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Delgado law pushes for children’s physical fitness

Published: Monday, August 04, 2014 04:45 PM

Delgado08414State Senator William Delgado (D-Chicago) aims to prevent childhood obesity with a new law that was signed by the governor today. House Bill 5397 requires the State Board of Education to implement a physical fitness assessment for grades 3-12.

“Learning to stay healthy is just as important as reading and writing,” Delgado said. “Obesity causes many health issues and we don’t want that hindering our children’s success.”

Delgado’s legislation establishes a task force that is required to submit recommendations for implementation of a physical fitness assessment, which would be used by the state’s education agency to adopt rules. Public schools would begin to use a physical fitness assessment in the 2016-17 school year.

Delgado was the lead sponsor of the legislation in the Senate.

Shipping, logistics facility expands along Mississippi

Published: Monday, August 04, 2014 02:12 PM

central-portMore Metro East communities will have new opportunities for economic growth, investment and job creation under a new law expanding the Tri-City Regional Port District.

The district operates America’s Central Port in Granite City and provides much-needed programs to reduce operating costs for new and expanding businesses in the region.

“Shipping on the Mississippi has an enormous economic influence on the entire region. We are expanding the benefits of the port district to match that wide-ranging impact,” State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) said.

Haine sponsored the new law, Senate Bill 499, to expand the Tri-City Regional Port District boundaries to include the Wood River, Alton, Godfrey and Elsah townships. The district currently serves Granite City, Venice, Nameoki and Chouteau Townships in Madison County. The legislation was signed by the governor in Granite City on Friday.

America's Central Port is a 1,200-acre shipping and logistics facility handling river and rail freight along the Mississippi. The port also features warehouses, office space and residential apartments.

This expansion is part of ongoing construction and economic development projects in the Metro East: $695 million for the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge over the Mississippi River, $75 million for a new Science Building at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Southwestern Illinois College’s new $19.1 million Liberal Arts Complex addition in Belleville.

The law takes effect Jan. 1, 2015.

New privacy protections against unwarranted drone use become law

Published: Friday, August 01, 2014 04:37 PM

030514 js 0078SPRINGFIELD — Legislation proposed by State Senator Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) to put additional limits on the use of drones by law enforcement became law today. The measure expands on the privacy protections of the Freedom from Drone Surveillance Act, which Biss sponsored last year.

"It's important we continue to develop and refine our regulations on these types of technologies as they advance," Biss said. "This new law expands on our approach of balancing the basic right to privacy with the potential to use technological advances to improve public safety."

Last year's drone law, which was one of the first of its kind, prohibits police from using an unmanned aerial vehicle without a search warrant except in certain clearly defined emergency situations. The new law, which was introduced as Senate Bill 2937, clarifies that in the absence of a warrant, individuals and businesses cannot be obligated to give information collected by privately owned drones over to the authorities. Drones are best known for their military capabilities, but law enforcement agencies, corporations and private individuals have begun purchasing smaller, unarmed versions for a variety of purposes.

The law signed today allows law enforcement to acquire information from a privately owned drone without a warrant if necessary to prevent a terrorist attack, imminent harm to a person or the escape of a suspect; to collect images of a crime scene or traffic accident scene or to locate a missing person. It also states that law enforcement agencies may use their own drones to survey damage and help coordinate relief efforts in a natural disaster or public health emergency.

Silverstein's cyberbullying prevention becomes law

Published: Friday, August 01, 2014 04:30 PM

laptop-keyboardCHICAGO – Schools officials will soon gain the ability to discipline students who use non-school computers to bully their classmates under a newly signed law that was sponsored by State Senator Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago).

“A safe, supportive environment is vital for students’ learning and growth. This law gives educators more tools to discipline and prevent out-of-school cyberbullying when it hurts others’ ability to learn at school,” Silverstein said.

Silverstein’s proposal, House Bill 4207, prohibits out-of-school cyberbullying or bullying using a non school-owned electronic device. Schools would be able to discipline the bullies if the bullying causes a substantial disruption to the educational process or orderly operation of a school.

School districts are required to have a process to determine if the bullying is within their jurisdiction and inform bullied students about anti-bullying services.

The new law, signed Friday by the governor, takes effect Jan. 1.

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