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Sen. Haine bill to bring fairness to consumer-owned vehicle impounds passes Senate

Published: Friday, April 22, 2016 10:42 AM

Haine 042216SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) advanced a measure Friday that would protect citizens from excessive impound fees.

After reports of local municipalities charging as much as $500 for a tow release fee, Haine filed the legislation in an effort to bring fairness and efficiency to the process of redeeming vehicles.

“I am happy to see this measure receive such great support by my colleagues in the Senate. When this issue was brought to my attention, I knew it was important that we make sure protections are put in place for the people in our communities,” Haine said. “This bill would protect the people who are unable to move their cars due to unforeseeable circumstances. It is unreasonable to punish people with an excessive impound fee for things that are out of their control.”  

The measure would limit the administrative fee by a local government for impounded vehicles from exceeding the actual cost of services provided. It also prevents a vehicle from being impounded for illegal parking unless it has been there for more than 48 hours or the owner was unable to move the vehicle due to an emergency circumstance. Should attorney fees accrue due to the car being wrongfully impounded, they would be awarded by the county or municipality.  

The measure passed the Senate on Friday and now goes to the House for further consideration.  

Haine noted that due to the statewide complexity of the bill, the House will likely have more work to do on it.

Manar moves to ban sale of bath salts by Illinois retailers

Published: Friday, April 22, 2016 10:32 AM

manar 042216SPRINGFIELD- State Senator Andy Manar’s (D-Bunker Hill) plan to halt the proliferation of bath salts being sold by Illinois retailers passed through the Illinois Senate on Thursday.

Bath salts, specifically known as synthetic cathinones, can be consumed in multiple different ways by the user, and can mimic the effect of amphetamine or PCP and often times causes hallucinations.

“There has been a disturbing trend of abuse of these synthetic drugs over the past few years in Illinois and most notably in rural parts of the state,” Manar said. “This plan would help authorities stop the spread of bath salts by closing stores that knowingly sell these extremely dangerous and volatile drugs.”

Senate Bill 210 would create the Bath Salts Prohibition Act and ban retailers in Illinois from selling synthetic cathinones that are commonly sold under disguise and labeled as bath salts, plant food or jewelry cleaner.

Under the proposal, a retailer that is convicted of selling bath salts can have its retail license revoked, and guilty offenders can be charged with a Class 3 felony.

Mike Havera, the Christian County state’s attorney, testified in support of the bill before a Senate committee on April 13.

“It’s a different type of drug based on the commercial marketing of the drug targeting youth and targeting the ignorant or uneducated public, trying to market it as something that is not illegal.

“With my four years as public defender, I didn’t have any armed robbery cases. In less than four years as the Christian County States Attorney we’ve had 10 armed robberies and six of those attributable to bath salts. So we’re also seeing a violent nature…we’re seeing violent crimes quite often.”

Senate Bill 210 passed by a 53-0 vote and now moves to the House for consideration.

Hastings fights to protect student privacy rights

Published: Friday, April 22, 2016 10:20 AM

hastings 041216SPRINGFIELD—Senator Michael Hastings (D-Tinley Park) passed legislation that would protect private information of K-12 students throughout Illinois.

Senate Bill 229 would establish the Student Online Personal Protection Act. The legislation would prohibit the operator of a website or online service from using student data for anything that is not furthering the mission of the K-12 institution.

“Student data that was entrusted with companies should not be abused,” Hastings said. “Companies should not be using information they received for educational purposes to then try and make money off the students or their parents.”

Any violation of the legislation would constitute an unlawful practice for which the attorney general may take appropriate action under consumer fraud laws.

The legislation now moves to the House for further consideration.

Township consolidation proposal passes Senate

Published: Friday, April 22, 2016 09:48 AM

morrison 042116SPRINGFIELD – A plan by State Senator Julie Morrison (D – Deerfield) that would empower townships and local residents to dissolve or consolidate certain services passed the Illinois Senate yesterday.

“Illinois law currently prevents many proposals that would make local government more efficient and have the potential of saving taxpayers’ money,” Morrison said. “My proposal, while entirely permissive, would empower townships and local residents to make decisions that are in the best interests of local residents.”

Morrison’s plan, contained in Senate Bill 389, would remove the state cap on the size of townships, currently set at 126 square miles, giving townships that want to merge the ability to do so. The plan also allows townships to absorb a road district with less than 15 miles of road. In many areas of the state, especially in the suburbs, municipalities have annexed and grown to include many areas once maintained by townships.

Morrison’s plan would also allow county boards in Will, Lake and Kane Counties to absorb the responsibilities of drainage districts. There are 19 drainage districts located in the three counties.

Senate Bill 389 passed the Illinois Senate yesterday on a 36-9 vote and heads to the Illinois House for further debate.

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