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Governor Quinn Signs Legislation to Increase Consumer Protections in Illinois PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Katelyn Tye   
Tuesday, 23 August 2011 10:03

New Laws Aid Seniors, Protect Against Release of Personal Information  

CHICAGO – August 22, 2011. As part of his ongoing commitment to consumer protection, Governor Pat Quinn today signed four pieces of legislation to strengthen safeguards for Illinois consumers. The new laws cover a range of consumer issues including: increasing penalties for financial exploitation of the elderly, protections for consumers in the event of car dealership bankruptcy and creating additional levels of security for personal and identity information.  

“It is critical that we continue to improve consumer protections for the people of Illinois,” Governor Quinn said. “This legislation will help protect our elders, those making large investments and all Illinoisans from identity theft by safeguarding their sensitive personal data.”  

House Bill 1689, sponsored by Rep. Emily McAsey (D-Lockport) and Sen. Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights), increases penalties for the financial exploitation of an elderly person or a person with a disability. According to the AARP, financial exploitation of the elderly is the most commonly reported crime to Illinois’ Elder Abuse and Neglect Program, constituting nearly 60 percent of reports. Nationally, elder financial abuse costs victims more than $2.6 billion every year. To both penalize and deter those that prey on the most vulnerable, the legislation lowers the dollar threshold required for indictment on a Class 1 (more than $50,000, down from $100,000) and Class 2 (between $5,000 and $50,000, down from $100,000) felony if the crime is committed against an elder or person with a disability.  

House Bill 3025, sponsored by Rep. Kelly Burke (D-Oak Lawn) and Sen. Edward D. Maloney (D-Chicago), provides additional safeguards and penalties surrounding the protection of personal information, including prevention and following a breach. The new law requires the disposal of materials containing personal information in a manner that renders the information unreadable, unusable and undecipherable. In the event of a breach, House Bill 3025 also increases the notification provided to affected individuals. Before the law, entities were required to notify the individual that a breach had occurred but did not detail what the notification should include. The new law requires that notification include:  

  •  Â·          Toll-free numbers and addresses for consumer reporting agencies;  
  •  Â·          The toll-free number, address and website for the Federal Trade Commission; and  
  •  Â·          A statement that the individual can obtain information from these sources about fraud alerts and security freezes.  

Any person, entity or third-party is subject to a civil penalty of $100 (capped at $50,000) per individual whose personal information was not disposed of properly, and the Attorney General may bring a civil suit to impose a penalty.  

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Governor Quinn today also signed House Bill 880, which creates the Dealer Recovery Trust Fund to protect consumers in the event of a car dealership’s bankruptcy. Some dealerships entering bankruptcy have refused to honor agreements with customers to pay the lien on their traded-in vehicle, forcing consumers to pay for their new car, as well as the outstanding balance on their trade-in. Sponsored by Rep. Kelly Burke (D-Oak Lawn) and Sen. Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge), House Bill 880 adds a new annual “dealer recovery fund” fee, which requires any new or used car dealership selling 25 or more vehicles annually to pay a $500 fee and $50 for each business location. The fund is used to help the victims of dealership closings and is administered by an independent administrator selected by the Attorney General and the Secretary of State.      

Additionally, House Bill 1518, sponsored by Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago) and Sen. John Mulroe (D-Chicago), was signed by Governor Quinn today. The bill increases the income threshold for eligible seniors under the Senior Citizen Real Estate Tax Deferral Act from $50,000 to $55,000.  

House Bill 1518 is effective immediately. House Bills 1689, 3025 and 880 take effect Jan. 1.   

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Battle of Butter Sculpture Pays Tribute to Tradition at Iowa State Fair PDF Print E-mail
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Written by readMedia   
Tuesday, 23 August 2011 09:52

DES MOINES, IA (08/22/2011)(readMedia)-- Three teams competed in the Battle of the Butter on Saturday at the 2011 Iowa State Fair.

First place went to Team Butter Squad with their Camping with the Cow sculpture created by teammates Melody Black, Dakota Black and Sawyer Black, all of Wellman, and Ryan Blakley of Libertyville.

