exelon’s future

Published: Friday, May 16, 2014 10:15 AM

Jacobs051514Senator Mike Jacobs (D-Moline) reacted to a statement made today by House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) concerning Exelon.

“The nuclear energy plants owned and operated by Exelon are vital economic engines for our state and community.  We need to fully understand the challenges they face in order to ensure their continued operation,” Jacobs said. “The Quad-Cities Region has the lowest unemployment in the state of Illinois, and keeping these jobs in the area is my priority.”

Speaker Madigan, labor organizations and Christopher Crane, CEO of Exelon have been working together concerning the fate of the energy company and their facilities across the state. Exelon has 11 reactors across Illinois that produce over 90 percent of the state’s carbon-free clean energy, making the state number one in the nation for clean energy production.

Plainfield Park District Board reform plan moves forward

Published: Thursday, May 15, 2014 10:26 AM

JBT051514State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) passed a proposal out of the Senate Executive Committee yesterday that seeks to restore justice and accountability to the Plainfield Park District Board.

Currently, the Plainfield Park District Board is in disarray. There have been numerous labor relations act violations, ongoing criminal investigations and allegations of waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement.

“This is a difficult proposal for me to present but our community needs it,” Senator Bertino-Tarrant said.

The proposal would change the makeup of the board by adding two members that will be appointed by the General Assembly for a single two-year term. The appointments will then expire and all board members will all be up for election.

Senator Bertino-Tarrant testified before the Executive Committee with Plainfield township trustee Ernie Knight and Plainfield township resident Mike Kelly, who implored the members of the committee to assist them with their community’s plight.

“Damage is being done to our community by this board,” Kelly said. “It seems like the only way to get our park district back is to make changes to the makeup of the board in order to fix our community’s problem.”

“This measure is necessary to remedy injustice,” Knight said. “It will help us restore the public trust.”

“I represent the residents of Plainfield, and this issue is of great concern to them,” Bertino-Tarrant said.

The legislation, House Bill 5593, passed the Senate Executive Committee on Wednesday afternoon by a vote of 9-5.  It will now move to the full Senate for further consideration.

Stadelman helps local schools gain funding for safety

Published: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 06:10 PM

051314 js 0695SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois School and Campus Safety Grant Program awarded funding to Winnebago County schools and colleges to improve school safety and security. Local schools are set to receive more than $48,000 for the projects.

"This is an excellent opportunity to improve local schools and the safety of our children," Stadelman said. "The safety grants are possible because of the work we have done to ensure that students in K-12 deserve a safe learning environment just like those in higher education."

Earlier this year, State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) sponsored a measure that allows the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) to make grants for safety and security improvements to various public K-12 school districts and area vocation centers as well as colleges and universities.

Martinez backs plan to save Illinois Poison Center

Published: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 09:23 AM

Martinez051414State Senator Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago 20th) lent her support last week to a plan to save the chronically underfunded Illinois Poison Center. The IPC has informed the General Assembly that the $1.3 million it currently receives from the state annually will not be enough to keep it open next year. It has lost a quarter of its state funding during the past few years.

“The Illinois Poison Center is an essential public health resource that prevents an estimated 35,000 unnecessary emergency room visits each year by reassuring parents and caretakers over the phone when a substance a child has ingested is not, in fact, dangerous,” Martinez said. “In the past, the IPC has been forced to rely on fund sweeps and surpluses that change every year. Now we’re working to sustain it into the future with its own funding stream.”

The IPC is Illinois’ only poison control information and treatment center and maintains a hotline that handles 82,000 calls per year, almost half of them pertaining to children five years of age or younger.

The legislation, Senate Bill 2674, also increases the amount set aside for local 911 services and guarantees a specific allocation to rural, sparsely populated counties. The funding for both the IPC and local 911 services comes from an existing surcharge on cell phone plans, prepaid calling cards and other wireless telecommunications services. If passed, the legislation will only change the way the revenue from this surcharge is distributed, not the amount of the tax; wireless customers will not see an increase on their monthly bills.

SB 2674 secured Senate approval last week and will next be considered by the House of Representatives. 

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