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Senator Bush’s business retention plan passes Senate

032113br0133rSPRINGFIELD - Yesterday, the Senate passed a proposal out of its chamber that seeks to improve business retention in Illinois counties that border other states.

State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) is the sponsor of the initiative that recognizes the unique business retention concerns specific to border communities.

As a lifelong resident of a border community, Bush knows all too well about about the business-poaching practices of the states surrounding Illinois. Her proposal will improve the economic conditions of Illinois border communities, keeping them competitive with the states that they border.

Criminal booby trapping and video surveillance

040114 js 1535SPRINGFIELD – Video cameras and motion sensors could be added to a list of illegal booby traps under a proposed law approved by the Illinois Senate on Tuesday.

Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) sponsored plan, House Bill 4269, in the Senate to update the existing law that targets drug dealers who fortify buildings against law enforcement.

“If drug dealers have cameras or motion sensors to let them know when the police are coming, it gives them a chance to escape or destroy evidence,” Haine said.

It is currently illegal to booby trap a building in order to obstruct police. The list of criminal fortifications includes alarm systems, cross bars, steel doors, and the use of dogs.

Representative Jerry Costello (D-Smithton) introduced the plan in the House.

“Law Enforcement officers already take great risk entering a location of suspected criminal activity, and any attempt to harm or impede them in the course of their duties should be aggressively punished,” Costello said.

The Senate approved HB 4269 by a 57-0 vote. It was approved by the House in April and now goes to the governor for approval.

Senator Bush’s dyslexia awareness bill passes Senate

052014 js 1078RSPRINGFIELD - Senator Bush (D-Grayslake) passed a proposal out of the Senate yesterday that seeks to improve the way Illinois school districts’ teach dyslexic students.

“Dyslexic students can quickly fall behind because teachers cannot identify their disability or do not have learning materials adapted to their needs,” Bush said. “It is important that we implement the same level of awareness and services for this group of learning disabled students as we do for all other groups.”

Bush’s proposal would add the international definition of dyslexia to the Illinois school code in an effort to bring an appropriate level of institutional awareness to the disability in all schools throughout Illinois.

Collins ensures funding follows students — from charter to school district and back

020514 js 0068SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) secured passage today of legislation ensuring that when a student transfers from a charter school to a traditional public school — or vice versa — the funding needed to educate the child moves with the child.

“This commonsense measure supports the kind of school system that is best for our state’s young people: one in which students have access to adequate resources and services wherever they attend school,” Collins said. “Clarifying that a school cannot retain money to educate a student no longer in attendance will remove the perception that schools are making dismissal decisions based on finances."

Charter schools receive payments from their school districts on a quarterly basis. Collins’ legislation would require a charter that dismisses a student to pay back to the public school district a prorated portion of its last quarterly payment. That reimbursement would correspond to the portion of the payment period during which the student no longer attends the charter school. House Bill 4591 would also require the school district to make a prorated payment to a charter school whenever a student transfers from a traditional public school to the charter school during the academic year.

HB 4591 now goes to the governor to be signed into law.

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