Team Bead Happy, Live Piecefully was awarded second place for their sculpture, Barn Quilt. Teammates were Jill Prater of Moravia and Robin Caley of Unionville, Mo.

Third place went to team Iowa State Fair Board Members and Spouses by teammates CW and Kay Thomas of Guthrie Center and Alan and Deb Brown of Hampton.

The Battle of the Butter is part of the festivities celebrating 100 years of the Butter Cow. Teams of two to four sculptors compete daily for a chance to have their sculpture on display in the John Deere Agriculture Building, sponsored by Alliant Energy, alongside the 2011 Butter Cow. A $100 prize is awarded to the winning team each day. Judging is based on originality, creativity and use of butter.

The 2011 Iowa State Fair "Nothing Compares" ends today. The 2012 Iowa State Fair is set August 9-19. For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or visitiowastatefair.org.

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Governor Quinn Takes Bill Action **Friday, August 19, 2011** PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Katelyn Tye   
Monday, 22 August 2011 08:26

CHICAGO – August 19, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today took action on the following bills:  

   

Bill No.: HB 298  

An Act Concerning: State Government  

Allows the courts discretion to seal non-conviction records in felony arrests and charges.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Immediately  

   

Bill No.: HB 466  

An Act Concerning: Finance  

Exempts universities' deferred payment plans from collection by the state for 8 years, and prohibits the sale of state debt on federal monies for child support, unemployment insurance, and the road fund. Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Immediately  

   

Bill No.: HB 1149  

An Act Concerning: Public Health  

Allows those adopting internationally to use an IH-3 visa as a record of foreign birth instead of just an IR-3 form.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Immediately  

   

Bill No.: HB 1320  

An Act Concerning: Local Government  

Permits the City of West Chicago to annex two parcels of land adjacent to the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and bring them under the control of municipal ordinances.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Immediately  

   

Bill No.: HB 1398  

An Act Concerning: Safety  

Requires all hotels to place smoke detectors within 15 feet of rooms devoted for sleeping.             

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Jan. 1  

   

Bill No.: HB 1426  

An Act Concerning: Aging  

Requires the Department of Aging to investigate the cost of maintaining an inventory of services available to older adults.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Immediately  

   

Bill No.: HB 1476  

An Act Concerning: Professional Regulation  

Requires more disclosure and notifications of complaints and reports filed with the Medical Disciplinary Board to complainants and subjects.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Jan. 1  

   

Bill No.: HB 1702  

An Act Concerning: Transportation  

Allows a licensed physician's assistant and a licensed advanced practice nurse to administer blood tests for alcohol and drug testing in DUI situations.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Immediately  

   

Bill No.: HB 1926  

An Act Concerning: Revenue  

Determines that a Housing Authority whose title is owned by a partnership or LLC is still eligible for the tax exemption if the authority would otherwise still be eligible.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Immediately  

   

Bill No.: HB 2259  

An Act Concerning: Government  

Exempts Public Aid appeals committee correspondence from the Open Meetings Act and the Freedom of Information Act.    

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Immediately  

   

Bill No.: HB 3346  

An Act Concerning: Finance  

Creates the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm Systems Fund to support law enforcement, airborne, and terrorism operations.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Immediately  

   

Bill No.: HB 3417  

An Act Concerning: Criminal Law  

Changes the funds where court fees get deposited for probation offenses.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Jan. 1  

   

Bill No.: SB 270  

An Act Concerning: State Government  

Separates the Division of the Lottery from the Department of Revenue.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Immediately, except provisions related to the separation take place October 15, 2011.   

