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Sandoval passes measure to improve student safety on school buses

Majority Caucus Whip Martin A. SandovalSPRINGFIELD – A measure sponsored by State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago) that would improve the safety of children on school buses passed the Illinois Senate Wednesday.

House Bill 2121 makes changes to the eligibility standards for individuals with criminal convictions applying for a bus driver license. The legislation would add several criminal offenses to the list of those that would make an individual eligible for a lifetime ban from receiving a license.

“When we think of school safety, we often limit our scope by thinking only of the building itself,” Sandoval said. “A student’s experience starts when he or she boards the bus and we need assurance that our children will be safe on their commute as well as in class.”

Criminal offenses that would newly allow an individual to be banned for life under the legislation include permitting the sexual abuse of a child, all aggravated battery offenses and loitering of a sexual predator near a public park.

“It goes without saying that people who have been convicted of these crimes are not fit to take care of our children,” Sandoval said. “This bill would update the statute to reflect that.”

The legislation also eliminates the lifetime ban on applicants with convictions for misdemeanor marijuana offenses and replaces it with a 20 year ban.

“With our current lifetime ban, we punish people for mistakes they made decades ago in some cases,” Sandoval said. “People with minor marijuana convictions deserve the opportunity to return to society as productive members.”

House Bill 2121 passed the Senate unanimously. The measure will now go to the governor’s desk.

Sen. Martin A. Sandoval

Majority Caucus Whip
11th District

Years served: 2003 - Present

Committee assignments: Energy and Public Utilities; Higher Education; Licensed Activities; Transportation (Chairperson); Subcommittee on Capital (Sub-Chairperson).

Biography: Full-time state legislator, born in The Back of the Yards, graduate of Loyola University in Chicago where he earned a Bachelor's of Science in psychology; married (wife, Marina) has three children.

Associated Representatives:
Michael J. Madigan
Celina Villanueva