People caught texting while driving will face stiffer penalties under a new Illinois law.
Starting July 1, 2019 drivers caught texting 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.
Under the current law that took effect in 2014 a first offense for texting while driving is a non-moving violation and doesn’t affect a person’s driving record.
* Common sense…
A new Illinois law championed by State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) will prevent the penalization of police officers for seeking mental health services.
Cullerton’s House Bill 5231, which removes possession of a FOID card as a condition for employment for officers, was signed into law Friday. This clears the way for officers to remain employed if they have been a patient in a mental health facility but not been determined to pose a danger to themselves or others
“This new law will allow officers who have endured traumatic experiences to seek medical assistance without fear of losing their jobs,” Cullerton said.
Although the law protects officers that seek mental health services, it does not prohibit an employer from determining an officer’s fitness to serve.
“Our law enforcement officers keep us safe. In doing so, they experience disturbing situations that may warrant their use of mental health services. This makes them human,” Cullerton said. “We are all safer if we make sure these officers have access to the proper mental health services to deal with the traumas they routinely face.”
House Bill 5231 is an initiative of the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council, which said requiring a FOID card for law enforcement officers – many of whom are active service members and veterans of the armed forces – creates an unnecessary obstacle to receiving mental health treatment.
According to a study by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 22 veterans commit suicide every day in the U.S.
Cullerton, Chairman of the Illinois Senate Veterans Affairs Committee who served as an infantryman in the Army from 1990 to 1993, continues to work toward eliminating the veteran suicide epidemic in Illinois.
“Our nation’s heroes have fought to protect our freedoms and democracy. This commonsense measure will look out for them,” Cullerton said. “It’s our duty to remove all obstacles to mental health treatment for our military veterans and public safety personnel.”
House Bill 5231 passed the House and Senate with bipartisan support and will take effect immediately.
* Also common sense…
Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a bill into law making it illegal for Illinois lawmakers to silence sexual harassment victims with taxpayer money.
Even though the bill’s sponsor isn’t aware of it happening, given Springfield’s secretive nature, he said it’s best to get ahead of it.
State Rep. David McSweeney’s bill is straightforward. It says no public funds “shall be paid to any person in exchange for his or her silence or inaction related to an allegation or investigation of sexual harassment.”
With news coming out that members of Congress had done this, McSweeney said laws need to be in place to protect Illinoisans’ taxpayer money from any type of similar behavior.
* Other stuff…
* Rauner signs bill preventing professional license suspension for student loan delinquencies: Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law the Career Preservation and Student Loan Repayment Act on Aug. 14. The new law will prevent Illinoisans who fall behind on student loan payments from having their professional licenses denied, revoked or suspended for that reason. State Sen. Scott Bennett, D-Champaign, introduced the measure, which passed 54-0 in the Illinois Senate and 104-3 in the House of Representatives.
* Governor signs bill requiring public notice of tollway contracts: A new law requires the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority to publicize information about contracts over $100,000 at least two business days before tollway board meetings.
* Illinois Governor Approves State Breast Density Reporting Bill Into Law: Illinois becomes 36th state overall, and fifth in 2018, to enact legislation requiring providers to inform patients about their fibroglandular breast density
* You can tell state lawmakers what you think will solve SIU’s ‘turmoil.’ Here’s how.