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July 22, 2010

Governor Quinn Signs Bills to Support Illinois’ Firefighters, Improve Fire Safety
New Measures Expected to Save Lives, Boost Firefighting Programs

CHICAGO – July 22, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today signed legislation into law to support Illinois’ firefighters and improve fire safety throughout Illinois. The new laws: ban the sale of novelty and toy lighters, better serve unprotected areas in the state, increase fees for serious traffic violations to support fire truck and fire protection funds, and ensure funding for a program that provides core skills training to firefighters.

“I salute our state’s firefighters for their unwavering commitment to the safety of the people of Illinois,” said Governor Quinn. “These important new laws will improve public safety in Illinois and help ensure that our firefighters have the equipment and training they need to save lives.”

Governor Quinn today signed House Bill 5139, sponsored by Rep. Donald Moffitt (R-Galesburg) and Sen. Michael Noland (D-Elgin). The new law bans the sale and distribution of novelty and toy lighters in Illinois. According to the Illinois Fire Inspector’s Association, more than 300 people are hurt or killed in the United States each year as a result novelty lighters. The new law makes the sale of a novelty lighter a petty offense with a fine of up to $500 and is effective immediately.

House Bill 5285 increases an existing fee which supports fire service for serious traffic violations such as driving under the influence and excessive speeding. The fee will increase from $20 to $35 and support the Fire Truck Revolving Loan Fund, which helps local fire departments to purchase trucks, and the state’s Fire Prevention Fund, which supports the Illinois Fire Service Institute, Chicago Fire Department Training Program, and the Office of the State Fire Marshal. Sponsored by Rep. Donald Moffitt (R-Galesburg) and Sen. William Haine (D-Alton), the new law becomes effective in 60 days.

Sponsored by Rep. Donald Moffitt (R-Galesburg) and Sen. Michael Frerichs (D-Champaign), House Bill 5412 ensures that 2.5 percent of the Fire Prevention Fund will support the Cornerstone Regional Training Program, a grant program which provides firefighter core skills training. The new law is effective immediately.

Senate Bill 3722 provides expanded authority to the State Fire Marshal to assign temporary fire protection in unprotected areas within the state. Currently law only allows the State Fire Marshal to make assignments in counties with a population of less than 500,000. Sponsored by Sen. Michael Frerichs (D-Champaign) and Rep. Michael Smith (D-Pekin), the new law is effective immediately.

Coinciding with the annual National Association of State Fire Marshal conference, Governor Quinn also signed three additional bills today to increase fire safety, including House Bill 4669, House Bill 4710, and House Bill 4779, all of which are effective immediately.

“Announcing these new laws during the National Association of State Fire Marshals’ Annual Conference demonstrates Illinois’ proactive approach to improving public safety while supporting our first responders,” said State Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis.


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