Also Signs New Law to Restrict Display of E-Cigarettes Across Illinois

CHICAGO - Governor Pat Quinn today signed legislation to prohibit smoking on the campuses of all state-supported colleges and universities. The smoking ban takes effect July 1, 2015 and applies to both indoor and outdoor spaces on campuses. The Governor also signed a law to restrict the display of e-cigarettes. Today's action is part of Governor Quinn's agenda to protect and improve the health and well-being of all people in every community across Illinois.

"Illinois' college students shouldn't be subject to unwanted cigarette smoke on the campuses they call home," Governor Quinn said. "We want all schools to be healthy, clean and productive places of learning for Illinois' bright young minds. This new law will improve the health of our students and encourage healthier lifestyles after college graduation."

Senate Bill 2202, sponsored by State Senator Terry Link (D-Waukegan) and State Representative Ann Williams (D-Chicago), creates the Smoke Free Campus Act that prohibits all smoking on state-supported college and university campuses in Illinois beginning July 1, 2015.

"Smoke free policies have been proven to result in lower smoking prevalence rates.  That's one of the many reasons the American Lung Association is proud to have worked alongside state legislators on the Smoke Free Campus Act," American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest CEO Lew Bartfield said. "In addition, the new law will provide a healthy learning environment that promotes health and wellness for students, faculty, staff and visitors at all public colleges and universities in Illinois. The law not only minimizes toxic secondhand smoke exposure but also improves the campus environment by reducing smoking related litter. We applaud the Illinois State Legislature and Governor Pat Quinn for passing and signing the Illinois Smoke Free Campus Act."

"Smoking remains the leading preventable cause of death," Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck said. "Smoke-free campuses make it more difficult for students and staff to smoke, thereby decreasing the number of people who smoke, and reducing the number of people who start."

Exceptions to the law are made for smoking inside privately owned vehicles traveling through campus and certain activities allowed under the Federal American Indian Religious Freedom Act.  A companion bill signed today by Governor Quinn, House Bill 3961, allows smoking on campus inside parked, non-state-owned vehicles. The Smoke Free Campus Act requires each institution to establish a community task force by December 31, 2014 to coordinate the implementation of the act.

Currently in Illinois, the following universities and colleges are smoke-free: Aurora University, Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing, City Colleges of Chicago (7 colleges), College of DuPage, Danville Area Community College, Greenville College, Hannibal LaGrange University,  McHenry County College, Olivet Nazarene University, Rush University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,  University of Illinois at Chicago, Waubonsee Community College and  Wheaton College.

Additionally, there are current efforts to establish smoke-free/tobacco-free campuses at Southern Illinois University and Illinois State University. The other state-supported higher education institutions that would be mandated to become smoke-free include :  Chicago State University, Eastern Illinois University, Governors State University, Western Illinois University, Northern Illinois University, Northeastern Illinois University and any community college subject to the Public Community College Act. Other states with colleges and universities that have 100 percent smoke-free policies include : California, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.

"A college education can put people ahead in life, but smoking can do just the opposite," Senator Link said. "This new law will clear the air on campuses statewide and help produce healthier graduates."

"This is a continuation of the efforts of Smoke Free Illinois to protect Illinoisans from the very significant danger of secondhand smoke," Representative Williams said. "This initiative will extend important public health protections to those studying, working and living at our public college and university campuses."

Governor Quinn today also signed House Bill 5868, sponsored by State Representative Kathleen Willis (D-Northlake) and State Senator John G. Mulroe (D-Chicago), which requires that alternative nicotine products such as e-cigarettes be displayed under the same restrictions as cigarettes. The products must be sold from behind a counter, in an age-restricted area or in a sealed case, and may not be dispensed from a self-service display. A previously passed law prohibits the sale of alternative nicotine items to those under 18 years of age. House Bill 5868 is effective Jan. 1, 2015.

"While many residents may use e-cigarettes to kick bad habits, these products have no place within arm's reach along the aisles of our pharmacies and grocery stores," Governor Quinn said. "This new law will ensure e-cigarettes are safely displayed behind the counter, where they belong."

