The McDermed Dispatch for August 20th

New Laws

Summer is the primary time for the Governor to take action on the bills that are sent to him by the General Assembly. Below are just a few of the bills that have been signed in to law over the past few weeks:  

SB 2270- authorizes law enforcement to temporarily take custody of a dog or cat if the animal is exposed to extreme temperature conditions for an extended time. The new law will apply to animals trapped in hot motor vehicles and also to those forced to stay outdoors in conditions of extreme cold.  

HB 4745- amends Illinois’ procurement law so that it no longer applies to contracts for services, information technology purchases, commodities, and equipment to support the delivery of timely newborn screening services provided by IDPH. A 2007 state law added Krabbe’s Disease to the newborn screening panel, but by 2017 it had still not been implemented. 5 Illinois children died of the disease in the interim. IDPH testified before a House committee that the nearly two-year procurement process for new equipment was partly to blame for the delay. Another new law, SB 456, adds Spinal Muscular Dystrophy to the newborn screening panel by 2020.  

HB 4243- prohibits the use of state funds to pay for silence or inaction related to an allegation or investigation of sexual harassment against a member of the General Assembly. This includes the district office allowances given to members to use largely at their discretion. The legislation was prompted by news reports from last year that revealed the existence of a federal fund financed by U.S. taxpayers that was used by Congressmen for payments to persons making allegations of harassment against members of Congress and staff.  

HB 4278- gives all state-run veterans homes no more than 24 hours to notify residents and their emergency contacts if two or more residents of the facility are diagnosed with an infectious disease during a 30-day period. This was another piece of legislation passed this spring as part of the state’s response to the tragic outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease at a veterans’ home in Quincy. The new state budget includes $53 million for planning and design work toward a complete rebuild of the Quincy facility’s current infrastructure. The State has already spent $6.4 million on a water purification system within the facility to prevent another occurrence of the water-borne disease.  

HB 4855- requires FOID card renewal applications to be approved or denied within 60 days. If the application was submitted prior to expiration, the individual’s FOID card will remain valid while ISP processes the application unless the person becomes subject to revocation. It also aims to curb gun violence by clearing up the state statute that ambiguously deals with mental health reporting by hospital workers.  

HB 4846- toughens the penalties for texting while driving beginning July 1, 2019. Drivers caught will be issued a moving violation that will go on their driving record. Anyone convicted of three moving violations in a 12-month period may have their license suspended. Fines for texting while driving will be $75 for a first time, $100 for a second, $125 for a third and $150 for a fourth or more.  

SB 2439- Career Preservation and Student Loan Repayment Act, which will prevent Illinoisans who fall behind on student loan payments from having their professional licenses denied, revoked, or suspended for that reason.   All of the House bills signed by the Governor can be found here.  

Upcoming Events

The 3rd Senior Driving Seminar of the year is tomorrow, August 21st, at 10am at the Frankfort Police Department. The seminars are taught by an instructor from the Secretary of State’s Office and include an extensive overview of the contents of the Rules of the Road booklet and sample test. Call my office to RSVP.

This Thursday, August 23rd, I am offering a self-defense class for women and girls (12 and up) teaching avoidance tactics, self-defense misconceptions, offensive techniques, and defensive escapes. The class will be at 6pm at the Frankfort Square Park District, 7540 W Braemar Lane.

This Saturday, August 25th, I am hosting a shred truck in the parking lot of my office at 11032 W Lincoln Hwy in Frankfort. The shred truck will run from 9-11am. Only two bags per car will be accepted for shredding.   If you have any questions about these events, please contact my office at (815) 277-2079.