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Raoul votes for legal authorization to pay state workers

raoul-71515Measure also keeps essential services operational during budget impasse

SPRINGFIELD — State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) issued the following statement on the Senate’s passage yesterday of a one-month essential services budget that also pays state workers in full:

This stopgap measure keeps government going while budget negotiations continue. It will allow us the breathing room to reach a thoughtful, bipartisan agreement if all parties participate in good faith. Unfortunately, the governor’s threat to veto the emergency budget is one more effort to hold vulnerable people hostage to his Scott Walker-esque demands.

The action we took this week also provides a legal means of fairly compensating state workers for their continued service to the public. While I share the comptroller’s desire to pay state employees, I believe she went about this laudable purpose in an illegal manner. I encourage the governor to follow through on his commitment to make sure state workers don’t miss a paycheck and to do it the right way by signing this urgently needed legislation.

Bertino-Tarrant’s caffeine powder ban signed into law

jbt-caffeine-signedSPRINGFIELD— Last year, 18-year-old Logan Stiner of Ohio died from a caffeine powder overdose.

According to local reports, Stiner was found by his brother, collapsed on the floor of his home. The same day his brother found him, his mother discovered several bags of caffeine powder in their house. Sadly, Stiner, a popular student-athlete, was one week away from graduating from high school.

The County Coroner’s report said that Stiner suffered cardiac arrhythmia and a seizure as a result of ingesting toxic amounts of caffeine. One teaspoon of the powder is equal to drinking approximately 25 cups of coffee.

Powdered caffeine is nearly 100 percent pure caffeine and difficult to measure with common kitchen tools.

In order to prevent a tragedy like Stiner’s from occurring in Illinois, Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Plainfield) sponsored legislation this year that would make it illegal for toxic caffeine powder to be sold to anyone under age 18.

Yesterday, Bertino-Tarrant’s proposal, Senate Bill 9, was signed into law.

“My legislation is more about consumer and public education than it is about regulation,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “We need to be proactive in Illinois to prevent minors from being able to use a substance that, by simple mistake, could be deadly.”

Senate Bill 9 takes effect January 1 of next year.

Collins votes to override Rauner budget vetoes, pay state workers, fund essential services

ccap-presser-071515-2SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) issued the following statement on today’s budget action in the Senate:
The governor has made his priorities clear: profits before people, corporate tax breaks before compassion and an anti-worker agenda before revenue reform.
Today, a majority of my Senate colleagues and I made our priorities clear, voting to override Gov. Rauner’s irresponsible vetoes of budget measures needed to fund juvenile justice services, assistance for those with developmental disabilities, the state’s ethics commission, care for wards of the state, public health initiatives, in-home aides for senior citizens and much more.
I was also honored to co-sponsor legislation, which the House passed last week and the Senate approved today, to fund the state’s most vital services and pay state employees during the stalemate. This emergency, one-month budget is now on its way to the governor’s desk. It is the bare minimum needed to liberate those held hostages to the Rauner administration’s refusal to compromise on his extreme agenda, and I strongly urge him to take the moral course of action and sign it into law immediately, granting much-needed relief while negotiations continue.

Scott Bennett’s initiative to protect babies signed into law

bennett-babiesSPRINGFIELD- Under new legislation, hospitals will soon send new parents home with a trusted tool to combat Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Sponsor State Senator Scott Bennett’s (D-Champaign) legislation was signed into law today to ensure that materials on SIDS prevention provided to parents include information from the American Academy of Pediatrics or a statewide or nationally-recognized SIDS or medical association.

“As a new parent, there is a lot of excitement as well as pressure to provide the best care for your children. This new law will help ease some of the burden by providing new parents with vital and reliable information on how they can help to protect their children from SIDS,” Bennett said.

SIDS is a sudden and silent medical disorder that can happen to an infant who appears healthy. It is the leading cause of death among babies between 1 month and 1 year of age. In 2011, about one out of 2,300 infants born in the nation died of SIDS before their first birthdays.

The cause of SIDS is unknown, however educational campaigns helped raise awareness to reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death.

For more information on the “Safe Sleep” campaign, please visit www.aap.org

House Bill 1407, known as “Cody’s Law” was signed into law on Wednesday, July 15, 2015 and goes into effect immediately.

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