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Forby sponsored "Molly’s Law" signed by governor

forby coalSPRINGFIELD – In March of 2012, Molly Young, a 21-year-old Carbondale resident, was found dead from a gunshot wound to the head in her ex-boyfriend’s apartment. When insufficient evidence was found to rule the incident either a homicide or a suicide to issue an indictment, Young’s family filed a civil suit against the boyfriend to seek justice for their daughter.

Justice never came to the Young family because, under Illinois’ current law, the statute of limitations on wrongful death claims is two years.

Legislation co-sponsored by State Senator Gary Forby (D-Benton), House Bill 6083, was signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner Tuesday to raise the statute of limitations on wrongful death claims to five years.

“The story of Molly Young is a tragic one. This family has yet to get answers they need for the closure and justice they deserve because, unfortunately, time ran out,” Forby said. “ I think this is an injustice to the family, and I don’t want similar stories to arise. When a death occurs as a result of violent and intentional conduct, two years is not enough time to fully investigate what happened and bring the culprit to justice.”

Another part of Molly’s Law signed Tuesday is House Bill 4715.

The measure will impose civil penalties for instances of a public body’s willful and intentional failure to comply with the Freedom of Information Act. This was in response to the Young family’s repeatedly blocked FOIA attempts to receive information about the case.

“FOIA requests are meant to provide transparency and give citizens information they need,” Forby added. “Under no circumstances should FOIA requests such as these be blocked. I hope this legislation will help bring the Young family the justice they deserve.”

Forby saves road construction projects, keeps job in Southern Illinois

forby bailoutBENTON – Millions of dollars worth of construction projects in Southern Illinois remain on track thanks to a state budget agreement Senator Gary Forby (D-Benton) helped approve.

The list of projects slated for construction includes:

  • A $6.3 million bridge replacement project in Union County at the Illinois 146 interchange
  • $1.4 million in funding to resurface Skyline Drive in Marion.
  • $800,000 in funding to repair bridge joints on the Mississippi River Bridge in Cairo

Those are a few of the Southern Illinois projects included in the agreement. Statewide, nearly $2 billion worth of construction would have shut down on July 1 if no budget was in place.

Senator Forby was part of the working groups that helped piece together the framework of a deal that lawmakers and the governor finalized on June 30.

“When thousands of jobs are on the line, I step up and do something about it,” Forby said. “Before we adjourned last month, we passed an important measure to ensure construction continues and these important jobs stay in Southern Illinois.” 

Forby working to save road construction jobs in Southern Illinois

forby 051716BENTON – Illinois State Senator Gary Forby (D-Benton) said he fully supports a plan to save road construction jobs in Southern Illinois.

Earlier this month, the Illinois Department of Transportation announced it would have to cease all road construction jobs in Illinois due to the lack of state funding.

“When I heard that IDOT was planning to stop road projects, I thought about the hard-working men and women that would lose their jobs if that happened. As a person who has made job creation my number one priority, I can’t stand by and let that happen,” said Forby.

Senate Bill 2047 includes a plan that includes a full IDOT capital program for road and transit, as well as payments to local governments from gas taxes.

“Not only will this legislation help keep jobs in our community, but it will also ensure money that is owed to local communities through gas taxes is released to help with important expenditures,” Forby added.

The legislation is currently in the House, but is expected to come before the full Senate when the General Assembly reconvenes on Wednesday, June 29.

Forby: Southern Illinois schools deserve fair share

forby bailoutBENTON - Southern Illinois schools would be big winners under a clean school funding plan being finalized that Senator Gary Forby (D-Benton) said he will support at the Capitol on Wednesday.

Local schools would see their state support increase by nearly $10 million over what they received this past year. In fact, Forby said no school would lose funding if the plan manages to become law, which would require approval in the Senate, Illinois House and the governor’s signature.

“No more games. People need to put politics aside to ensure our schools open on time,” Forby said. “This plan fully funds our schools. Springfield will stop shortchanging us and cheating our schools, our students, our teachers and our taxpayers out of the money they were promised.”

As proposed, for the first time in years the state would fully fund its commitment to local schools, and put an end to several years’ worth of the state knowingly cutting back payments to them. This practice was especially unfair to Southern Illinois schools while wealthy suburban Chicago districts were able to cope more easily with the cuts.

Examples of local school gains under the proposal:

Herrin School District would see a $914,000 increase, raising its state support to more than $11.7 million. That’s an 8 percent increase over previous state support.

Marion School District would see a nearly $882,000 increase, which would take its total state aid to more than $9.5 million. That’s a 10 percent increase over what the state provided last year.

Massac School District would get a nearly $576,000 increase to more than $9.1 million in state aid. That’s a 7 percent increase in state support.

Cairo School District would get an additional $522,000. Total state support for Cairo schools would be more than $3.6 million, a 17 percent increase.

Harrisburg School District would see its state support increase by more than $623,000 to almost $9.8 million. That’s a 7 percent increase.

Forby said the deal is too good for Southern Illinois to pass up.

“Every school in the region will see an increase in funding. That’s a plan I can support,” Forby said. “We all know Southern Illinois schools have been shortchanged for years. That ends now. It’s time we got our fair share.”

The Senate plans to take up the proposal on Wednesday.

Senator Gary Forby

forby2014hs

59th Senate District

Years served:
2001-2003 (House); 2003 - 2017 (Senate)

Committee assignments: Energy and Public Utilities; Labor (Chairperson); Insurance; Licensed Activities and Pensions; Committee of the Whole. (99th G.A.)

Biography: Born January 4, 1945, in Anna, Illinois. Full-time state legislator; former farmer and businessman; past chairman, Franklin County Board; former member, Franklin - Williamson Human Services Board; current member, Southern Illinois Workforce Man-Tra-Con Board, Operating Engineers and Laborers' International unions.