Governor Quinn has long supported public health improvement measures in Illinois. Shortly after taking office in 2009 the Governor signed Senate Bill 2757, which strengthens enforcement of the Smoke Free Illinois Act by providing additional guidelines for writing citations.

In 2012, Governor Quinn signed into law a $1 per pack increase in the price of cigarettes, providing $350 million in revenue and dollar-for-dollar federal matching funds of $350 million for Medicaid. The American Cancer Society estimated the increase would prevent some 77,000 young people from smoking and prompt an additional 60,000 adults to quit. In 2013, Governor Quinn signed a law that bans the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors.

###

Prohibit ATM Fees on Child Support Payments

Law Will Ensure Children Receive the Support and Care They Deserve

CHICAGO - Governor Pat Quinn today signed legislation to prohibit ATM fees on EPPICards, reloadable debit cards which are methods of receiving child support payments. The new law will ensure that children receive the support and care they deserve. Today's action is part of Governor Quinn's agenda to protect consumers and support Illinois' families.

"Child support is intended to make sure that our state's youngest residents have access to the food, clothing and housing they need," Governor Quinn said. "Those funds should go towards care for the child, not bank fees. Protecting withdrawals on these cards means that parents can access the funds they are entitled to without burdensome fees."

Senate Bill 640 allows consumers to access these child support funds through an ATM without incurring additional fees. The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) currently offers EPPICards to individuals receiving child support payments who do not use banking services, allowing individuals to access child support funds electronically. EPPICards help consumers avoid check cashing fees and provides protection from theft or fraud. The law is effective July 1, 2015.

"This measure protects families living paycheck to paycheck," State Senator Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge), sponsor of the legislation, said. "It keeps single parents who receive child support from paying unjust fees and enables them to get the money they rightfully deserve."

Governor Quinn has been a leader in protecting Illinois' consumers and making sure residents have access to their money without burdensome fees.  This month Governor Quinn signed legislation protecting users of employee payroll cards by limiting the fees that can be imposed on the cards, including a prohibition on fees for overdrafts, transaction history requests and purchases.

###

Governor Quinn Signs Law to Coordinate Assistance to Illinois' Servicemembers

New Partnership Will Help Guide Support for Illinois' Servicemembers and their Families

CHICAGO - Governor Pat Quinn today signed legislation that will help coordinate the donations and grants made by the public toward Illinois' veterans. Today's action is part of Governor Quinn's agenda to support Illinois' military families.

"When it comes to supporting our veterans, Illinois is second to none," Governor Quinn said. "This law is just another way a grateful state can say 'thank you' to those who served. Now we can help ensure our servicemembers receive the support they deserve for all of the sacrifices they have made to protect our freedoms."

"We are grateful for Governor Quinn's leadership and support of our Illinois veterans and their families," Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs Acting Director Rodrigo Garcia said. "The bill he's signed into law today is a strong initiative to continue helping us to help those who've served.  Senate Bill 3222 creates the Illinois Joining Forces Foundation and marks the next stage in our efforts to help so many deserving people across Illinois. We are also grateful to the sponsors and supporters of this important piece of legislation."

Senate Bill 3222, sponsored by State Senator Mike Hastings (D-Matteson), a West Point graduate and Iraq veteran, and State Representative Wayne Rosenthal (R-Litchfield), a veteran and a retired Illinois Air National Guard officer, represents the next step forward for Illinois Joining Forces. The law allows Illinois Joining Forces to be housed in a non-profit organization, the Illinois Joining Forces Foundation. The Foundation will help coordinate the "sea of goodwill" being offered to veterans and their families from numerous public and private sources. The new partnership allows the Illinois Joining Forces program to solicit, accept and disperse grants and donations on behalf of the state's veterans. This central coordination will ensure the most effective acceptance and distribution of assistance for veterans. The law is effective immediately.

"The Illinois Joining Forces Foundation is an outstanding way to show our veterans that we will honor and support them even after their services are inactive," Senator Hastings said. "When these men and women return to their homes, they should not have to go door to door to receive the services they may need and the foundation will provide an excellent one-stop-shop for them."

