Civic News & Info
Governor Quinn Takes Bill Action **Thursday, July 31, 2014** PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Dave Blanchette   
Friday, 01 August 2014 08:37
CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today took action on the following bills:

 

Bill No.: HB 3831

An Act Concerning: State Government

Exempts certain contract fees under the State Comptroller Act.

Action: Signed

Effective: Immediately

 

Bill No.: SB 1381

An Act Concerning: Transportation

Amends certain traffic control indications in the Illinois Vehicle Code.

Action: Signed

Effective: Immediately

 

Bill No.: SB 3427

An Act Concerning: Local Government

Provides a competitive bidding process for fire protection districts.

Action: Signed

Effective: Jan. 1, 2015

 

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Governor Quinn Signs Legislation and Takes Bill Action PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Katie Hickey and Dave Blanchette   
Monday, 28 July 2014 07:56

Governor Quinn Signs Legislation to Expand the Holocaust and Genocide Commission; Commission Works to Increase Public Awareness Through Educational Programs, Events and Outreach

SKOKIE – Governor Pat Quinn today signed legislation to expand the Illinois Holocaust and Genocide Commission, increasing its ability to reach even more people across Illinois with its important message. The commission works with Holocaust survivors to increase public awareness of the Holocaust and other genocides through educational programs, events and outreach efforts. The Governor signed the legislation at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Skokie as part of his agenda to ensure Illinois embraces all people.

“It is important that we never forget the millions of lives lost not only in the Holocaust, but all terrible acts of genocide throughout history,” Governor Quinn said. “The Illinois Holocaust and Genocide Commission works to ensure tolerance among our future generations. I urge all residents to strive to overcome hate and indifference through learning and acceptance.”

Senate Bill 3129, sponsored by State Senator Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) and State Representative Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago), increases the number of commission members from 18 to 22, and ensures that one of them is a student. Under Governor Quinn’s leadership, the Holocaust and Genocide Commission was created in July 2010. Members consist of Holocaust and other genocide survivors, liberators and other volunteers to share their knowledge and experiences in order to increase public awareness. The commission also holds events to memorialize the Holocaust and other genocides. The new law takes effect immediately.

“This law allows the Illinois Holocaust and Genocide Commission to continue educating Illinois residents about crimes against humanity,” Senator Silverstein said. “We must never forget this tragedy. We must work together to prevent genocide from ever happening.”

“Today, Governor Quinn signs into law a bill that will protect the future of the Illinois Holocaust and Genocide Commission,” Representative Feigenholtz said. “This legislation enables the Commission to keep promoting awareness and understanding of one of the darkest eras of human history.”

Illinois was the first state in the nation to mandate public elementary schools and high schools include a study of Holocaust history in its curriculum.

In 2011, Governor Quinn visited Israel to further develop ties between Illinois and Israel, and signed legislation requiring anyone convicted of a hate crime to enroll in an educational program discouraging hate crimes. In April 2013, the Governor proclaimed April 24 as Jan Karski Day to honor a hero of the Polish Underground during World War II who was lauded for risking his life to expose the horrors of the Holocaust to the world. Karski was later a professor at Georgetown University where a young Pat Quinn was among his students at the Georgetown School of Foreign Service.

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Governor Quinn Takes Bill Action **Friday, July 25, 2014**

CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today took action on the following bills:

 

Bill No.: HB 4505

An Act Concerning: Regulation

Creates a new license through the Illinois Department of Agriculture for individuals who store, filter, process or distribute used cooking grease for reuse or recycling.

Action: Signed

Effective: Jan. 1, 2015

 

Bill No.: HB 4522

An Act Concerning: Education

Reduces number of contiguous school districts needed to jointly operate a science and mathematics school through a college or university.

Action: Signed

Effective: Immediately

 

Bill No.: HB 5692

An Act Concerning: Transportation

Creates an advisory committee to assist in the design and implementation of a program for the electronic verification of motor vehicle liability insurance.

Action: Signed

Effective: Immediately

 

Bill No.: SB 0336

An Act Concerning: Revenue

Creates the Community Stabilization Assessment Freeze Pilot Program.

Action: Signed

Effective: Jan. 1, 2015

 

Bill No.: SB 2791

An Act Concerning: Transportation

Clarifies the powers of a designated railroad police force.