   

Bill No.: SB 665  

An Act Concerning: Regulation  

Allows businesses with a craft distiller license to manufacture and store up to 15,000 gallons of spirits per year  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Immediately  

   

Bill No.: SB 670  

An Act Concerning: Regulation  

Requires that if a pharmacist substitutes any generic prescription in place of a brand-name anti-epileptic drug, then the pharmacist must provide written notice to the patient before the prescription is dispensed.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Jan. 1  

   

Bill No.: SB 1043  

An Act Concerning: Criminal Law  

Requires Law enforcement to provide notice to victims or families of victims when re-opening a closed case for investigation except when the State’s Attorney determines doing so could interfere with the investigation.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Jan. 1  

   

Bill No.: SB 1073  

An Act Concerning: Civil Law  

Grants Will County quick-take powers for year in an area of an intersection in order to make road improvements.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Immediately  

   

Bill No.: SB 1213  

An Act Concerning: Safety  

Prohibits the sale and distribution of mercury-containing rings, seals, and sensors and clarifies the requirements faced by scrap metal recyclers in the removal of mercury switches from end-of-life vehicles.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: July 1, 2012  

   

Bill No.: SB 1253  

An Act Concerning: Local Government  

Expands the list of offices a county board member may hold to include community college district board member, if the county has fewer than 40,000 inhabitants.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Immediately  

   

Bill No.: SB 1794  

An Act Concerning: Education  

Amends the School Code and removes the categorizations for special education teachers and inserts new cross-categorizations for special education teachers.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Immediately  

   

Bill No.: SB 1843  

An Act Concerning: Regulation  

Modifies definition for "chiropractic physician" specifically allowing them to provide advice regarding the use of non-prescription products and to administer oxygen.  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Immediately  

   

Bill No.: SB 2063  

An Act Concerning: Local Government  

Creates the Prepaid Wireless 9-1-1 Surcharge Act to streamline the way 9-1-1 surcharges are collected from prepaid wireless companies  

Action: Signed  

Effective Date: Jan. 1, except sections pertaining to the Emergency Telephone System Act and the Public Utilities Act, which take effect immediately.  

   

 

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Bettendorf Cook Wins State Fair Cooking with Mrs. Clark's Contest PDF Print E-mail
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Written by readMedia   
Monday, 22 August 2011 08:26

DES MOINES, IA (08/19/2011)(readMedia)-- Norita Solt of Bettendorf won first place and a $50 cash award in the Dinner with Mrs. Clark's competition judged Saturday at the 2011 Iowa State Fair.

Christine Montalvo of Windsor Heights took second place, and Scott Andreas of Ankeny earned third place.

Cooks were challenged to use at least ½ cup of Mrs. Clark's juice in a main dish.

Entries were judged on taste, creative use of juice and appearance.

"Nothing Compares" to the 2011 Iowa State Fair, celebrating 100 years of the Butter Cow August 11-21. The Fairgrounds are located at East 30th and East University Avenue, just 10 minutes east of downtown Des Moines, and are open 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. each day of the Fair. Exhibit hours may vary. For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or visit iowastatefair.org.

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Governor Quinn Signs Legislation to Boost Public Safety in Illinois PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Andrew Mason   
Monday, 22 August 2011 08:25

Laws to Protect Tenants, Help Fight Drunk Driving and Sex Crimes

SPRINGFIELD – August 21, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today continued his push to increase public safety in Illinois by signing 12 new laws that will strengthen drunken driving enforcement, protect renters from theft, and help prosecutors get justice for victims of sex crimes.

“Protecting the people of Illinois is a top priority,” Governor Quinn said. “These new laws crack down on crime and make our state a safer place, and my Administration will continue to implement policies that improve public safety for all people.”

House Bill 1241, sponsored by Rep. Lisa Hernandez (D-Cicero) and Sen. Iris Martinez (D-Chicago), will help prosecutors more aggressively pursue driving under the influence charges by requiring law enforcement officers to request a chemical test of an alleged intoxicated driver when the officer has probable cause to believe that alcohol was a factor in an accident that caused personal injury or death. Currently police procedure accepts, but does not require, chemical tests that reliably measure blood and urine samples for intoxication levels.

Governor Quinn also approved House Bill 147, sponsored by Rep. Lisa Dugan (D-Bradley) and Sen. Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights), which cracks down on bus drivers who are driving under the influence of alcohol and better protects students. Passed unanimously by the legislature, the new law imposes a three-year suspension of a bus driver’s license if the driver tests positive for alcohol or drugs or refuses a blood-alcohol test.

