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
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
In committee action the following bills
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
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
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
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
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.
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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
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.
animals (SB 530) -- Increases the penalty for illegally possessing a
dangerous animal that is part of the feline (cat) genus.
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
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
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
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
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
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."
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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
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.
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.
here for previous LDN article on the semiannual report from the
Healthy Communities Partnership.]