Tuesday, Feb. 25


Senate week in review

Committee action, new bills introduced,
and numerous bills already filed are held up

[FEB. 25, 2003]  SPRINGFIELD -- More than 1,500 bills were introduced before the deadline for new legislative proposals expired last week, according to Sen. Larry Bomke, R-Springfield.

Among the bills introduced were three reform proposals dealing with legislative pensions, a ban on the use of state funds to benefit former government officials and a measure prohibiting former government officials from profiting on official actions they took while serving in office.

Senate Bill 1145 would move future lawmakers, constitutional officers and judges from their current pension systems, which are the General Assembly Retirement System and the Judges Retirement System, into the State Employees Retirement System, which covers most state workers. The purpose of this legislation is to prevent retired judges and lawmakers from earning more in pension benefits than their salary was prior to retirement.


Another bill (SB 1148) prohibits state funds from being used for security detail for former constitutional officeholders. And a third government reform initiative (SB 1456) requires former elected and appointed executive branch officeholders to give any monetary awards, economic opportunity and financial consideration for official acts taken during their term in office. The money will be used to help the victims and the families of victims of violent crime in Illinois.

Senate Republican Leader Frank Watson, R-Greenville, said he is hopeful that legislation from both Republican and Democratic members will be given a chance for a full public hearing. Currently, Democrats control the Illinois Senate for the first time in 10 years.

"More than 1,500 bills were introduced this week, and many of these bills came from the Senate Republican caucus," Watson said. "We have some good bills that deserve a hearing. No one political party has a monopoly on good ideas for this state."


In committee action the following bills were approved:

Prescription drug assistance (SB 293) -- Adds prescriptions for multiple sclerosis to the state's Circuit Breaker program. The program provides qualified senior citizens with significant discounts on certain lifesaving prescription medications.

Adoption (SB 180) -- Allows adoptive parents to obtain a Record of Foreign Birth for their adopted child when federal law does not require readoption in the state of residence.

School buses (SB 311) -- Requires a motorist to stop, regardless of the location, when a school bus is loading or unloading. The stop arm must be extended and the special lights activated.

Traffic control devices (SB 21) -- Prohibits the installation or unauthorized operation of a traffic control signal pre-emption device. This device changes a traffic control signal to a green light or extends the duration of a green light.



The following bills were introduced:

Stillbirth birth certificates (SB 1649) -- Requires the state registrar to prescribe and distribute a form for a certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth. In addition, it requires anyone who files a fetal death certificate to also prepare a certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth.


[to top of second column in this article]

Business notices (SB 1133) -- Requires state agencies to create and maintain information on the Internet outlining in plain language any proposed changes or new rules impacting small businesses in Illinois.

Political contributions (SB 1089) -- Prohibits candidates or political committees from accepting anything of value from a licensee of a riverboat casino or horse racing track or an applicant for such a license.

Lottery tickets (SB 1088) -- Bans individuals under 21 from purchasing lottery tickets.

FOID cards (SB 1343) -- Allows an applicant for a Firearm Owner's Identification Card to avoid the photo requirement if there is sufficient justification provided that such photograph or digital photograph would violate the applicant's religious convictions. Also provides a system for state police to process this type of application.

I-FLY fund (SB 1349) -- Creates the I-FLY Fund and provides that the money in the fund would be earmarked for recruitment and retention of air carriers, feasibility studies and capital improvements at airports located outside of Cook County.

Garbage collection (SB 1354) -- Provides that township governing boards may, by a resolution the majority of their members approve, contract for the composting or recycling of garbage, or for the collection of garbage or refuse.


Emergency workers (SB 1534) -- Provides for compensation for individuals who are injured, diseased or who have died because they voluntarily received a smallpox vaccination if they are either designated as a "first responder" or a member of a response team assigned to an emergency resulting from a terrorist attack in which weapons of mass destruction are used.

Uninsured motorists (SB 1581) -- Provides that a vehicle may be seized or forfeited if the driver operates the vehicle without a license and without insurance and causes death or personal injury to another person.

