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Stadelman passes proposal in reaction to Cherry Valley fire

Published: Wednesday, April 22, 2015 02:19 PM

stadelman-fire-cherryvaleSPRINGFIELD– In November of 2014, Cherry Valley firefighters arrived at a house fire only to find a hydrant that was inoperable and to be used only for flushing, not fighting fires. As it turns out, the hydrants were broken and no one had told the fire department. While the house burned, they had to wait for water to be transported to the scene before the fire could be extinguished.

A proposal passed by State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) would require private water companies to notify fire departments of the working capacity of the hydrants. Stadelman was joined last week in the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee by Cherry Valley Fire Chief Craig Wilt, who testified in support of the legislation.

“This legislation would make it much easier for fire departments with private water systems to know the amount of water they have in storage if there is a fire. Right now, it’s unknown how much water is available in a private water system for firefighting, versus a municipal system where we know we will not run out of water,” said Wilt.

“Firefighters need to know the working condition of the hydrants they use. It’s extremely unfortunate a family had to lose its home because the Cherry Valley fire department hadn’t been updated on the status of the hydrants. This legislation will stop that from happening again,” said Stadelman.

The legislation passed the Senate today and will be sent to the Illinois House of Representatives.

Tom Cullerton promotes good schools

Published: Wednesday, April 22, 2015 01:53 PM

tc-schlbdelectSPRINGFIELD- Local school boards make critical decisions concerning curriculum, negotiating teacher contracts and budgets.  However, only about 20 percent of registered voters show up to vote for these important positions.

Illinois residents may be given the opportunity to vote for their school board members alongside candidates for the White House and U.S. Senate under legislation Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) passed in an effort to fight voter fatigue.

“Good schools translate to good businesses in our communities. Voting in local school board elections means voting for the success of our students and economy,” said Cullerton. “We need to do as much as possible to increase voter participation for school board elections. We can’t force people to go out and vote but we can take steps to make it easier.”

Cullerton introduced Senate Bill 669 after observing an extreme decrease in voter participation during consolidated elections. In the 23rd State Senate District alone there was a 58 percentage drop off in voter turnout in the 2013 consolidated elections compared to 2014 general elections.

“We rely on school board members to make vital decisions about the future of our children and property tax dollars. These are decisions they shouldn’t take lightly and neither should voters,” said Cullerton.  

Under this measure, school board elections will remain nonpartisan.

SB 669 passed the Senate with bipartisan support and will now move to the House for consideration.

Hastings continues fight for consumer data security

Published: Wednesday, April 22, 2015 01:33 PM

hastings-idtheftTINLEY PARK – As questions mount around the security of our digital data and identity information, State Senator Michael Hastings (D-Tinley Park) has stepped in to support a measure calling for increased security standards.

The legislation requires a company that experiences a data breach to report it to the Attorney General’s office so that the breach may be included on a website that lists data breaches in Illinois.

“Whether it be a senior citizen or young adult, every single person has a wealth of information associated with them,” Sen. Hastings said. “These people need to know when their data could be at risk, and we need to ensure that the authorities know when something happens so that they can work to combat any further damage.”

The legislation also holds businesses accountable by requiring them to establish reasonable security measures to safeguard sensitive personal information and display privacy policies prominently on their  websites and apps that collect personal information.

Senate Bill 1833 enables small businesses to notify local media, rather than state-wide media, when breaches occur.

The measure passed the Senate by a 35-13 vote and now moves to the House for consideration.

Bertino-Tarrant passes caffeine powder ban legislation

Published: Wednesday, April 22, 2015 01:18 PM

jbt-caffeinepowder-passesSPRINGFIELD— Last year, 18-year-old Logan Stiner of Ohio died from a caffeine powder overdose.

According to local reports, Stiner was found by his brother, collapsed on the floor of his home. The same day his brother found him, his mother discovered several bags of caffeine powder in their house. Sadly, Stiner, a popular student-athlete, was one week away from graduating from high school.

The County Coroner’s report said that Stiner suffered cardiac arrhythmia and a seizure as a result of ingesting toxic amounts of caffeine. One teaspoon of the powder is equal to drinking approximately 25 cups of coffee.

In order to prevent a tragedy like Stiner’s from occurring in Illinois, Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Plainfield) secured Senate passage today of legislation that would make it illegal for toxic caffeine powder to be sold to anyone under age 18.

“Powdered caffeine is dangerous because the substance is nearly 100 percent pure caffeine and difficult to measure with common kitchen tools,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “My legislation is a proactive approach to prevent minors from being able to use a substance that, by simple mistake, could be deadly.”

Bertino-Tarrant’s legislation, Senate Bill 9, now advances to the Illinois House.

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