"With so many organizations available to assist our military service members, veterans and families, it can often be overwhelming to know where to turn for assistance," Representative Rosenthal said. "That is where the Illinois Joining Forces excels. By creating a one-stop shop to help our military find the assistance they need, the Foundation makes the process less daunting. Establishing the Illinois Joining Forces Foundation as a not-for-profit will allow for additional resources to be allocated towards their mission, services and programs."

Illinois Joining Forces has been recognized by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as an "innovative example" of expanding collaboration and information sharing at the local level. In Feb. 2014, IDVA received the Abraham Lincoln Pillars of Excellence Award from the U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs for its creation of Illinois joining forces. For more information on Illinois Joining Forces, visit www.illinoisjoiningforces.org

Governor Quinn has long been a leader for supporting Illinois' military families. He initiated the Illinois Veterans Grant and Illinois National Guard Grant, which cover tuition at all Illinois public universities and community colleges for eligible veterans and serving National Guard members. He also required colleges to post all benefits available to Illinois veterans and assign a staff member to serve as the point of contact for student-veterans who need information and assistance. In 2012, Governor Quinn and the Departments of Veterans and Military Affairs spearheaded the statewide public-private partnership, Illinois Joining Forces, which has been a model for other states to follow. Today's bill signing creates a foundation that will help further this organization's mission of assisting veterans.

###

Governor Quinn Signs Legislation to Keep Dangerous Substances Away from Illinois' Schools

Additional Laws Help Combat Drug Use and Possession by Illinois' Children

CHICAGO - Governor Pat Quinn today signed three new laws to fight the use and manufacture of illegal drugs in Illinois. The laws toughen penalties for meth manufacture near schools, add certain synthetic drugs to the Controlled Substances Act and prohibit anyone under 18 from purchasing or possessing any product containing the herbal drug Kratom. Today's action is part of Governor Quinn's agenda to keep schools safe and protect the health of the people of Illinois.

"Dangerous substances have no place near our schools or children," Governor Quinn said. "These laws will help ensure that drugs stay away from these special places of learning. To those who choose to violate the law and manufacture the drug, today we are sending a strong message - these harmful drugs do not belong anywhere near our children."

House Bill 4093, sponsored by State Representative Daniel Beiser (D-Alton) and State Senator William Haine (D-Alton), increases the penalty for methamphetamine, or meth, manufacture if it occurs within 1,000 feet of any school property.

The offense is now classified as aggravated participation in methamphetamine manufacture, a Class X felony with tougher penalties than the Class 1 felony of participation in methamphetamine manufacture. The possible sentences for breaking the law are now a minimum of six years in prison, with up to 60 years possible, and fines up to $400,000 or the total street value of the drug. The new law is effective Jan. 1, 2015.

"I introduced House Bill 4093 after a very serious situation was brought to my attention by the South Roxana Police Department involving methamphetamine manufacture near a daycare," Representative Beiser said. "I was shocked to discover our current law had a loophole in its language regarding proximity to what constituted school property. House Bill 4093 closes this dangerous loophole. I want to thank the law enforcement community for bringing this to my attention so that we can work together to protect schoolchildren and prosecute those reckless criminals who would otherwise put them in harm's way."

"The evils of meth are all around us. It destroys individuals, families and neighborhoods," Senator Haine said. "Meth is a highly addictive and disruptive substance. There is no redeeming social value in the manufacture of meth."

Governor Quinn today also signed Senate Bill 3275, sponsored by State Senator Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale) and Representative Dennis Reboletti (R-Addison), that adds the synthetic drugs 25-I, 25-C and 25-B to the listed of controlled substances which are illegal to manufacture, deliver or possess with the intent to distribute. These hallucinogenic substances have been available for purchase online and are linked to a number of serious or fatal reactions, particularly among high school students. The new law takes effect Jan. 1, 2015.

The Governor also signed House Bill 5526, sponsored by Representative Reboletti and State Senator Michael Connelly (R-Naperville), which makes it illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to purchase or possess any product containing the herbal drug Kratom and also makes it illegal for anyone to sell or provide Kratom to a minor. This stimulant made from leaves indigenous to southeast Asia can mimic the effects of heroin or frequently abused pain killers in higher doses. The new law takes effect Jan. 1, 2015.

