* Interesting that one of the proponents of the regulatory bill is a lobbyist for the developer…
Futuristic technology could give Illinoisans their own personal robots that follow wherever they go, and carry supplies like groceries.
In anticipation of a summer rollout of this technology, the Illinois General Assembly is moving a bill to regulate it. […]
His bill is primarily in response to a particular product, the personal robot gita, in development at Massachusetts-based Piaggio Fast Forward, an affiliate of the Italian company that makes Vespa scooters. […]
Aaron Winters, an Illinois lobbyist who represents Piaggio, said it’s expected to be available by this summer, which is “why it is important for the legislation to pass.”
But the product’s potential raises concerns about pedestrian safety and home rule powers, among other things.
* I didn’t realize this…
An Illinois toddler died nine years ago after suffering third degree burns from bathwater. The Illinois House last week approved legislation to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
The measure would require all new water heaters be equipped with a safety valve.
It was introduced in honor of Mikayla King. Her mother, Jennifer King, recounted the event to lawmakers last month. […]
During the trial, King said, experts testified that 2,000 people suffer severe scald injuries each year, despite the fact that safety technology has been available for more than 30 years.
But the safety feature was only offered on their high-end water heater models.
* I didn’t realize this number was so high…
During a routine 2008 traffic stop in Chicago, LaSheria’s life was permanently changed. After being stopped, she learned that her driver’s license was suspended for parking tickets received in 1999, and that the debt had grown to more than $2,500. After struggling for weeks to support her family without transportation to and from work, she filed bankruptcy, hoping to get her license back. But the bankruptcy plan did not clear her debt, which ballooned to nearly $8,000. Today, LaSheria is still making monthly payments to the City of Chicago because of parking violations made nearly 20 years ago.
Sadly, this is not an isolated case. There is a hidden crisis in Illinois: Each year, nearly 50,000 licenses are suspended because drivers cannot pay tickets, fines or fees, and for other reasons that have nothing to do with driving. These suspensions are not aimed at making our roads safer. Instead, they force people to choose between unemployment and the risk of going to jail for driving on a suspended license.
Eighty percent of Illinoisans drive to work, and many employers require a driver’s license. When a person’s license is suspended, they are at risk of losing their job — one study of drivers in New Jersey showed that happened more than 40 percent of the time. License suspensions also punish families, because people need to drive to get their kids to school, buy food and access health care. When a person must choose between meeting their family’s needs and paying a fine to the government, they prioritize their family. […]
This year, Illinois legislators have a chance to rectify this injustice. The License to Work Act, sponsored by state Rep. Carol Ammons of Urbana and state Sen. Omar Aquino of Chicago, would eliminate driver’s license suspensions as a penalty for unpaid tickets and most other non-moving violations. It is crucial that our representatives in Springfield pass this legislation as soon as possible.
* Other bills…
* Proposed law would require Illinois children to start school by age 5, threatening kindergarten redshirting: “This needs to be a parental choice, and the state should not be mandating it,” said Alexandra Eidenberg, founder of the Chicago women’s and children’s rights lobbying organization We Will, and the mother of four children, including 5-year-old twins who attend Romona Elementary School in Wilmette. Eidenberg said members of her group are “extremely” opposed to the bill, which, if passed, would go into effect in the 2020-2021 school year.
* Chicago Public Schools Withholding Millions From Charter Schools In Spending Standoff: At Wednesday’s Chicago Board of Education meeting, members will be asked to approve a resolution that will set out how the school district wants to fund its charter schools. CPS Chief Operating Officer Arnie Rivera said once charter schools agree to have state law changed to align with the resolution, “we will cut the rest of their check.”
* Is Illinois’ Gas Tax Running On Empty?: If Illinois had had a variable rate in place over the last ten years, the per-gallon charge would have increased by 8 cents without any action by the legislature. That’s according to Carl Davis, research director at ITEP.
* Lawmakers Approve Jet Fuel Tax Crackdown: After years of noncompliance, Illinois lawmakers are moving forward with legislation that would require local taxes on jet fuel go to aviation-related projects, not into local coffers.
* Wage-theft bill sparks debate about repeat offenders: The floor debate over House Bill 1653, which passed the chamber by a party-line vote of 69-43 earlier this month, put on display what it means for a party to be in a superminority, conservative lawmakers said.
* Car Sharing Lobbyists Battle Car Renting Lobbyists, Driving State Lawmakers Crazy
* Families Of Children With PANDAS Disorder Still Struggling To Get Insurance Coverage
* 90% of U.S. school boards are picked by voters, but not in Chicago. Here’s why that could change.