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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 29, 1999

Governor Signs Legislation To Combat Animal Cruelty; Strengthen Drug Laws

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today signed two new laws to combat cruelty against animals.

Governor Ryan signed Senate Bill 374, which creates the new criminal offense of animal torture -- a Class 4 felony. Animal torture occurs when a person inflicts extreme physical pain on an animal with the intent to increase or prolong the animal's pain, suffering or agony. A second or subsequent animal torture offense will result in a Class 3 felony. Under this legislation, a person convicted of animal torture will be required to undergo psychological or psychiatric evaluation and treatment.

Ryan also approved House Bill 810, which increases the penalties for a second or subsequent violation of aggravated cruelty against a pet. This bill raises the penalty from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class 4 felony.

"As a society, we can not tolerate cruelty towards animals," Ryan said. "People inclined to inflict pain and torture upon animals may have a predisposition to violence against both animals and humans. This legislation strengthens our animal protection laws and identifies violent offenders before it's too late."

The sponsors of Senate Bill 374, which takes effect January 1, 2000, include state senators Larry Walsh, D-Elmwood; Kirk Dillard, R-Hinsdale; Christine Radogno, R-

LaGrange; John Cullerton, D-Chicago, and state representatives Mary K. O'Brien, D-Coal City; Lauren Beth Gash, D-Highland Park; Sara Feigenholtz, D-Chicago; John McGuire, D-Joliet; and Carol Ronen, D-Chicago.

The sponsors of House Bill 810, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2000, include state representatives Lauren Beth Gash, D-Highland Park; Kurt Granberg, D-Carlyle; Lou Lang, D-Skokie; William Delgado, D-Chicago; Anne Zickus, R-Palos Hills; and state senators Adeline Geo-Karis, R-Zion; Kirk Dillard, R-Hinsdale; John Cullerton, D-Chicago; Dick Klemm, R-Crystal Lake; and William Peterson, R-Long Grove.

Ryan also approved Senate Bill 393, which enhances penalties for the delivery of various controlled substances within 1,000 feet of schools, churches, public housing and nursing homes. The bill replaces a provision that used to limit the enhanced penalties for the delivery of various controlled substances to a "public way" within 1,000 feet of those specified areas.

"Drugs and other controlled substances have no place in our state," Ryan said. "Through this legislation, we are closing a loophole and increasing the punishment for delivering controlled substances in our communities."

Senate Bill 393, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2000, was sponsored by state senators Patrick O'Malley, R-Palos Park; Christine Radogno, R-LaGrange; Duane Noland, R-Decatur; David Sullivan, R-Mt. Prospect; Kathleen Parker, R-Northfield; and state representatives Edward Acevedo, D-Chicago; Edgar Lopez, D- Chicago; William O'Connor, R-Berwin; Timothy Schmitz, R-Batavia; and Richard Bradley, D-Chicago.

Senate Bill 1042, also signed by Ryan, makes it a Class B misdemeanor to knowingly own or operate any motor vehicle containing a hidden or false compartment created for concealment of items from police. The new law, approved today, provides that any motor vehicle containing a hidden or false compartment, or any item within a hidden or false compartment, is subject to seizure by the Illinois State Police or any local police department.

"Police know that drugs dealers are bringing thousands of dollars of illegal substances into Illinois in hidden compartments," Ryan said. "This new tool sends the message that drugs have no place in Illinois and if you have them, or hide them, you can lose your car and your freedom."

Senate Bill 1042, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2000, was sponsored by state senators Lisa Madigan, D-Chicago; Antonio Munoz, D-Chicago; Walter Dudycz, R-Chicago; Kathleen Parker, R-Northfield; Dick Klemm, R-Crystal Lake, and state representatives Jack Franks, D-Woodstock; and Richard Bradley, D-Chicago.

Ryan also signed Senate Bill 1044, which increases penalties for thefts, robberies, burglaries, criminal damage to property or criminal defacement committed in a public, private or parochial school or church. The law assists law enforcement in prosecuting vandals and perpetrators of hate crimes against a religion.