Since taking office, Governor Quinn has worked toward a drug free Illinois. He signed the Emergency Medical Services Access law in 2012, which provides immunity to a person who, in good faith, seeks or obtains emergency medical assistance for someone experiencing an overdose. As part of the Drug Overdose Prevention Program, a life-saving law took effect in 2010 to allow non-medical persons to dispense a drug overdose antidote in an emergency to prevent a drug overdose from becoming fatal.

Additionally, in 2009, the Governor approved law enforcement tracking of online or over-the-counter drug purchases to reduce access to pseudoephedrine and ephedrine, ingredients involved in the manufacture of methamphetamine commonly found in over-the-counter allergy and cold medicines. The Methamphetamine Precursor Tracking Act made a pilot program to track purchase of methamphetamine ingredients permanent and makes it tougher for meth manufacturers to obtain their ingredients in Illinois.

The pilot program helped Illinois State Police Methamphetamine Response Teams locate and seize 155 meth labs and make 231 meth arrests. The federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) reported that in calendar year 2012, Illinois had 801 clandestine methamphetamine lab incidents, the fifth highest in the country.

###

New Laws Will Help Improve Emergency Response Times and Quality Care to People Across Every Corner of Illinois

SPRINGFIELD - Governor Pat Quinn today visited the Illinois State Fair on Agriculture Day to sign legislation that will help improve emergency response services in rural areas throughout the state. The new laws help ensure the highest quality of care can be provided in ambulances and on the scene of accidents across Illinois. Today's action is part of Governor Quinn's agenda to protect and improve the health and well-being of the people of Illinois.

"These common sense laws take advantage of the advanced emergency medical training that many emergency workers in rural areas already have," Governor Quinn said. "When every second counts and you've got a lot of territory to cover, it's comforting to know that responders in any area of the state can use all of their training in emergencies."

"By signing these bills, Governor Quinn has made Illinois a safer state, and even more lives will be saved," State Representative Don Moffitt (R-Gilson), the House sponsor of both rural emergency response bills, said. "I commend Governor Quinn for making this upgrade in the level of emergency medical care available for the citizens of Illinois."

House Bill 4523, sponsored by Representative Moffitt and State Senator John M. Sullivan (D-Rushville), allows ambulance providers in rural areas to be upgraded to the highest EMT license of any person staffing that ambulance, including registered nurses. This will allow more kinds of life-saving procedures to be performed when an ambulance responds to an emergency.

Under existing law, the ambulance itself is restricted to a set level of emergency care regardless of who is staffing it. Rural Emergency Medical Service (EMS) providers have struggled to properly staff emergency vehicles, and this legislation allows for the addition of a licensed, highly-qualified medical professional to help fill the void. The law is effective Jan. 1, 2015.

"In some rural areas of the state an ambulance ride can last up to an hour," Senator Sullivan said. "It only makes sense to allow nurses certified at a specific level to provide the highest level of care during the ambulance ride."

Governor Quinn also signed House Bill 5828, sponsored by Representative Moffitt and State Senator Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet).  Many rural communities do not have an ambulance service, but most are part of a fire protection district. Many volunteer firefighters are also trained as paramedics. This new law will allow those firefighters who are trained as paramedics to use those skills in their roles as firefighters. This was not allowed under the previous law. HB 5828, which is effective immediately, offers rural areas in Illinois increased access to medical response and care.

"This is part of my continued effort to help rural emergency service responders increase their capabilities to serve the population in some of Illinois' most underserved medical areas," Senator Rose said. "This capability will better enable our EMS crews to take care of a wider variety of emergencies."

In addition, Governor Quinn signed Senate Bill 3398, sponsored by State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) and State Representative Elgie Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago), which exempts certain specially-designated vehicles used solely for farming purposes from federal trucking regulations. The Governor signed the bill on Agriculture Day at the Illinois State Fair as part of his commitment to supporting Illinois' agriculture businesses. The law is effective immediately.