Auto insurance (SB 1444) -- Prohibits insurance companies from increasing the rates for automobile insurance based upon an insured's accident if there is no claim filed or if the claim is paid by or on behalf of a party to the accident other than the insured.

Child abuse prevention (SB 893) -- Eliminates the statute of limitations for the prosecution of sex offenses committed against a child under 18 years of age and for failure to report these instances.

Sex offender notification (SB 641) -- Requires managers of condominiums and apartment buildings to post a notice of how a unit owner or renter may obtain information about people who are registered as sex offenders.

Dangerous animals (SB 530) -- Increases the penalty for illegally possessing a dangerous animal that is part of the feline (cat) genus.

[News release]

HCP seeks special volunteer

[FEB. 25, 2003]  It's a tall order, but the Healthy Communities Partnership is looking for a very special volunteer.

The "job description," announced at the HCP's Report to the Communities on Thursday, is for a coordinator to work with the task forces and the many volunteers who make up the six-year-old Healthy Communities Partnership.

This volunteer will also serve as a liaison between HCP and various health and social service agencies and government bodies, provide leadership and act as a "community cheerleader" for the partnership, sit on a governing body, and also serve as co-chair of the Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce Healthcare Committee.

Also, the volunteer coordinator will coordinate local meetings and participate in regional and state meetings of the Illinois Rural Health Association.

The special person needs excellent organizational and communication skills, well-developed leadership skills, ability to bring out the enthusiasm in others, and a strong desire to serve the community. Hours are flexible, from 10 to 24 per month.


The coordinator will have an office and clerical support at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital, and expenses will be covered.

The benefits offered to the volunteer will be "the gratitude of a grateful community," according to Woody Hester, CEO of Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital, who made the announcement.

If you fit this role, or know someone else who does, forward names and suggestions to HCP in care of Jenni Humphres, ALHM, 732-2161, Ext. 427, or e-mail her at humphres.jennifer@mhsil.com.

In the semiannual Report to the Community, Hester pointed out that in its first six years, HCP has won many awards, including recognition from the Illinois Rural Health Association, the Illinois Department on Aging, the Illinois Drug Education Alliance, the Illinois Association of Area Agencies on Aging and the National Rural Health Association.

Many of the awards were for the work of the Rural Health Van, which takes health services to people all over Logan County.

Special recognition was given to Dayle Eldredge, who served as coordinator of HCP until early this year and who put the fledgling organization on its feet.

"I feel like a proud mother who is now seeing my infant approach adolescence," Eldredge said. "I am now enjoying being a volunteer for the organization."


[to top of second column in this article]

Lloyd Evans, administrator of the Logan County Health Department, said he saw the future of HCP as "alive and well." He said the task forces are growing, and the organization is forming a council on funding and governance.

He spoke of the good work the volunteers in the organization have done. "It takes money to run HCP, but given the choice between money and dedicated people, I'll take the people," he said.

Kristi Lessen gave the update for the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Task Force. She said the ATOD is hoping to establish a chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving in the area. An information meeting about MADD will be March 7 at 7:30 p.m. at Coffee with Einstein. A strategic planning meeting for ATOD is set for March 17 at the ALMH conference room from 4 to 7 p.m., she said, and she would like to see representatives from more community groups attend.

Amy Pruitt-Sidener of Springfield, the adult services coordinator for Sojourn, spoke for the Domestic Abuse and Violence Task Force, and introduced the new court advocate for Lincoln, Kelli Knoblau. Knoblau is replacing former advocate Darryl Sisk.

The Healthy Families Task Force will continue to support the Baby Think It Over program, and the Senior Issues Task Force is looking at two upcoming projects: weekend transportation and meals for seniors, and working with the police department on the Senior Safe program.

The keynote address on the ephedra issue was given by Kevin Riggins, father of 16-year-old athlete Sean, who died after taking supplements containing ephedra, and Logan County Coroner Chuck Fricke.

[Joan Crabb]

[Click here for previous LDN article on the semiannual report from the Healthy Communities Partnership.]

Return to current Top Stories page

Back to top


News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries

Community | Perspectives | Law & Courts | Leisure Time | Spiritual Life | Health & Fitness | Calendar

Letters to the Editor