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Hastings proposal gets tough on crime

hastings-crimeTINLEY PARK – State Senator Michael Hastings (D-Tinley Park) proposed legislation which would extend the statute of limitations for crimes committed in the course of committing a sexual offense.

“It is imperative to make sure that those who commit sexual offenses are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for all of the crimes involved with the offense,” Hastings said. “Home invasions, burglaries and kidnappings are all very serious crimes. Letting someone off the hook because a given amount of time has gone by demeans the effectiveness of our judicial system.”

Hastings’ proposal would give prosecutors more time to charge an individual for committing armed robbery, home invasion, kidnapping or aggravated kidnapping in the course of committing a sexual offense.

Under current law, an offender can only be prosecuted for one of those crimes within 3 years of the offense. Senator Hastings’ bill would increase the time period for prosecuting those crimes to 10 years.  

Moreover, it would provide that if the victim of the sexual offense is under 18 at the time of the offense the offender may be prosecuted at any time for additional crimes committed during the act.

The bill now moves to the floor for consideration.

Tom Cullerton launches campaign to urge Federal government to study noise impacts at O’Hare

tcOHareNoiseButton 2VILLA PARK- State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) is circulating a petition to urge the Federal Government to issue a study to examine the environmental and human health impacts caused by O’Hare International Airport.

“There is undeniably a negative impact on the quality of life for the residents of my district and as well as surrounding communities. Federal agencies need to conduct a study to emphasis the connection between the air traffic noise and the environmental and human impact,” said Cullerton. “This is an ongoing problem that needs to be resolved. The fact residents have had to suffer through these disturbances for so long is unacceptable.”

Cullerton has introduced Senate Resolution 139 urging the Federal Aviation Administration and the United State Environmental Protection Agency to commission a study. Planes taking off from O’Hare during early mornings and late evenings cause disturbances to residents in DuPage and Cook counties.  

“As state officials, my colleagues and I have attempted to resolve this issue. However, we are at the point where we need federal assistance to find a solution to restore the quality of life for our communities,” said Cullerton.

There are multiple resources to report noise complaints on Cullerton’s website SenatorTomCullerton.com.

Cullerton has been working on this issue with Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth and intends to present copies of the petition to U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk.

On April 1, Senator Cullerton will be at Dino’s Café from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. with the O’Hare noise petition. The stop is part of this Capitol on Your Corner tour. Please visit his website for a complete list of tour spots.

If you are unable to make it to one of the events, the petition is available online at SenatorTomCullerton.com.

Bush pushes for greater access to lifesaving medication

bush-narcanSPRINGFIELD — Seeking to expand the availability of emergency medication that has already saved lives in Lake County, State Sen. Melinda Bush took up legislation that would make opioid antagonist drugs like Narcan available at pharmacies.

“Just a few days ago, Mundelein Police saved a man’s life because they were equipped with and trained in the use of naloxone hydrochloride, a drug that counteracts the effects of a narcotic overdose,” the Grayslake Democrat said. “Heroin use, particularly among our youth, has become a serious problem in Lake County and the suburban cities I represent. By making opioid antagonist drugs like Narcan available by prescription at pharmacies, we give families access to a safe, easy-to-use drug that could save lives.”

Naloxone hydrochloride, sometimes sold under the brand name “Narcan,” is an opioid antagonist drug. Delivered via a nasal injection, the fast-acting drug blocks the effects of narcotics on the brain. When administered quickly enough, it can counteract the effects of a narcotics overdose. Medical professionals report little to no negative side effects in the event it is used in error. Bush is sponsoring the legislation, crafted by state Sen. Donne Trotter, D-Chicago, as it proceeds to discussion in the Senate Public Health Committee.

Eric Guenther, Chief of the Mundelein Police Department, said mere minutes can mean the difference between life and death in the cases of narcotics overdoses that Narcan can prevent.

“This is a remarkable drug that is available, and it’s relatively simple,” Guenther said. “It’s been available to citizens in general through not-for-profit agencies for a while and it’s just becoming more mainstream and known. I think it’s good to have those families who know they need it to have it there to save a family member.”

Bush said she has heard concerns about the drug’s availability in households possibly enabling narcotic use, but, she said, the potential to save lives can’t be ignored.

“People didn’t start driving more recklessly because cars suddenly added seatbelts,” Bush said. “Nobody goes out looking to OD. This just gives a trusted person the ability to save somebody who is overdosing in the precious minutes available.”

Guenther said he understands such concerns, but that having Narcan available to those who have been screened and prescribed it could give somebody a second chance.

“My response to that is: Look, this is someone’s son, someone’s daughter. If we can give them one more chance at life and one more chance to get it right, aren’t we obligated as public safety professionals to do that?”

The legislation is Senate Bill 1466. It proceeds to the Senate Public Health Committee for debate.

Delgado takes step to correct childcare funding shortfall

delgado-childcareCHICAGO-Senator William Delgado (D-Chicago) voted to support a solution aimed at restoring funding to the Child Care Assistance Program on Tuesday.

“Childcare facilities all over the state are facing dire financial situations, we have an obligation to find the funding for them” Delgado said. “This frees up a significant amount of money so that CCAP providers can keep their doors open.”

The solution would allow CCAP to continue providing working families with access to child care that allows them to continue working and contributes to the development of the child.

It also serves teen parents seeking a high school degree, families who are receiving aid and participating in education in accordance with their service plans and families not receiving aid who are pursuing additional education to improve their job opportunities.

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