Governor Quinn is committed to protecting and improving the health and well-being of the people of Illinois. Earlier this year, Governor Quinn invested $4 million to help 193 fire departments across the state purchase equipment and other tools necessary to provide effective responses to emergencies. Over the past few years, the Governor signed multiple pieces of legislation to modify a state financing program to assist local fire departments in purchasing fire trucks and ambulances as well as making station upgrades.

In 2010, Governor Quinn signed legislation to ensure the highest quality of emergency medical transportation for people across Illinois who are critically ill. The law establishes minimum standards for ambulance services that provide advanced critical care transportation.

In 2013, Governor Quinn signed legislation to make emergency response systems in Illinois more efficient and effective by developing an Illinois 9-1-1 systems directory to allow calls answered by one system to be easily forwarded to another 9-1-1 system when necessary.

###

New Law Removes Unnecessary Hurdles for Veterans Who Rely On the Use of Accessible Parking Spots

VILLA PARK - Governor Pat Quinn today signed legislation to ensure that veterans with disabilities can utilize accessible parking spaces across Illinois without facing unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles. The Governor was joined at today's bill signing by Congresswoman and former Assistant Director of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Tammy Duckworth (D-IL). Congresswoman Duckworth is a decorated Iraq War veteran who was awarded a Purple Heart for serious injuries sustained during combat. Today's action is part of Governor Quinn's agenda to honor and support the men and women who have served our nation.

"Our veterans with disabilities shouldn't have to deal with unnecessary barriers to keep their parking privileges each year," Governor Quinn said. "This law will help make daily life a little easier for those who have fought hard to protect our country. Illinois is the most veteran-friendly state in the nation and this new law will ensure we are doing everything we can for our brave men and women who have borne the battle."

"I am proud that Illinois is the first state to pass legislation that will make it easier for veterans with permanent disabilities to renew their accessible parking placard each year," U.S. Representative Duckworth said. "This bill is a great way to honor our returning veterans and all who have served."

"All of us in the veteran community are grateful for Governor Quinn's leadership in ensuring those who serve our country, and especially those whose service required great sacrifice, have all the support they need back here in Illinois," Acting Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs Director Rodrigo Garcia said.

Senate Bill 3255, sponsored by State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) and State Representative Stephanie Kifowit (D-Aurora), exempts veterans with a permanent disability from the annual recertification requirement to retain their handicapped parking designation. Once a doctor has determined a veteran to have a permanent disability, the new law allows veterans to renew their placard or special license plate without submitting a doctor's determination each year. The law is effective Jan. 1, 2015.

"It was a pleasure to work with my colleagues on behalf of our veterans who have given life and limb to pass Senate Bill 3255 and remove unnecessary roadblocks to the services they absolutely deserve," Senator Cullerton said.

"I am honored to have passed Senate Bill 3255 which helps our veterans by alleviating an unnecessary burden to receiving services and shows our respect for the sacrifices they have made for our country," Representative Kifowit said.

Governor Quinn has long been a leading advocate and supporter of Illinois veterans. His efforts include signing a law to create the Veterans Cash lottery ticket to be sold year round with 100 percent of proceeds supporting Illinois veterans. In 2011, Governor Quinn launched the Welcome Home Heroes program to support Illinois servicemembers seeking homeownership. Since that time more than 1,500 Illinois veterans, active military personnel, reservists and Illinois National Guard members have accessed more than $170 million to buy their homes.

The Governor also championed the Military Family Relief Fund, which has provided more than $15.4 million in support of 28,840 families of deployed servicemembers since its inception in 2003. Governor Quinn also signed a law to make employment and job training organizations eligible to receive grants through the Veterans Assistance Fund.

###

New Law Strengthens Task Force Devoted to Fighting Heroin

ROMEOVILLE - Governor Pat Quinn today signed legislation to fight heroin use in communities across Illinois. The new law will expand the scope of a special task force created last year to study heroin use in Illinois and make recommendations to increase awareness and prevention. Today's action is part of Governor Quinn's agenda to strengthen drug prevention efforts and save lives.