Action: Signed

Effective: Immediately

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Governor Quinn Signs Legislation to Ensure Quality Distance Learning and Online Education Programs; Also Signs Legislation to Streamline School Financial Processes and Extend Task Force on Civic Education

CHAMPAIGN – Governor Pat Quinn today visited the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to sign a law to help boost the quality of distance and online learning programs across Illinois and other states. The Governor also signed laws to streamline higher education financial processes and to extend the Task Force on Civic Education. Today's actions are part of Governor Quinn's agenda to ensure that everyone in Illinois has the opportunity for a high quality education.

“Attending college online is an important educational option more people around the world are pursuing,” Governor Quinn said. ”Illinois’ higher education institutions have found a willing and world-wide audience for these types of course offerings. This new law makes sure the educational programming offered online out of Illinois maintains the same high quality standards in order to help ensure all students receive a high quality education, regardless of where they live.”

Senate Bill 3441, sponsored by State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Crest Hill) and State Representative Robert Pritchard (R-Sycamore), authorizes the Illinois Board of Higher Education to make agreements with other states to guarantee distance learning programs maintain common standards and that completed course work is recognized by institutions in each state. The agreements will also establish a mechanism for handling complaints and refunds across states and institutions. The new law is effective January 1, 2015.

"Governor Quinn's action fulfills the legislature's goal to make high-quality, affordable online higher education available to Illinois residents,” Senator McGuire said. “This new law shows what cooperation between Democrats and Republicans and among Midwestern states can accomplish—lower costs for governments, and expanded opportunities for our 21st century workforce."

“Distance learning allows students to take courses that may not be offered where they are attending college or at times that are more convenient for them,” Representative Pritchard said. “This legislation offers consumer protections that the courses will be recognized by institutions of higher education, and assures refunds will be made if the student takes the appropriate steps to cancel the course.”

The new law will allow Illinois to join other members of the Midwestern Higher Education Compact to make distance education courses more accessible to students across state lines while also making it easier for states to regulate and institutions to participate in interstate distance education. The Midwestern Compact will interact with other regional compacts across the country.  Any public college, university or independent institution can participate and seek accreditation, a designation that will indicate the institution has the “seal of approval” from the participating states for its distance learning programs.

Last year through the University of Illinois, 323,857 students from around the world enrolled in online offerings through the Massive Open Online Courses including nontraditional students, professionals looking to build specific competencies and many other lifelong learners.

By providing a broad range of affordable, flexible options, online learning has great potential to help many people across Illinois meet their education and careers goals. With nearly one in ten community college students taking a class online each year, online learning is becoming an increasingly popular option.

Governor Quinn today also signed two bills sponsored by State Representative Naomi Jakobsson (D-Urbana). Senate Bill 230, co-sponsored by State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), increases efficiency by saving schools time and money by removing an extra step in the public university vouchering process. Senate Bill 2728, co-sponsored by State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park), allows the Task Force on Civic Education to complete its mission by extending the life of the task force and setting a new date for its final report. Both laws are effective immediately.

Governor Quinn has made support for higher education in Illinois a top priority. At his direction, distance learning is just one of the many strategies Illinois has pursued as part of a comprehensive plan to make postsecondary attainment more accessible to all students. Illinois is engaged in a number of innovative approaches to bolstering college completion including early college credit opportunities.

In Fiscal Year 2012, almost 8,900 dual credit courses were offered through Illinois community colleges, providing opportunities for approximately 88,000 high school students during the past year. The dual credit system has seen tremendous growth with a nearly 125 percent increase in dual credit students served annually since 2004.

As a result of these and other initiatives, Illinois’ college completion rate, which is above the national average, has grown to 43 percent under Governor Quinn’s administration.

In addition to supporting expanded access to early college credit and career certificates, Governor Quinn has been a steadfast supporter of the Monetary Award Program (MAP) which enables more than 140,000 low income students to pursue higher education each year. He has proposed doubling the funds available for the plan over the next five years to provide 21,000 more students each year with an opportunity to attend college that would not otherwise be available.

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Governor Quinn Welcomes New Class of Illinois State Police Troopers PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Katie Hickey   
Monday, 28 July 2014 07:55

37 Police Academy Graduates Assigned Across the State

SPRINGFIELD – Governor Pat Quinn today was joined by Illinois State Police Director Hiram Grau to commission 37 new State Troopers during a graduation ceremony at the State Police Academy in Springfield.  The new troopers will begin patrolling throughout the state starting Monday, July 28. Today’s event is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to improve public safety across Illinois.

“The Illinois State Police have a long and distinguished history of service to the state,” Governor Quinn said.  “Our newest graduates have been rigorously trained to uphold that tradition. I welcome this class of cadets into the State Police, and thank each of them for their dedication to making our state a safer place for all.”

