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  • Distracted driver

    Distracted driving and driver safety are issues that always need attention. As more young people drive and technology gets faster, the need to remind people of the perils of distracted driving increases exponentially.

    Senate Democrats approached road safety with an even greater sense of urgency following a tragically dangerous year for Illinois State Troopers on the road. In total, 15 state police cruisers were struck while on the side of the road. Three of those accidents resulted in fatalities in what was described as an unprecedented spike in collisions.

    State Senator Steve Stadelman passed Senate Bill 86, which clarifies that drivers may not use electronic devices to stream videos while they are driving, including tablets, laptops and video game controllers.

  • munoz 051419SPRINGFIELD –To prevent more tragic losses of emergency responders and highway workers, Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago) announced legislation Tuesday that strengthens Scott’s Law and finds a way to end senseless roadway fatalities.

    “As a former police officer, I know the life-threatening situations facing law enforcement every day, and I’m proud this legislation will protect and serve our brave men and women in uniform,” Munoz said. “We can’t afford to lose any more lives, so I implore all drivers to slow down and move over when you see first responders on the roads.”

  • munoz 032819SPRINGFIELD – Individuals wanting to transfer their license plate to a spouse or child could soon do so free of charge under legislation led by Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago).

    “We’re eliminating an extra cost on families who simply want to transfer a license plate to a spouse or child,” Munoz said. “We allow vehicles to be sold to family members at a low cost, and it’s unnecessary to charge more for the gifting of a license plate.”

    The fee for transferring a license plate would be waived by the secretary of state after both parties sign a form authorizing the reassignment of the registration.

    The legislation was approved by the Senate Transportation Committee on Wednesday, and will move on to the full Senate for consideration.

  • sneakers 050119Wednesday, May 1 was Suits and Sneakers Day at the Capitol. We wear sneakers to help raise awareness and encourage people to educate themselves about cancer prevention, screening and early detection.

    Suits and Sneakers Day originated as a campaign of Coaches vs. Cancer and the American Cancer Society, when basketball coaches nationwide wear sneakers with their suits to raise funds, awareness, and help save lives from cancer.

    Learn more about this effort here.

  • taxreturn 031319SPRINGFIELD –Appearing on Illinois ballots as presidential and vice-presidential candidates would soon require publicizing tax returns under a proposal led by Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago).

    “Voters have a right to know a presidential candidate’s conflicts of interests,” Munoz said. “They have reasonably expected this disclosure for decades, and if candidates won’t release the information willingly, then we need a law in place that requires it.”

  • police fire 032019SPRINGFIELD – Children of fallen police officers or firefighters would be eligible to receive specialty license plates under a proposal sponsored by Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago).

    “The tragic loss of a parent is unimaginable,” Munoz said. “The children of these brave men and women deserve to be reminded that their parent played an important role in our society, and this is a small gesture that allows them to commemorate their loved one.”

    Currently, only the surviving spouse and parents of a fallen police officer or firefighter are eligible for the license plates.

    Senate Bill 1894 allows children and step-children of police officers or firefighters who have died in the line of duty to be issued deceased police officer or firefighter license plates. The measure was approved by the Senate on Thursday.

    A $15 fee is charged for the first issuance of the license plate in addition to the registration fee. A $2 fee is charged for each registration renewal thereafter.

    The proposal is scheduled to move to the House for consideration.

  • Senator MunozSPRINGFIELD – Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago) is leading legislation in response to an oversight by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency that left McKinley Park residents blindsided by the construction of an asphalt plant in their neighborhood.

    “The public has every right to know when a facility that may affect their health is moving into their community,” Munoz said. “There is no reason why McKinley Park residents weren’t given ample notice regarding the asphalt plant, and we don’t want to see another community put in the same situation.”

    Last year, McKinley Park residents received only a two week notice before construction on an asphalt plant began. Munoz held a town hall in July to discuss the issue with the community resulting in the legislation that was approved in the Senate on Thursday.

    Senate Bill 1847 requires the IEPA to provide notice when a permit is required to construct a new facility to the state senator and state representative of the district where the construction is to occur and post the information on its website, searchable by ZIP code.

    A permit is required to construct any facility capable of causing or contributing to air and water pollution or designed to prevent air and water pollution. If no action is taken by the IEPA within 90 days of filing the application, the permit is considered issued.

    The measure heads to the House for consideration.

  • VeteranSPRINGFIELD – More veteran-owned businesses would secure state contracts under a measure sponsored by Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago).

    “We need to do our best to foster veteran-owned businesses in our state,” Munoz said. “This is a valuable commitment to veterans who are establishing themselves after serving our country.”

    Senate Bill 1680 allows chief procurement officers to set aside a fair proportion of construction, supply or service contracts for veteran-owned businesses, and was approved by the Senate on Thursday.

    Currently, state agencies have a goal of awarding at least 3 percent of state contracts to veteran-owned businesses.

    In order to be considered a veteran-owned or disabled veteran-owned business, it must be at least 51 percent owned by one or more veterans or service-disabled veterans.

    The proposal heads to the House consideration.

  • Police Memorial at the Illinois State Capitol

    SPRINGFIELD – Spouses of police officers killed in the line of duty would be eligible for grants and scholarships from the Police Memorial Committee under a proposal by Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago).

    “This measure offers support to spouses who have lost their partner in the line of duty,” said Munoz, a former Chicago police officer. “Moving forward after such a tragic loss is extremely difficult, but offering scholarships can play a small part in a spouse’s healing process.”