"Heroin is a deadly substance that destroys lives," Governor Quinn said. "The health and safety of all residents across the state must be a priority. This legislation will help ensure we have the tools to fight heroin use across Illinois."

House Bill 4542, sponsored by State Representative Natalie Manley (D-Joliet) and State Senator Thomas Cullerton (D-Villa Park), expands the age range to be studied by the Young Adult Heroin Use Task Force to students in grades six through 12. Governor Quinn signed legislation in August 2013 to create the Young Adult Heroin Use Task Force to address the growing problem of heroin use in Illinois high schools. The new law expands the study to younger students.

Ongoing research has found that heroin use not only affects high school students in Illinois, but also children as young as 11 years old. The task force is to investigate the youth heroin use epidemic and recommend further state action. The new law is effective immediately.

"This devastating drug is hurting younger and younger students," Senator Cullerton said. "We need to accurately understand the scope of the heroin problem as we work to fix it."

Since taking office, Governor Quinn has worked toward a drug free Illinois. He signed the Emergency Medical Services Access law in 2012, which provides immunity to a person who, in good faith, seeks or obtains emergency medical assistance for someone experiencing an overdose. As part of the Drug Overdose Prevention Program, a life saving law took effect in 2010 to allow non-medical persons to dispense a drug overdose antidote in an emergency to prevent a drug overdose from becoming fatal.

Additionally, the Governor implemented improvements in the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) with the primary goals of improving clinical care and reducing the unnecessary use of controlled substances prescribed by physicians. This past year the PMP's effectiveness was enhanced by joining the national network of PMPs that allows clinicians in Illinois to check their potential patients' use of controlled substances within Illinois and 15 other states. Since the inception of the PMP in 2008, there has been a 66 percent reduction in the number of individuals who "doctor shop" in order to obtain controlled prescription medicines.

 

###

Signs New Law Proposed by Illinois Third-Graders Devoted to Fighting Puppy Mills; Issues Order to Create Illinois Pet Advocacy Task Force

CHICAGO - Governor Pat Quinn today took action to protect animals across Illinois by fighting puppy mills. The Governor today signed a new law that was proposed by three dedicated third-graders from Arlington Heights and increases penalties for violations of the Animal Welfare Act. Today's action, taken at a Pets Are Worth Saving (PAWS) event in Chicago, is part of Governor Quinn's agenda to ensure that all animals are treated humanely in Illinois.

"Our pets are a part of the family, and we must always treat them with care and respect," Governor Quinn said. "Three students from Arlington Heights created this new law because they wanted to make a difference and protect animals across Illinois."

House Bill 4410, sponsored by State Representative David Harris (R-Arlington Heights) and State Senator Pamela Althoff (R-McHenry), increases fines on anyone that violates the state's Animal Welfare Act, which makes it a crime to mistreat animals. A first violation is more than doubled from $200 to $500; a second violation is doubled from $500 to $1,000; and a third violation will result in a $2,500 fine in addition to a probationary status for the violator. The law is effective immediately.

This bipartisan measure was conceived by Claire Hackmann, Brooke Martin and Maddie O'Dell, third grade students from Patton Elementary School in Arlington Heights. Claire, Brooke and Maddie read a book about two students that rescued a puppy from a puppy mill, which led them to research puppy mills and contact Representative Harris about ways to limit these operations. Their lobbying efforts included a presentation at an all-school assembly to members of Patton Elementary School faculty, gathering signatures from students and concerned citizens and even testifying before the House Agriculture and Conservation Committee.

"It is great to see the Animal Welfare Act updated by House Bill 4410 for the protection of all animals, and it is wonderful that the initiative for the bill was started by three third graders from Patton School," Representative Harris said. "I am proud to have been able to help them, and I applaud their dedication in pushing the bill."

"This legislation was an initiative of a class at Patton School in Arlington Heights to ensure that pet stores, dog dealers and those that board cats and dogs properly comply with the Animal Welfare Act," Senator Althoff said. "Most dealers and kennel operators are professionals who take their responsibilities seriously, but unfortunately, there are always exceptions and under current law, the penalties being enforced for those who violate the Animal Welfare Act were too minimal to deter irresponsible breeders and dealers from mistreating or abusing animals in their care. Increasing the administrative fines for those who violate the Act will offer greater protection for animal welfare and ensure that violators are held accountable."