“These men and women dedicated themselves to successfully completing 25 weeks of rigorous training to become Illinois State Police officers,” Director Grau said. “We welcome them to our ranks and salute their commitment to serving the citizens of Illinois.”

Today’s graduation of Cadet Class 124 marks the second cadet class this year. It is the third class to graduate under a new law that allows veterans who have been awarded an Afghan or Iraqi campaign medal by the U.S. military to apply without having earned a college degree. Fourteen of the new troopers are veterans, and of these, nine were hired under the new law.

The troopers completed a rigorous 25-week regimen of physical and classroom instruction which included training in Terrorism Awareness, Domestic Violence, Critical Incident Response, Firearms Training, First Responder Certification, Illinois Vehicle Code, Criminal Law, Motor Carrier Safety, Juvenile Law and more.

The new officers have been assigned to the following areas of the state and will immediately begin their patrol duties:

·         District 1 Sterling, 2 troopers

·         District 2 Elgin, 3 troopers

·         Chicago District, 4 troopers

·         District 5 Joliet, 1 trooper

·         District 6 Pontiac, 2 troopers

·         District 7 East Moline, 2 troopers

·         District 8 Metamora, 4 troopers

·         District 11 Collinsville, 6 troopers

·         District 14 Macomb, 1 trooper

·         District 16 Pecatonica, 4 troopers

·         District 17 LaSalle, 4 troopers

·         District 21 Kankakee, 4 troopers.

The Illinois State Police Academy is one of the most respected and recognized training facilities in the country.  Dozens of law enforcement agencies also use Academy curriculum to meet standards set forth by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board.

Those interested in joining the ranks of the Illinois State Police are encouraged to visit the Illinois State Police Merit Board website at www.illinoistrooper.com for application information.

 

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Governor Quinn Takes Bill Action **Thursday, July 24, 2014** PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Dave Blanchette   
Friday, 25 July 2014 15:10

CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today took action on the following bill:

 

Bill No.: HB 5342

An Act Concerning: Regulation

Requires the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to develop rules and guidelines for credit union and bank examinations.

Action: Signed

Effective: Immediately

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Gov. Quinn Signs Bills Into Law PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Katie Hickey and Dave Blanchette   
Tuesday, 22 July 2014 11:01

Governor Quinn Signs $1.1 Billion Capital Construction Bill

Shovel Ready Projects Will Create Thousands of Jobs and Drive Economic Growth

CHICAGO - Governor Pat Quinn today signed a new state capital construction bill that invests $1.1 billion in road and bridge projects to improve transportation and create jobs and boost economic development across Illinois, including the Quad Cities area. The bill, which follows Governor Quinn’s successful six-year, $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program, will deliver more than 210 projects and create an estimated 14,300 jobs. The legislation is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to create jobs and drive Illinois’ economy forward.

“With this investment in our state’s infrastructure, we are immediately putting people to work, making our world-class transportation system even stronger and generating economic development far into the future,” Governor Quinn said. “I applaud the General Assembly for passing the legislation, which allows us to begin making these much-needed improvements now in the Quad Cities area.”

“After the historic winter we experienced, many of our roads and bridges are in desperate need of attention,” Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Erica Borggren said. “This construction program is the shot in the arm that our transportation system and our economy needs.”

The Governor today signed House Bill 3794, the capital construction bill, at the Circle Interchange in Chicago. The Governor also signed Senate Bill 3224, that provides the General Obligation bond authorization needed to fund the $1.1 billion worth of transportation infrastructure improvements.

Construction on many of the “shovel ready” projects has already begun this summer.

Investments in the Quad Cities area include:

·         $31 million to resurface 30 miles of Interstate 80 in Henry County.

·         $16.8 million to resurface Interstate 74/Illinois 110/Interstate 80 in Henry County.

·         $4 million to resurface 14.3 miles of Illinois 40 from Milledgeville to Coleta in Carroll and Whiteside Counties.

In addition to funding $1 billion in projects in the Illinois Department of Transportation’s (IDOT) FY2015-2020 Multi-Year Program, the new capital construction program includes $100 million for municipal and township governments to improve infrastructure at the local level. The funding, distributed and overseen by IDOT, will help communities throughout Illinois combat potholes and make other critical infrastructure repairs.

