Trotter makes heroin overdose reversal medication available

Published: Wednesday, April 22, 2015 12:37 PM

trotter-narcanSPRINGFIELD – In response to rising heroin-related deaths in Illinois, first responders will gain greater access to lifesaving medicine such as Narcan. A measure increasing its availability passed the Senate today.

“A matter of minutes can determine life and death when a person overdoses. Putting opioid antagonist drugs like Narcan in the hands of police and first responders can save lives,” said Donne E. Trotter, Assistant Majority Leader.

Naloxone hydrochloride, better known as “Narcan,” is an opioid antagonist drug designed to counteract the effects of a narcotics overdose. The medicine works within minutes to block the effects of narcotics on the brain.

Trotter supported a bipartisan effort to allow trained personnel and school nurses to administer opioid antidote to residents who, in good faith, are believed to have an overdose. He also drafted State Senator Melinda Bush’s push for pharmacies to stock Narcan which will be up for a vote tomorrow.

Senate Bill 10 passed the Senate and proceeds to the House for further consideration.

Biss shedding light on identity theft

Published: Wednesday, April 22, 2015 12:31 PM

biss-idtheft-passesSPRINGFIELD - Companies today are collecting extraordinary amounts of sensitive data about consumers, and while we know that this data is being analyzed, utilized, and sold, we have no way of finding out whether it is being lost. Legislation passed out of the Senate today that will safeguard personal information in Illinois.

This data protection legislation requires companies to have reasonable security measures to protect location, marketing and health data from breaches. It also requires disclosure of breeches to consumers and to the Attorney General so that we can understand when data is being lost, and how much.

"Companies collect an incredible amount of data about their customers, in complex and extremely sensitive ways," said state Senator Daniel Biss (D-Evanston), sponsor of the legislation. "We are at risk of having personal information about our location, purchasing habits, and health disclosed in harmful ways, and so it's critical we take proactive steps to provide for disclosure and transparency about data breaches so as to protect our personal information."

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

The measure now goes to the House floor for consideration.

Mulroe law mandates defibrillator machines in police stations

Published: Wednesday, April 22, 2015 12:16 PM

mulroe-aedSPRINGFIELD – Municipal police stations and county sheriff’s offices will soon be equipped with AED (automated external defibrillator) machines thanks to a new measure sponsored in the Senate by Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago).

“AED’s are proven to save lives when used in emergency situations,” Sen. Mulroe said. “The fact that even a small percentage of police and sheriff’s offices do not have these machines is cause for alarm and this plan seeks to change that.”

Police officers are often placed in intense situations within seconds causing extreme stress on their bodies and health. Officers have died as a result. The AED will save police officers and others that may be at the police station.

The proposal will affect only those facilities with 100 or more employees. Under the original AED Act, county sheriffs and municipal police departments are exempt from civil liability.

“This is a very common-sense plan that seeks to empower, equip and protect those who we task with serving and protecting us with the knowledge and tools they need to protect each other and others,” Mulroe said.

Following passage by the Senate by a 51 to 0 vote Tuesday, the proposal now goes to the House.

Bennett introduces measure to protect graduates

Published: Wednesday, April 22, 2015 11:56 AM

bennett-stud-loansSPRINGFIELD- Student loans are now the largest source for consumer debt in the United States.

More than 20 states including Illinois currently have laws in place that suspend professional licenses and certificates in the event a consumer must default on their student loans.

State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) introduced an initiative to prevent licensing boards from denying, revoking or suspending individual professional licenses due to student loan default in Illinois.

“It is counterproductive and unnecessary to take away professional licenses in cases of student loan default. This simply creates additional obstacles as people attempt to repay their loans and get back on their feet,” said Bennett.

Senate Bill 454 will put provisions in place to prevent individuals with student loan default from experiencing licenses being denied, revoked, or suspended in 38 professions such as occupational therapists, teachers, structural engineers, home inspectors and real estate agents.

“Defaulting on your student loans, doesn’t make you a criminal. We should remove regulations that create a systematic cycle that hinders people’s ability to work and develop professionally,” said Bennett.

Student loans continue to incur interest and charge fees as long as they remain unpaid. Creating additional obstacles make the process even harder. When consumers have to default on student loans it negatively impacts their credit scores.

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