"We applaud the state of Illinois and Governor Quinn for working to deter the abuse and neglect of animals by increasing fines for violators of the Animal Welfare Act," PAWS Chicago Founder Paula Fasseas said. "Animals are defenseless living beings and we must be their voice and protectors."

In addition to signing House Bill 4410, the Governor today also issued an executive order creating the Illinois Pet Advocacy Task Force. The Task Force will study issues of animal cruelty, neglect and abuse and make recommendations that will ensure proper treatment and care of Illinois pets. The Task Force will issue a report to the Governor and the General Assembly within 12 months

The legislation was signed at PAWS Chicago, Chicago's largest no-kill shelter. PAWS is focused on solutions to end the killing of homeless pets. Since the organization's founding in 1997, the number of homeless pets killed in the city has been reduced by nearly 70 percent, from 42,561 to fewer than 14,000 last year. The animal rescue spares animals from this fate and provides them with a forever home. For more information about PAWS Chicago and pet adoption, visit http://www.pawschicago.org.

Governor Quinn is the proud owner of a rescue dog named Rosie, a Yorkshire Terrier mix whom he adopted from PAWS. The Governor has long been a pet lover and advocate for the humane treatment of animals. Last year he signed the "Puppy Lemon Law" to give buyers protection for pet purchases and to help reduce the possibility of emotional trauma that comes from losing a pet. He also signed new laws to help ensure that all dogs in Illinois are treated humanely when tethered outside and to provide humane options for stray farm animals such as adoption or placement in a sanctuary.

###

Law Helps Protect Illinois Students from Bullying Outside the Classroom

CHICAGO - Governor Pat Quinn today signed a law to protect students across Illinois by banning cyberbullying outside the classroom. The new law, which builds on previous legislation banning cyberbullying in schools, will help ensure that Illinois' students aren't bullied through electronic means whether they are at school or home. Today's action is part of Governor Quinn's agenda to ensure the safety of students in every community across Illinois.

"Bullying has no place in the state of Illinois," Governor Quinn said. "Every student should feel safe from harassment, whether that's in the school hallways or when using the internet or a cell phone. In our technology-driven age, bullying can happen anywhere. This new law will help put an end to it."

House Bill 4207, sponsored by State Representative Laura Fine (D-Glenview) and State Senator Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago), prohibits bullying of students through technology outside the classroom or school. The law applies to devices not owned or used by a school, and requires a school's anti-bullying policy to include an investigation for any act of bullying that causes a disruption to a school's operations or educational process. This legislation expands on previous legislation signed by Governor Quinn which banned cyberbullying of students within schools. The new law takes effect Jan. 1, 2015.

"Children need to understand that whether they bully a classmate in school or outside of school using digital devices, their actions have consequences," Representative Fine said. "Students should not be able to get away with intimidating fellow classmates outside of school. I will continue to work with school officials, parents and students to create safe learning environments for our children."

"A safe, supportive environment is vital for students' learning and growth," Senator Silverstein said. "This law gives educators more tools to discipline and prevent out-of-school cyber bullying when it hurts others' ability to learn at school."

Governor Quinn has taken a strong stance against bullying in all forms. He recently signed House Bill 5707, which requires all public schools to develop and implement an anti-bullying policy. He signed a law that expands the definition of bullying, requires gang prevention training in Illinois schools and created the School Bullying Prevention Task Force to examine the root causes of bullying. The Governor also signed a law that allows the Chicago Board of Education to develop a program to establish common bonds between youth of different backgrounds and ethnicities.

###

Expands Epinephrine Law to Protect Illinois' Students in Life-Threatening Emergencies

CHICAGO - Governor Pat Quinn today was joined by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to sign legislation that will help protect Illinois' students in life-threatening situations. The new law allows specially-trained school personnel to administer potentially life-saving epinephrine injections to help against serious allergic reactions. Today's action is part of Governor Quinn's agenda to protect and improve the health and well-being of people across Illinois.

