SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today signed legislation to require schools to complete safety assessment surveys and develop safety plans.
"This legislation was generated by the Attorney General's Task Force and is a responsible step toward improving the safety of students in our public schools," Ryan said. "We have seen too many tragedies and said goodbye to too many young souls in the past few years. And now is the time to stop the violence before more lives are lost."
School officials acting in good faith are provided immunity when reporting crimes to law enforcement officials; and
A Task Force on School Safety is created.
Chief Senate sponsors of House Bill 878, which takes affect immediately, were Sen. Frank Watson, R-Carlyle, and Sen. Kirk Dillard, R-Downers Grove, and representatives Jay Hoffman, D-Edwardsville; Larry Woolard, D-Marion; Julie Curry, D-Mt. Zion; Bill Mitchell; R-Forsyth;
In addition, Ryan today signed House Bill 536, which allows cars to be towed or ticketed if left on a street, highway or roadway if the vehicle has expired registration plates or stickers.
"This bill gives law enforcement another tool to require vehicle owner to comply and purchase their registration stickers," Ryan said. "It has the added benefit of deterring people from abandoning their cars along public roads."
House Bill 536 provides that no person shall stop, park or leave standing a vehicle upon a public street, highway or roadway with expired registration plates or stickers. Local police can impose a fine not to exceed $25, but must adopt an ordinance to enforce this law.
State Sen. Bill Peterson, R-Prairie View, and Rep. Sidney Mathias, R-Buffalo Grove, sponsored House Bill 471, which takes affect Jan. 1, 2000.
House Bill 734 was signed by Ryan to protect prison employees who are assaulted by inmates who throw bodily fluids through the bars of their cells.
"This bill will allow the Department of Corrections to discourage inmates from breaking the rules by imposing tougher penalties for inmates who are being disrespectful and demeaning,' Ryan said. "And most importantly, by deterring inmates from these actions, we can protect the health and safety of employees by preventing them from being exposed to potential diseases and injury."
House Bill 734 specifically imposes penalties of aggravated battery on inmates who cause or attempt to throw, toss or expel fluids on employees of penal institutions. The charge of aggravated battery is met with a Class 3 felony penalty. The bill takes effect Jan. 1, 2000.
Sponsors of House Bill 734 were Sen. Dave Leuchtefeld, R- Okawville, and Sen. Jim Rea, D-Christopher. House sponsors were representatives Larry Woolard, D-Marion; John Jones, R-Mt. Vernon, and Mike Bost, R-Carbondale.
Ryan also signed legislation mandating that liquor distributors deliver to any retailer within the geographic area in which the distributor permits the sale of its trademark, brand or name.
House Bill 137 requires that liquor distributors deliver in their market area at the wholesale price at least once every two weeks if the retailer agrees to buy at least $200 worth of wine or spirits in Cook and collar counties, and $50 in merchandise every two weeks in other Illinois counties. If the distributor violates the delivery provisions of the bill, the distributor may have its license revoked or forfeited.
"Rural retailers and the small business owners needed to have someone on their side to make sure that they are not adversely affected by liquor distributors and that their businesses remain viable with the quality merchandise," Ryan said. "Small businesses can be assured that they will have access to all product brands and helps them retain their customer base."
Sponsors of the bill were Sen. Denny Jacobs, D-Moline, and representatives Steve Davis, D-East Alton; Kurt Granberg, D-Centralia; Thomas Holbrook, D-Belleville; and Phil Novak, D-Kankakee. The bill takes effect Jan. 1, 2000.
In other action:
The governor signed Senate Bill 458 creating the Automated External Defibrillator Act requiring the Department of Public Health to adopt a program to train individuals as defibrillator users. Ryan said defibrillators are projected to save 50,000 lives each year in the United States. "This bill will help remove liability concerns of business and communities for trained users," he added.
Anyone who uses the defibrillator for someone in cardiac arrest outside of a hospital activates emergency medical services personnel as soon as possible and files a report. Training for the defibrillator program includes the use of CPR. The bill takes affect Jan. 1, 2000.
Sponsors of Senate Bill 458 were senators Dave Syverson, R-Rockford; Barack Obama, D-Chicago; Margaret Smith, D-Chicago; Tony Munoz, D-Chicago; Jim Rea, D-Christopher; Carl Hawkinson, R-Galesburg; and Brad Burzynski, R-Sycamore. House sponsors were Rep. David Winters, R-Rockford; Phil Novak, D-Kankakee; Doug Scott, D-Rockford; Dan Burke, D-Chicago; and Larry McKeon, D-Chicago.
Ryan also signed Senate Bill 529 in concern for child safety around pesticides and chemicals used at schools. Senate Bill 529 requires schools to adopt an integrated pest management program. It also makes school districts notify parents prior to pesticide applications, if parents have made a written request for this information in advance.
The governor noted that recent medical research has indicated that children can be more sensitive to certain chemicals, which can cause health concerns. Senate Bill 529 should make schools more responsible in their pest control programs decisions. The bill takes effect Aug. 1, 2000.
Bill sponsors were senators Kirk Dillard, R-Downers Grove; William Mahar, R-Orland Park; John Cullerton, D-Chicago; Christine Radogno, R-LaGrange; Dan Cronin, R-Elmhurst; Tom Walsh, R-Westchester; and Debbie Halvorson, D-Chicago Heights. House sponsors were Barbara Flynn Currie, R-Chicago, Patricia Bellock, R-Westmont; Lauren Beth Gash, D-Deerfield; Judy Erwin, D-Chicago; and James Meyer, R-Bolingbrook.