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Morrison announces Illinois Sports Facilities Authority reform plan

US CellularRSPRINGFIELD – After outgoing Governor Pat Quinn appointed a new executive director at the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority with little more than a month left in his term in office, State Senator Julie Morrison decided to find a way to prevent such appointments by future governors.

“The executive director of the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority is among the highest paid state employees,” Morrison said. “A governor who’s leaving office shouldn’t be able to use the position as a cushy landing spot.”

The executive director of the Sports Facilities Authority is paid $160,000 per year.

 Senator Bush moves for Dyslexia Awareness Week in Illinois

052714CM1026RSPRINGFIELD - The State Senate adopted a resolution today naming the second week of December 2014 as Dyslexia Awareness Week in Illinois.  

“We need to do a better job of identifying dyslexia," said State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake), who sponsored the resolution.  “We need to increase awareness so that parents and teachers understand the signs and can make determinations about screening and support early on.”

Dyslexia affects 70-80% of people with reading difficulties and is more common than autism or attention deficit disorder. However, awareness and identification of the learning disability are still severely lacking in Illinois.

Sullivan legislation assists Quincy/Adams County 911

120414 js 0227SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate approved a plan Thursday allowing the Quincy/Adams County 911 system to take advantage of additional funding to operate its 911 call center.

A bill passed earlier this year made additional funds available to counties with populations less than 100,000 that operate Emergency Telephone System Boards (ETSB). Adams County does not have an official ETSB, instead it is served by a "qualified government entity." Consequently, Adams County could not access the additional funds.

State Senator John Sullivan (D-Rushville) sponsored the plan, Senate Bill 3265, which recognizes Quincy/Adams County 911 system's "qualified government entity" status so it can receive an additional $25,000 per year.

"Every eligible 911 system should have the opportunity to access these funds without raising rates on their users," Sullivan said. "This legislation gives Adams County the opportunity to improve its emergency response services for city and rural residents."

Sullivan's proposal passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support.

Clayborne resolution honors Alan Dixon, renames state museum

112014 js 0107SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate adopted a resolution Thursday renaming the Illinois State Museum after former lawmaker Alan Dixon.

State Senator James Clayborne (D-Belleville) sponsored the resolution honoring the Belleville native who served Illinoisans as a state representative, state senator, treasurer and U.S. senator.

“Alan Dixon was a dedicated public servant and a committed pursuer of knowledge, justice and peace. It’s hard to think of a more fitting way of memorializing his years of service and legacy than placing his name on a building devoted to preserving Illinois’ heritage,” Clayborne said.

Dixon began his career in Illinois government when he was elected to the House of Representatives in 1950 when he was 22 years old. He retired from the U.S. Senate in 1993.

Dixon passed away July 6, one day before his 87th birthday.

The Illinois State Museum is located on the Capitol grounds in Springfield.

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