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New law tightens penalties for stalking

PMC and WalshA new public safety law was signed by Governor Pat Quinn on Friday that tightens penalties for convictions of stalking by making the offender ineligible for alternative sentencing.

Alternative sentencing, known as Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC), generally is available to all drug-involved offenders charged with (or convicted of) probationable crimes. Offenders with no prior felony convictions who complete a TASC treatment plan can file motions to have their convictions vacated and the criminal proceedings dismissed.

However, stalking, as sponsor Senator Pat McGuire (D-Crest Hill) points out, threatens the safety of another person and should not be eligible for alternative sentencing programs.

"Stalking is not a victim-less crime appropriate for alternative sentencing," McGuire said. "Stalking puts a victim at risk. This new law helps reduce that risk."

McGuire tours key area employer

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On a normal day, we turn on the clothes dryer, gas stove or furnace without giving it much thought. But the gas powering those essential appliances comes from a multi-billion dollar facility that makes its home right here in Illinois. That's just one of the things Senator Pat McGuire learned when he toured Aux Sable Liquid Products on August 4.

Aux Sable Liquids Products is one of the largest natural gas liquid extraction facilities in North America. It is located on Route 6, west of Channahon, about an hour south of Chicago. Aux Sable is the final stop of the 2,000-mile-long stretch of the Alliance Pipeline, which runs from western Canada through North Dakota and then directly into the Aux Sable facility. While the facility actually is in Grundy County outside the 43rd Senate District, it is integral to Will County and employs many of McGuire's constituents.

"I've known that one of Will County's economic advantages is its large number of transcontinental pipelines," McGuire said. "But it wasn't until Monday that I learned that's why Aux Sable is here."

auxsable2The difference between the natural gas Aux Sable receives and what's commonly called natural gas is something else he learned.

"I learned that natural gas is comprised of several gases," McGuire said. "Aux Sable separates natural gas into its constituent parts, such as propane and butane. What's left is methane. It's methane that's burning in our pilot lights at home."

Aux Sable uses the individual gases it separates from natural gas to supply major Will County employers. For instance, Aux Sable processes butane into isobutene, which it then sends via pipelines to the Citgo refinery in Romeoville and the Exxon Mobil refinery on the far east end of Channahon. The propane Aux Sable separates from natural gas winds up in small tanks under our barbecue grills and in big tanks at grain-drying operations. The nearly pure methane left at the end of Aux Sable's two extraction trains goes to utilities such as Nicor.

The 300-acre Aux Sable facility, which old-timers recall as the Northern Illinois Gas SNG plant, has processed over 7.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas since beginning operation in Channahon in 2000 and has sold over 13 billion gallons of product. In addition to the pipelines going in and out of the plant, Aux Sable has an active rail yard utilizing nearby Canadian National and CSX tracks.

Aux Sable Liquid Products in Channahon boasts nearly 300 employees, bringing both blue- and white-collar jobs to Will County. It also employs a large number of union laborers and contractors who perform regular maintenance at the facility.

McGuire says his visit to Aux Sable made him a better-informed senator.

"Now I understand how our area fits into the vast, complex North American energy economy," McGuire said. "I'm grateful to Aux Sable for showing me this. Moreover, I appreciate Aux Sable's investment, jobs, and charitable contributions to area non-profits and communities."

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Sen. Pat McGuire

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43rd District

Years served:
2012 - Present

Committee assignments: Appropriations II; Environment and Conservation; Higher Education (Chairperson); Revenue; State Government (Vice-Chairperson); Transportation; Subcommittee on Capital.

Biography: Former teacher, school board member, Will County treasurer and Braidwood City Clerk; attended Joliet Catholic schools from first grade through college; married (Lora) with one daughter (Molly).

Associated Representatives:
John Connor
Lawrence Walsh, Jr.