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Legislation

ISBA Statehouse Review for the week of June 21

Posted on June 21, 2012 by Chris Bonjean

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews bills in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers Domestic violence form, Cell phones and driving, Personal property exemptions and the Open Meetings Act. More information on each bill is available below the video.

Domestic violence form. House Bill 5922 (Cunningham, D-Chicago; Kotowski, D-Park Ridge) allows a statutory short-form notification to be used to serve on respondents in the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986, the Stalking No Contact Order Act, and the Civil No Contact Order Act.

Passed both chambers; effective January 1, 2013.

Cell phones and driving. Senate Bill 2488 (Garrett, D-Lake Forest; May, D-Highland Park) allows a driver in a construction or school zone to use a cell phone in voice-operated (instead of “voice-activated”) mode or by pressing a single button to initiate or terminate a voice communication. This also includes using a headset in this manner.

Drop date August 5, 2012; effective January 1, 2013.

House Bill 5099 (Costello, D-Sparta; Haine, D-Alton) prohibits a driver from using a cell phone or video within 500 feet of an emergency scene. Exempts using a cell phone in the voice-operated mode.

ISBA Statehouse Review for the week of June 13

Posted on June 14, 2012 by Chris Bonjean

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews bills in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers House Bill 5221 (Child-support enforcement), House Bill 4665 (Residential construction and radon), House Bill 5314 (Security deposit and email), Senate Bill 1691 (Business law cleanup) and HJRCA 49 (Constitutional amendment for pension increase).  More information on each bill is available below the video.

ISBA Statehouse Review for the week of June 7

Posted on June 7, 2012 by Chris Bonjean

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews bills in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers House Bill 6192 (Rewrite of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act), House Bill 6191 (Rewrite of the Parentage Act), Senate Bill 3823 (Sanctions for visitation violations), Senate Bill 2569 (Dissipation claims and child support), Senate Bill 3849 (Child support enforcement), House Bill 3960 (Calculation of child support) and Senate Bill 2488 (Cell phones in construction and school zones). More information on each bill is available below the video.

Please note that the General Assembly must send to the Governor passed legislation within 30 days from the date both chambers passed it. The Governor must sign, veto, or amendatorily veto a bill within 60 days of his receipt of it. The "drop date" is the 60-day deadline for each bill and is the date by which the Governor must take action.

If you're interested in what action he has taken on a specific bill or want to view the full text, visit the General Assembly's excellent website at http://www.ilga.gov.

ISBA Statehouse Review for the week of May 31

Posted on May 31, 2012 by Chris Bonjean

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews bills in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers House Bill 5823 (Health Care Services Lien Act), Senate Bill 3171 (Medical Records of deceased family members) Senate Bill 2840 (Medicaid and estate planning) and House Bill 1263 (eavesdropping). More information on each bill is available below the video.

ISBA Statehouse Review for the week of May 24

Posted on May 24, 2012 by Chris Bonjean

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews bills in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers House Bill 196 (New traffic fees), Senate Bill 1808 (Eavesdropping and cell phones) and Senate Bill 2840 (Medicaid eligibility rules). More information on each bill is available below the video.

 

New traffic fees. House Bill 196 (McAuliffe, R-Chicago; Munoz, D-Chicago) creates the State Police Merit Board Public Safety Fund that is to be used to provide training for law enforcement personnel. Requires that every person pay $15 to pay for this fund if he or she is convicted of any criminal or traffic violation or a similar provision of a local ordinance. This is on third reading in the Senate. This is going to be a trend in which Illinois state government is moving to funding specific state agencies by assessing fees wherever they are able to get legislation enacted to do so.

Legal Services Corporation funding

Posted on May 22, 2012 by James R. Covington

Earlier this month the House appropriations committee (and the full House of Representatives) passed a proposed budget that included $328 million for LSC funding, which already would be a $20 million cut from this year's already reduced level.

During the floor debate about this budget, two LSC amendments were introduced, which, if they passed, would have further cut LSC funding. One amendment would have slashed LSC funding from $328 million to $200 million -- which would have been a further cut of $128 million to this year's LSC appropriation. This amendment was soundly defeated and by wider margins than similar amendments in previous years. Representatives Roskam, Hultgren, Manzullo, Schilling, Schock, and Walsh supported this amendment.

Another amendment that was voted on that night that would have eliminated all funding for LSC. Representatives Manzullo, Schilling, Schock, and Walsh supported this amendment.

Medicaid eligibility rules

Posted on May 22, 2012 by James R. Covington

(Feigenholtz, D-Chicago; Steans, D-Chicago) is supposed to eliminate Illinois’ $2.7 billion Medicaid funding gap. Included in Senate Bill 2840 is a repeal of the compromise of the Medicaid eligibility rules negotiated last fall between the Department of Healthcare and Family Services and the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules.

Some of these changes include the following: (1) A home transferred into a trust after the bill becomes law may not be considered homestead property. If the home was transferred into a trust before the bill becomes law, it prevents a person from being eligible for long-term care if the person’s equity interest in this homestead exceeds the minimum home equity as allowed under federal law. (2) People over the age of 65 can no longer participate in a federally created OBRA Pooled Trust unless the beneficiary is a ward of the county public guardian or the State guardian. (3) A healthy spouse still living at home will receive only the minimum resource allowance instead of the maximum allowance as previously approved by JCAR. (4) Abolishes spousal refusal entirely so that HFS is not limited to how much it can seek when pursing a support order against a community spouse.

Senate Bill 2840 will be heard in House Executive Committee this afternoon. The bill has an immediate effective date and will therefore take effect when the Governor signs it. House Amendment No. 3 becomes the bill, and these provisions may be found starting on page 75.

ISBA Statehouse Review for the week of May 17

Posted on May 18, 2012 by Chris Bonjean

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews bills in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers House Bill 5434 (Post-judgement collection of debts), House Bill 3972 (Cell phones and driving), House Bill 3636 (Mechanics' Lien Act), House Bill 5823 (Health Care Services Lien Act). More information on each bill is available below the video.

ISBA Statehouse Review for the week of May 10

Posted on May 10, 2012 by Chris Bonjean

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews bills in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers Senate Bill 2894 (Probate fees), Senate Bill 2569 (Child support and dissipaation of assets), House Bill 4081 (One-party consent wiretapping), Senate Bill 3792 (Mechanics Lien Act) and Senate Bill 3823 (Sanctions for visitation violations). More information on each bill is available below the video.

7th Circuit Instructs District Court to Issue a Preliminary Injunction on Illinois Eavesdropping Law in ACLU Case

Posted on May 8, 2012 by Chris Bonjean

The 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago has issued an order asking the district court to issue a preliminary injunction enjoining the Cook County State's Attorney from applying the Illinois eavesdropping statute against the ACLU and its employees or agents for openly recording law enforcement officers who are performing their official duties in public places. The court held that Illinois' eavesdropping law "likely violates" the First Amendment. The opinion is available here. The Illinois State Bar Association is opposed to the law and supports SB 1808 - which would allow a citizen to audio and video record police officers performing public duties in public places. More information on SB 1808 is below.

The Facts on Illinois’ Eavesdropping Law: Support SB 1808 as amended by HA #1

Q:  What is this bill trying to address?

A:  Illinois eavesdropping law allows a citizen to video-record (film) a law enforcement officer doing public duty in a public place but makes it a Class 1 felony if the citizen audio-records the same public activity. Senate Bill 1808 strikes the right balance between the reasonable expectation of privacy and the First Amendment by allowing citizens to audio record law enforcement officers performing public duties in public places.

Q:  What do Illinois’ courts have to say about the current eavesdropping law?

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