"Stealing and vandalism against a religion should be treated with a higher level of severity when you consider the motivation behind it is hate and intimidation," Ryan said. "Society has to be protected and anyone convicted of these crimes should stay behind bars for a long time."

Senate Bill 1044 was sponsored by state senators James DeLeo, D-Chicago; Ira Silverstein, D-Chicago; and Louis Viverito, D-Burbank. It was sponsored in the House by state representatives Edward Acevedo, D-Chicago; Richard Bradley, D-Chicago; Dan Reitz, D-Sparta; Sara Feigenholtz, D-Chicago; and Joseph, Lyons, D-Chicago. The bill takes effect immediately.

Senate Bill 729, also signed by Ryan, promotes student safety by providing strict notification and supervision guidelines for child sex offenders when they are in or near a school when children are present. The sex offender is responsible for notifying the principal's office upon arrival and departure from the campus. When in the company of children, the law makes provisions for supervision by a school official.

"The penalties are tough because children are our most precious resource in Illinois," Ryan said. "As long as there is notification on file with the schools principal or another official, the rights of the offender will be respected. But a child sex offender must realize that first and foremost, we must protect our children's innocence and put safety first," he added.

Senate Bill 729 was sponsored by state senators Wendell Jones, R-Palatine; and Kathleen Parker, R-Northfield. House sponsors include state representatives Gwen Klingler, R-Springfield; Mike Bost, R-Carbondale; John Jones, R-Mt. Vernon; Dale Righter, R-Mattoon; Rich Myers, R-Colchester. The bill is effective Jan. 1, 2000.

The Governor also approved Senate Bill 387 to help with the shortage of election judges by allowing high school seniors serve as judges, even if they are not of voting age.

"I think we should make every effort to teach our youth about the electoral process and encourage them to become active in state and local government," Ryan said. The bill takes affect Jan. 1, 2000.

Senate Bill 387 was sponsored by state senators Lisa Madigan, D-Chicago; Terry Link, D-Highwood; Barack Obama, D-Chicago; Steve Rauschenberger, R-Elgin; Kimberly Lightford, D-Chicago; Vince Demuzio, D-Carlinville; and George Shadid, D- Pekin. The bill was sponsored in the House by state representatives Mike Boland, D-East Moline, Scully, Lauren Beth Gash, D-Deerfield; Susan Garrett, D-Lake Bluff; and Julie Hamos, D-Evanston.

Ryan also signed House Bill 1308 that sets up an informational clearinghouse through the Aging Department for senior citizens wanting to share homes. The bill changes current law which guarantees that program services are available to people needing long-term care or those suffering from Alzheimer's Disease or a related disorder.

House Bill 1308 sponsors were state senators Todd Sieben, R-Geneseo, Terry Link, D-Highwood; and state representatives Ronald Lawfer, R-Freeport; Anne Zickus, R-Palos Hills; and Beth Coulsen, R-Glenview. The bill is effective Jan. 1, 2000.

House Bill 1370, signed by the governor, amends the Illinois Parentage Act and the Vital Records Act to establish procedures for the placement of the biological parents on the birth certificate as the mother and father of the child born through the use of a surrogate mother. Previously, a biological mother would need a court order to have her name placed on a birth certificate instead of the name of the surrogate. House Bill 1370, sponsored by state Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Edwardsville, and state senators Evelyn Bowles, D-Edwardsville, and Sen. James Clayborne, D-East St. Louis, is effective immediately.

House Bill 2349 was signed by Ryan to protect young people from adults who try to coerce them into committing crimes. Under the act, adults can be charged with a Class 4 felony when they solicit, compel or direct a juvenile to commit either a felony or a misdemeanor. Current law only applies to felony offenses.

House Bill 2349 sponsors were state Sen. Tony Munoz, D-Chicago; Rep. Edgar Lopez, D-Chicago; Tom Dart, D-Chicago; and Rep. Edward Acevedo, D-Chicago. The bill is effective Jan. 1, 2000.


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