Senate Bill 1035, sponsored by Sen. Hutchinson and Rep. Emily McAsey (D-Romeoville), was also signed to help ensure child-predators are more quickly brought to justice. SB 1035 expands the Illinois Attorney General and States’ Attorneys authority to issue subpoenas to electronic communication companies such as internet service providers for records pertaining to criminal investigations of child sexual exploitation. This law will help ensure vital electronic records of criminal behavior are not lost due to court system delays. Governor Quinn also signed House Bill 277, a related measure sponsored by Rep. Bill Cunningham (D-Beverly) and Sen. John Mulroe (D-Chicago). HB 277 law protects victims of sex-based crimes and their families by making those who are required to be or are registered as sex offenders guilty of aggravated stalking when the offender violates orders of protection or otherwise terrorizes their previous victims or their families.

To protect local peace officers from unfounded complaints, Governor Quinn signed House Bill 1985, sponsored by Rep. John D’Amico (D-Chicago) and Rep. Bill Haine (D-Alton). The new law will require that any sworn complaint against a peace officer that is found to contain knowingly false information to be forwarded to the State’s Attorney for a determination of  prosecution. This measure extends existing protections for state police officers to local authorities and helps them clear their records of false complaints, which are frequently made by gang members.

"This bill adds a layer of protection for the officers who serve and protect us every day," Rep. D’Amico said.

Governor Quinn also approved House Bill 1233 to protect renters from theft due to key mismanagement. Sponsored by Rep. Rita Mayfield (D-Waukegan) and Sen. Emil Jones III (D-Chicago), the new law requires landlords in Cook County to change the locks of each unit before a new tenant moves in and provide a signed disclosure form to the renter that confirms the change. If the lock change is not made,  landlords will be civilly liable for theft and other damages incurred by tenants that are found to be caused by not changing the lock.

In addition, Governor Quinn signed the following bills to improve public safety, including:

    • House Bill 143, sponsored by former Rep. Dan Reitz (D-Steeleville) and Sen. Bill Hanie (D-Alton), allows an active member of a nationally recognized military re-enactment group to possess a vintage rifle or modern reproduction if they meet certain requirements.
    • House Bill 233 (Rebecca’s Law), sponsored by Minority Leader Rep. Tom Cross (R-Oswego) and Sen. Linda Holmes (D-Chicago), increases the penalty for aggravated battery that causes great bodily harm, where the battery was intentional and involved torture. The new law will reclassify the crime as a Class 1 felony up from a Class 3 felony.
    • House Bill 1195, sponsored by Rep. Monique Davis (D-Chicago) and Sen. Tim Bivins (R-Dixon) ensures all police animals are trained through programs certified by the Illinois State Police and requires records to be kept of all sniffs performed by police dogs during traffic stops.
    • House Bill 1398, sponsored by Rep. Don Moffitt (R-Galesburg) and Sen. Darin LaHood (R-Peoria), ensures that all hotels in Illinois install smoke detectors within 15 feet of each room used for sleeping.
    • Senate Bill 1321, sponsored by Sen. Ed Maloney (D-Chicago) and Rep. Will Davis (D-Chicago) ensures that firefighters and other personnel remain safe when responding to an emergency by requiring suppliers to add information about the presence of potentially dangerous medical oxygen tanks in residences to the Illinois Premise Alert Program.
    • Senate Bill 1914, sponsored by Sen. John Sullivan (D-Rushville) and former Rep. Dan Reitz (D-Steeleville), allows property owners outside the City of Chicago to guard against potential trespassers, unauthorized hunters and poachers by using purple paint or purple tags on trees and fence posts to indicate that property access is forbidden.
    • Senate Bill 2293, sponsored by Sen. Michael Frerichs (D-Champaign) and Rep. Naomi Jakobsson (D-Urbana), creates an income tax form checkoff to benefit the Crimestoppers program, which is administered by the Illinois Criminal Justice Authority to offer rewards for crime tips. The law also creates a second checkoff to support the After-School Rescue program, which is administered by the State Board of Education to promote extracurricular activities that prevent youth crime.

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