"We want our schools in Illinois to be high-quality places of learning and that includes making sure our students are safe," Governor Quinn said. "In cases of severe allergic reactions, there is precious time to act and potentially save a life. This new law will provide more life-saving tools to protect all who attend, work in or visit Illinois' schools."

"Increasing access to life-saving allergy medication in schools is a simple yet critical safety measure to better protect our children's health and safety, particularly at a time when dangerous food allergies are on the rise," Attorney General Madigan said. "This law will allow trained school personnel to act quickly in the case of an unforeseen medical emergency."

House Bill 5892 was an initiative of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and was sponsored by State Representative Michelle Mussman (D-Schaumburg) and State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill). The legislation allows properly-trained school personnel to administer an epinephrine injection, commonly known as epi-pen, when they believe a student, employee or school visitor is having an anaphylactic reaction. Previously, only school nurses could administer these injections to students. The law sets curriculum requirements to train school personnel and allows students to carry and administer their own epinephrine injections as well as their asthma medication with parental consent. The law is effective Aug. 1, 2014.

"Protecting our children both at school and their associated activities is a top priority," Representative Michelle Mussman said. "This legislation provides our teachers, school nurses, volunteers and students with the tools and resources they need to provide for the safety of every child and adult in our school buildings."

"More and more children are being diagnosed with food allergies, with peanuts, eggs, milk, soy and wheat as the most common culprits," Senator Andy Manar said. "Ensuring timely access to this life-saving medication can mean the difference between life and death for a child."

Governor Quinn is committed to bringing life-saving measures into Illinois schools. In 2013, Governor Quinn convened a School Safety Summit that included more than 50 top experts from across the state to develop short- and long-term actions to further safeguard Illinois schools. In June he signed a law that requires CPR and automated external defibrillator (AED) training for students in all Illinois high schools.

Governor Quinn also signed more school safety legislation, making safety drills mandatory at private schools, increasing school safety improvement funds and allowing public school districts to make updated emergency and crisis plans available to first responders, teachers, and administrators through electronic devices such as smart phones, tablets and laptops.

###

Law Establishes a Statewide Advisory Referendum on Nov. 4 Ballot

BERWYN - Governor Pat Quinn today signed legislation that will give Illinois residents the opportunity to voice their opinion on whether millionaires should pay a little more to help ensure all students have access to a high-quality education. The legislation establishes a statewide advisory referendum on the November 4 ballot to ask voters if they favor a surcharge paid by the state's wealthiest individuals to provide much-needed funding for public education in classrooms across Illinois. Today's action is part of Governor Quinn's commitment to delivering stronger education in Illinois.

"Our democracy is strongest when more voters make their voices heard about important matters of public policy," Governor Quinn said. "Illinois voters will now be able to have their say when it comes to whether the state's most fortunate should pay a little more to put more resources in our classrooms. An investment in education is the best investment we can make for our economic future."

House Bill 3816, sponsored by Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) and State Senator Michael Noland (D-Elgin), creates a Nov. 4, 2014 advisory referendum to ask voters whether the Illinois Constitution should be amended to require that each school district receive additional revenue, based on their number of students, from an additional three percent tax on income greater than one million dollars. These resources would be directed towards classroom education. The legislation is effective immediately.

The Illinois Department of Revenue estimates that a three percent tax on income greater than $1 million would generate approximately $1 billion annually for elementary and secondary education. The Governor signed the legislation today at Irving Elementary School in Berwyn.

"This legislation will provide an important benchmark. Illinois is long overdue for tax fairness and a much needed boost for our school children," Speaker Madigan said.

Governor Quinn is committed to properly funding education in Illinois in order to give every child the opportunity for success. The Governor's 5-year budget blueprint includes an historic $6 billion increase in classroom spending over the next five years, doubling the investment in college scholarships for students in need and increasing access to higher education through dual enrollment and early college programs. Over the next five years, the Governor's plan would bring classroom funding to the highest levels in Illinois history.

###

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.

###

 

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

###

 

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.

###

Pages