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Munoz protects consumers from large final payments on payday loans

Published: Thursday, March 21, 2019 01:17 PM

Senator MunozSPRINGFIELD – To protect individuals who take out a payday loan, Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago) is leading efforts to ensure that the final payment on a loan is not significantly higher than the previous payment.

“Consumers shouldn’t be overwhelmed by the final payment on a loan,” Munoz said. “They should be able to budget throughout the life of a loan without any surprises.”

Senate Bill 1758, which was approved by the Senate executive Committee on Wednesday, caps the amount for a final payment on a loan to 5 percent more than the previously scheduled payment.

The plan clarifies the meaning of “substantially equal installments” in a previous law enacted to help consumers budget effectively to pay back loans. It also makes sure that the entire principal on a loan is not due on the last payment.

The measure heads to the full Senate for consideration.

Villivalam votes in favor of new minimum purchasing age for tobacco

Published: Thursday, March 21, 2019 01:15 PM

Senator VillivalamSPRINGFIELD –The Illinois Senate voted to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco to 21 years old today, with the measure now awaiting the governor’s signature to become law.

State Senator Ram Villivalam helped pass House Bill 345, prohibiting the purchase or possession of alternative nicotine products, electronic cigarettes and tobacco products by individuals under the age of 21.

“Just last week, a constituent shared with me that she lost her father to smoking-related illness when he was only 40 years old, leaving behind his wife, seven children and a baby on the way,” Villivalam (D-Chicago) said. “She urged me to take action to prevent others from facing the same fate and I'm proud of the fact that today the State Senate took the necessary action.”

According to the American Lung Association, underage smokers’ primary source of cigarettes is their 18- to 20-year-old peers. The Association believes that increasing the legal age of sale of tobacco would virtually eliminate the ability for high school students to purchase and share products with younger children.
“It is our duty to encourage healthy habits among our youth,” Villivalam said. “Tobacco is an addictive and lethal substance that alongside alcohol and firearms should be restricted to those who are 21 and over.”

Additionally, the Association believes that raising the age would reduce smoking among 15-17 year olds by 25 percent and among 18- to 20-year-olds by 15 percent. Overall, the Association believes raising the age will result in fewer long-term smokers, reducing overall smoking rates by 12 percent.

If signed, the measure would take effect July 1, 2019.

Aquino moves to ban schools from harvesting student data

Published: Thursday, March 21, 2019 01:12 PM

Senator AquinoSPRINGFIELD – Schools would be banned from exploiting students’ meta-data for purposes outside school instruction under a bill introduced by State Senator Omar Aquino (D-Chicago) approved by the Telecommunications and Information Technology Committee today.

“We are entering a new era where big data companies buy and sell our information to target ads and push preferred products on us,” said Aquino. “You should have control over your own online data, and this bill will protect K-12 students’ data from being used by advertisers and big data companies.”

Senate Bill 2089 prohibits school authorities from using data collected from school-owned devices for anything except school purposes. The bill also protects the data collected from being sold or shared without the written consent of the student’s parent.

This legislation also creates a Student Data Protection and Oversight Committee to make further policy recommendations surrounding data privacy and protection.

Senate Bill 2089 is scheduled for consideration before the full Senate.

Gillespie sets sights on boosting career and technical education

Published: Thursday, March 21, 2019 10:59 AM

gillespie 032119SPRINGFIELD – A successful grant program that is putting people to work in central Illinois would be available to community colleges in the suburbs and elsewhere throughout the state under a proposal from State Senator Ann Gillespie.

The proposal would establish the manufacturing training grant program. It is modeled in part after a job skills training initiative at Richland Community College in Decatur, which received a $1.5 million state grant in 2018. The collaboration of state, local and private resources in that community is expected to put as many as 225 people to work.

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