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Senate clears way for Illinois to proceed with delayed school funding model

manar 031418Manar urges governor to sign measure promptly

SPRINGFIELD – The state will be able to distribute eagerly awaited funding under Illinois’ new education formula as soon as April under legislation approved by the Senate – as long as the governor chooses to act quickly when it reaches his desk.

The measure, approved Wednesday, is a trailer bill to Illinois’ historic 550-page school funding reform law. It was requested by state education officials who said clarifications and corrections were needed to the original language before they could ensure money would be distributed as intended under the new funding model.

Silverstein votes to ban assault weapons for those under 21, along with bump stocks and a longer cooling off period

silverstein walkout 031518SPRINGFIELD– Long-time gun safety advocate Senator Ira Silverstein spoke in the Senate today about his commitment to banning assault weapons in Illinois. House Bill 1465, which would stop those under 21 from purchasing assault weapons. It passed in the Senate this afternoon along with additional gun safety measures House Bill 1467 and 1468.

“Assault weapons have no place in our communities. Personally, I believe that means in the hands of those over 21 years of age as well,” Silverstein said. “All three bills we are considering today will almost certainly save lives. Assault weapons and bump stocks are nothing more than killing machines.”

Silverstein is the chief sponsor of Senate Bill 3297, which would ban the sale of assault weapons statewide to all ages.

The three measures passed today include:

House Bill 1465 - House Bill 1465 prohibits the sale or transfer of an assault weapon, assault weapon attachment, .50 caliber rifle or large capacity magazine to an individual under the age of 21.

House Bill 1467 - House Bill 1467 makes it illegal to sell, manufacture, purchase or possess bump-stocks and trigger cranks. As amended, the bill allows municipalities to regulate assault weapons as long as the regulation is not less restrictive than state law.

House Bill 1468 - House Bill 1468 increases the waiting period to receive an assault weapon after purchase from 24 hours to 72 hours. This mirrors the existing waiting period for handguns.

“A student who survived the Parkland, Fla. school shooting wrote to me, interested in my assault weapon ban bill. They are looking to lawmakers to follow their lead for a change – not that of the NRA,” Silverstein said. “This is my intention, too.”

“Our young people are watching. My children are watching, as are likely many of yours. If they can’t have faith in us to protect them, what are we saying to them?”

The three bills passed in the Senate today.

PHOTO: Senator Silverstein joins his Senate colleagues at today's National Walkout to support students walking out of school for gun safety.


Vaccine bill designed to fight the flu epidemic passes out of committee

cunningham 030118SPRINGFIELD – A legislative effort to help stop the spread of influenza in hospitals and other health facilities was approved by an Illinois state senate committee today. The measure, House Bill 2984, is sponsored by State Senator Bill Cunningham, a Democrat representing Chicago and the southwest suburbs.

The bill allows certified local health departments and any facility licensed by the Illinois Department of Public Health to implement more stringent flu vaccination policies aimed at protecting patients from exposure to the flu and improving vaccination rates.

“Given the concrete science behind the effectiveness of flu vaccines, we have a responsibility to protect patients from being exposed to the flu virus by the public employees delegated to care for them,” Cunningham said.

Under current law, employees of hospitals can refuse a flu vaccination for any reason as long as they declare a “philosophical objection.” Public health experts have testified that this loophole leaves patients vulnerable to the spread of influenza while they are hospitalized. If HB 2984 becomes law, only hospital employees with religious objections and certain medical conditions will be able to refuse the offer of a vaccination.

Cullerton takes charge as governor continues to lag on Legionella remedies (VIDEO)

vets presser 031318SPRINGFIELD – Three years after the initial outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy, residents of that facility and others like it are still waiting for Gov. Bruce Rauner to be proactive in detecting and removing Legionella bacteria from state-run facilities.

State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) has taken charge in the governor’s absence, advancing bipartisan legislative measures this week to improve water management and notification requirements at state facilities.

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