Annually the ISBA, on behalf of its membership, monitors and formally comments through its Director of Legislative Affairs, James Covington, on hundreds of pending Illinois State Senate and House Bills. During each legislative session the Women and The Law (W&L) Standing Committee and other ISBA committees and sections counsels assist the ISBA's Legislative Affairs Department in that process. The 2005-2006 94th Illinois General Assembly session got underway on January 8, 2005, and your W&L Committee has been busy reviewing and commenting on proposed new and amended legislation which is of special interest to women and families and consistent with our mission.
Those of you interested in all things legislation can remain current through use of the Illinois General Assembly Web site at www.ilga.gov. This site provides access not only to Senate and House Bills and Resolutions, but to Illinois Compiled Statutes, the Illinois Constitution, Senate and House Membership information, Committee Schedules and more. This site is maintained for the Illinois General Assembly by the Legislative Information System, 705 Stratton Building, Springfield, Illinois 62706, 217-782-3944 217-524-6059 (Fax) 217-782-2050 (TDD). They can also be helpful if you encounter issues in accessing information from the site.
Those of you interested in tracking specific bills or any legislation impacting your particular area of practice or concern can do so through the "My Legislation" service offered free to citizens through the General Assembly. To use that service, merely go to the General Assembly Web site listed above and look for the "My Legislation" key. Once in the "My Legislation" section follow the instructions given. To customize your particular inquiry to a particular Act or Code section of interest use the "Build ILCS Query" function. You can then easily and speedily track legislation proposed to impact you or your clients and can comment directly on same to a bill's sponsor or your State representative.
The W&L Committee has gathered in one place in the "My Legislation" section all bills which have come under review by this Committee. To view same you can go to the "Reports" section of the "My Legislation" section. You can sign in using the especially established e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org, and the password "power." Many thanks to ISBA Staffer, Ms. Kim Wallner, for her assistance in creating this quick reference resource. As of the writing of this Legislative Update it is anticipated that there will be posted there, under the heading "View" and file name "W&L Bills," all currently pending bills of interest to our newsletter subscribers and our Committee.
Yet another wonderful resource for staying updated on pending legislation can be found under the "E-Mail Services" provided to ISBA members on www.isba.org The Legislative Alert service delivers occasional e-mail bulletins about important issues and breaking news from the ISBA's Legislative Affairs Department during the legislative session. Follow the "sign up today-Members Only" instruction using your ISBA member number to receive this service. At the end of the legislative session look for updates in this column and in the Bar News and Bar Journal on new or amended legislation impacting you, your practice, and your clients and your families.