Governor Quinn’s Employ Illinois, an expansion of his efforts to train diverse workers for jobs in the construction industry and provide enhanced financial incentives to businesses that hire them, will be used in many of the projects funded by the $1.1 billion construction bill. Employ Illinois links job seekers with training and hiring initiatives offered by IDOT and the Illinois Tollway, and increases the incentive paid to contractors from $10 to $15 an hour for each program graduate they put to work.

For a complete list of projects in the capital program, visit http://www.dot.il.gov/opp/planning.html.

In 2009, Governor Quinn spearheaded Illinois Jobs Now!, the state’s first capital construction program in a decade. The $31 billion capital construction program has been the largest in Illinois history, supporting an estimated 439,000 construction jobs. The program included $14.5 billion for highway transportation through 2015. To date, through the program dedicated for transportation needs, IDOT has awarded more than 6,500 projects worth $15.92 billion, creating and supporting nearly 200,000 jobs. These have included improvements to 8,188 miles of roadway and 1,402 bridges across the state.

Today’s bill signing, combined with Illinois Jobs Now! and the Illinois Tollway’s $12 billion capital program, Move Illinois: The Illinois Tollway Driving the Future, means the state of Illinois is carrying out one of the largest capital construction efforts in the nation.

Attached is a list of statewide transportation infrastructure investment projects.

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Governor Quinn Takes Bill Action on Monday, July 21, 2014

CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today took action on the following bills:

 

Bill No.: HB 4284

An Act Concerning: Education

Modifies requirements for University of Illinois student trustee candidates.

Action: Signed

Effective: Immediately

 

Bill No.: SB 1098

An Act Concerning: Business

Modifies provisions pertaining to corporate dissolution.

Action: Signed

Effective: Jan. 1, 2015

 

Bill No.: SB 3130

An Act Concerning: Transportation

Establishes licensing requirements for certain unique vehicles.

Action: Signed

Effective: Jan. 1, 2015

 

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Governor Quinn Signs Legislation to Strengthen Ethics Provisions in County Government

Law Helps Increase Accountability for Public Officials in Illinois’ Collar Counties

CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today signed legislation to strengthen ethics provisions in certain Illinois county governments. The new law helps these counties establish ethical guidelines and simplifies the removal process for individuals who violate those guidelines. Today’s action is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to making Illinois government more accountable, transparent and effective.

“Public officials should always be accountable to the public, regardless of how they attain their positions,” Governor Quinn said. “This new law is part of our ongoing effort to make sure that all officials at any level of government maintain the public trust.”

Senate Bill 3552, sponsored by State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) and State Representative Sam Yingling (D-Grayslake), allows county boards to adopt a code of conduct regarding the accountability, fiscal responsibility, procurement authority, transparency and ethical conduct of county appointees. It also sets forth a mechanism to remove county appointees who violate that code of conduct. The law applies to counties with a population greater than 300,000 but less than 2,000,000, which currently includes DuPage, Lake, Will, Kane and McHenry counties. The legislation was drafted because county boards do not always have the authority to remove appointees due to misconduct. The new law is effective Jan. 1, 2015.

“Everyone who serves the public should be held to the highest ethical standards,” Senator Morrison said. “It shouldn’t matter if you are elected, appointed or hired. If you violate the public trust, there should be a way to remove you from your position.”

“I'm proud of this bi-partisan effort to improve accountability for local government,” Representative Yingling said. “It shows that by working together, we can improve ethical standards and transparency for taxpayers.”

Since taking office, Governor Quinn has made ethics reform a top priority. In his first official act, Governor Quinn signed an Executive Order establishing the Illinois Reform Commission. Later that year he signed ground-breaking campaign finance reform legislation into law that imposed Illinois’ first-ever contribution limits on candidates, political parties and political action committees.

In August of 2009, the Governor launched the Illinois Transparency and Accountability Portal to provide people in Illinois access to state government spending information. The website makes the state's expenditures and employee pay data available through a single, searchable portal: Accountability.Illinois.gov.

Governor Quinn also launched a searchable clearinghouse of information from state agencies that helps inform residents about the operation of state government and encourage the creative use of state information, including the development of applications for mobile devices that can be built around the data.

An Executive Order signed by the Governor in 2010 encourages state agencies and local governments across Illinois to increase the amount of raw data they share with each other, businesses, academic institutions and the general public. The order makes data available to the public and further empowers the people of Illinois to make a difference.

Governor Quinn has also signed legislation to strengthen the Illinois Open Meetings Act by ensuring that a copy of the meeting notice and agenda is available to the public for the entire 48 hours preceding the meeting.

 

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