    Currently, the Police Memorial Committee offers scholarships to children of police officers killed in the line of duty. Senate Bill 1183 extends the pool of recipients to include spouses.

    The Police Memorial Committee Fund receives $10 of every issuance fee for Police Memorial Committee license plates, and $23 of every renewal fee thereafter. The fund is also used for maintaining a memorial statute on the Capitol Complex, and holding an annual memorial commemoration.

    The measure heads to the House for consideration.

  • VeteranSPRINGFIELD – More veteran-owned businesses would secure state contracts under a measure sponsored by Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago).

    “Setting aside contracts for veteran-owned businesses ensures that we are spending state dollars on supporting our veterans as they work to establish lives after their service to our country,” Munoz said.

    Senate Bill 1680 allows chief procurement officers to set aside a fair proportion of construction, supply or service contracts for veteran-owned businesses, and was approved by the Senate Executive Committee on Wednesday.

    Currently, state agencies have a goal of awarding at least 3 percent of state contracts to veteran-owned businesses.

    In order to be considered a veteran-owned or disabled veteran-owned business, it must be at least 51 percent owned by one or more veterans or service disabled veterans.

    The proposal heads to the full Senate for consideration.

  • Senator MunozSPRINGFIELD – To protect individuals who take out a payday loan, Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago) is leading efforts to ensure that the final payment on a loan is not significantly higher than the previous payment.

    “Consumers shouldn’t be overwhelmed by the final payment on a loan,” Munoz said. “They should be able to budget throughout the life of a loan without any surprises.”

    Senate Bill 1758, which was approved by the Senate executive Committee on Wednesday, caps the amount for a final payment on a loan to 5 percent more than the previously scheduled payment.

    The plan clarifies the meaning of “substantially equal installments” in a previous law enacted to help consumers budget effectively to pay back loans. It also makes sure that the entire principal on a loan is not due on the last payment.

    The measure heads to the full Senate for consideration.

  • Police & Fire ServicesSPRINGFIELD – Children of fallen police officers or firefighters would be eligible to receive specialty license plates under a proposal sponsored by Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago).

    “When you’re a police officer or firefighter your family serves with you,” said Munoz, a former Chicago police officer. “We want to give those children who have lost a parent in the line of duty to know that we acknowledge their loss and give them an opportunity to commemorate their loved one.”

    Currently, only the surviving spouse and parents of a fallen police officer or firefighter are eligible for the license plates.

    Senate Bill 1894 allows children and step children of police officers or firefighters who have died in the line of duty to be issued deceased police officer or firefighter license plates. The measure was approved by the Senate Transportation Committee on Tuesday.

    A $15 fee is charged for the first issuance of the license plate in addition to the registration fee. A $2 fee is charged for each registration renewal thereafter.

    The proposal is scheduled to move to the full Senate for consideration.

  • taxreturn 031319SPRINGFIELD- The price of appearing on Illinois ballots as presidential and vice-presidential candidates would be publicizing tax returns under a proposal led by Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago).

    “Anyone seeking to hold presidential office should be transparent with their conflicts of interests,” Munoz said. “Voters have used this information in their decision-making process for decades, and it’s time we make it law.”

    Senate Bill 145 requiring presidential candidates to file the five most recent years’ tax returns with the Secretary of State before appearing on a primary or general election ballot was approved by the Senate Executive Committee on Wednesday.

    Candidates would need to file their returns five days prior to the date set for certification of the ballot for the general election.

    The measure now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

  • munoz 013119SPRINGFIELD – Chicago residents could soon have a say in who sits on the City Colleges of Chicago board of trustees under a plan presented by Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago).

    Senate Bill 206 puts the board of trustees on a nonpartisan ballot for the 2020 primary election with one trustee of the 20 trustees up for election each consolidated election thereafter.

    “There are 39 community college districts in Illinois, and Chicago is the only one that is appointed by a mayor and not elected,” Munoz said. “There’s not a worthwhile reason for that, and we need to give the control back to the communities they serve.”

    Chicago would be divided into 20 districts that would elect trustees to the board with an additional trustee elected city-wide.

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  • munoz 052418SPRINGFIELD- Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago) commends Gov. JB Pritzker for expressing his commitment to Illinois’ immigrant community.

    The governor signed an executive order on Thursday that strengthens Illinois’ commitment to immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers.

    “Our immigrant communities have been under attack by harmful rhetoric and measures rooted in racism and xenophobia from the White House. We cannot allow families throughout our state to live in fear, and I’m glad to see that our new administration sees the importance of Welcoming Centers along with other resources that help immigrants establish their lives here.”

  • munoz 020818CHICAGO- A measure approved shortly after the killing of Chicago Police Commander Paul Bauer to combat illegal gun trafficking became law today.

    Senate Bill 337 requires gun dealers to be certified with the Illinois State Police and to train employees on conducting background checks and taking measures to prevent theft. Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago) released the following statement on the signing of the new law:

    “Since my time serving as a Chicago police officer, it’s been my priority to find ways to prevent the illegal sales that put guns in the hands of wrongdoers. We are creating a way for the State to keep track of gun sales and make sure that all gun dealers are playing a part in keeping our communities safe.

    “I applaud Governor Pritzker for starting off his first week in office by taking action on a commonsense measure that was long overdue.”

  • mercy hosp 112018State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) issued the following statement on the shooting at Mercy Hospital in Chicago yesterday:

    “I am deeply saddened to hear about the horrific shooting at Mercy Hospital in Bronzeville yesterday. I am praying for all those who were affected. To the families of the victims—I cannot even begin to fathom the pain you are experiencing, but please know that our community is here for you.

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