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Senator Bertino-Tarrant’s universal 9-1-1 proposal signed into law

Published: Friday, August 15, 2014 04:43 PM

SB3313 Signing 1A measure to ensure that 9-1-1 can be dialed from any phone line was signed into law on Monday.

State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood), who sponsored the legislation in the Senate, feels that the universal number that we teach children to use in case of emergencies should always work.

“The three digit emergency number that we learn should work from anywhere,” Bertino-Tarrant said.  “This is a common sense approach to better safety.”
The new law requires newly installed business phone systems to allow users to dial "9-1-1" without needing to pre-dial a code, such as "9."

The law stems from a tragedy that occurred in Texas last January. The universal number that we teach our children to dial in emergencies did not work when a 9 year-old girl attempted to dial it from a Texas hotel room, as her mother was being stabbed to death.

The hotel, like many hotels and business complexes nationwide, was on a closed business circuit and the young girl didn’t realize that she needed to dial a 9 to reach an outside line.

 “Children and adults must be able to easily reach emergency operators in a time of crisis,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “This law will help ensure that senseless tragedies are prevented.”

The new law will go into effect July 1, 2015.

Students, families get supplies, health screenings courtesy of Senator Martinez

Published: Friday, August 15, 2014 04:31 PM

MartinezHealth2014Hundreds of local children and families turned out for health screenings and back-to-school supplies this past week at a community event sponsored by state Senator Iris Y. Martinez.

"What Senator Martinez does for the community by putting this fair together is great," said volunteer Alicia Olbera. "People are able to get services to prepare their children to go back to school that may not be able to afford otherwise." Martinez’s event served as one-stop shopping for families preparing for the start of the school year. Students could get physicals, immunizations, apply for health insurance and receive school supplies.

There were a variety of services for parents and other adults as well, including blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes screenings.

"Being that we have 94% poverty rate, this is awesome for our students and their parents. It's a wonderful resource in one building." said Evelyn Roman, principal at Avondale-Logandale Elementary School. The Family Wellness/Back to School Fair was hosted at the Avondale-Logandale School at the corner of Kedzie and George. Senator Martinez sponsors the annual event in an effort to get students and their families ready for school.

Illinois bans child support payment fees

Published: Friday, August 15, 2014 11:32 AM

“This measure protects families living paycheck to paycheck. It keeps single parents who receive child support from paying unjust fees and enables them to get the money they rightfully deserve.” - State Senator Dan Kotowski

ATMRSPRINGFIELD – Illinois has banned fees on debit cards used to collect child support payments.

State Senator Dan Kotowski’s (D-Park Ridge) measure, signed into law today, prohibits banks from charging ATM fees on debit cards issued by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services to transfer child support payments.

“This measure protects families living paycheck to paycheck. It keeps single parents who receive child support from paying unjust fees and enables them to get the money they rightfully deserve.” Kotowski said.

Moffitt, Sullivan legislation improves rural EMS care

Published: Thursday, August 14, 2014 04:34 PM


SPRINGFIELD – A newly signed state law allows nurses to provide the highest possible level of care when staffing rural ambulances.

Senator John Sullivan (D-Rushville) and Representative Don Moffitt (R-Gilson) sponsored the legislation – HB 4523 – in an effort to improve rural emergency care. It allows rural emergency medical services to operate their ambulances at the same level of certification as the nurses who staff them.

"With this legislation becoming law, the level of emergency medical services that may be provided in rural Illinois will be significantly improved. I commend Senator Sullivan for his leadership in the Senate in passing this bipartisan legislation. As a result, even more lives will be saved." Moffitt said.

"In some rural areas of the state an ambulance ride can last up to an hour. It only makes sense to allow nurses certified at a specific level to provide the highest level of care during the ambulance ride," Sullivan said.

Previously, nurses were only authorized to provide care up to the level that the ambulances they are riding in are certified for. Sullivan and Moffitt's new law allows rural, pre-hospital registered nurses to provide the same level of care they are trained to give.

A law passed last year permitted other paramedics to provide care at their highest possible level. The new law, signed Tuesday by the governor, simply extends the law to include nurses.

The new provisions regarding nurses take effect Jan. 1.

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