News from Senator Peter Roskam Senate Republican Whip
  315 West Wesley Street 309H State House
  Wheaton, Illinois 60187 Springfield, Illinois 62706
  630-690-4500 217/782-8022  

For Immediate Release

Date:  July 11, 2005/pk

Senate Week in Review: July 4 – July 8, 2005

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Protecting the Road Fund, welcoming a new Senator to the Caucus, women’s health issues, and the signing of several tough DUI laws highlighted this week in the Illinois Senate, according to Senator Peter Roskam (R-Wheaton).

A major Senate Republican initiative was signed into law this week that calls for the Blagojevich Administration to put any money saved through efficiency initiatives into the State Construction Account Fund, rather than the Efficiency Initiatives Revolving Fund. House Bill 3770 assures the money will be used solely for Illinois Department of Transportation purposes instead of being subject to sweeps by the Administration for other government programs. Senate Republicans have called on the Administration to stop diverting money from the Road Fund to balance the last three years’ budgets, and this bill is a significant step toward that overall goal.

In other news, the Senate Republicans welcomed John Millner (R-Carol Stream) to the fold after he became a unanimous pick to fill out the remaining term of retired 28th District State Sen. Kay Wojcik. Sen. Millner, a local small-business owner and former Elmhurst Police Chief, had served in the Illinois House since 2003.

July 6 was Women’s Health Day and the Governor signed four bills that address women’s health issues. Senate Bill 12 requires insurance companies to cover mammograms for women younger than 40 with a family history of breast cancer or other risk factors. Senate Bill 521 requires insurers to cover surveillance tests for ovarian cancer for women who are at risk. Senate Bill 1 starts a special instant scratch-off lottery game titled “Ticket for The Cure” for six years (2006-2011) with all net revenue to benefit Illinois breast cancer research and fund services for breast cancer victims. House Bill 3564, the newly renamed “Penny Severns Breast, Cervical, and Ovarian Cancer Fund” will now award grants for ovarian cancer research efforts. The Fund commemorates the life of the late State Sen. Penny Severns of Decatur who died in 1998 after a battle with breast cancer.

On July 5, several measures aimed at cracking down on DUI offenders were signed, many of which were sponsored or introduced by Senate Republicans. The bills increase the penalties for DUI offenders older than 21 who were driving under the influence while transporting a child younger than 16 (HB 657); stiffen the penalties for a person convicted a third or subsequent time of DUI (HB 3816, HB 1132); mandate longer jail terms and higher fines for driving on a revoked or suspended license or permit (after the fourth offense) if the revocation or suspension was for a hit-and-run or a DUI violation (HB 888); mandate prison time for someone convicted of aggravated DUI when that DUI violation results in death (unless in an extraordinary circumstance) (HB 1081); preempt home rule in DUI cases (HB 0887); require chemical testing within 12 hours of an incident for any person arrested for leaving the scene of an accident involving death or personal injury and say a person's driving privileges are subject to suspension if he or she fails or refuses to undergo testing (HB 1351); apply the laws requiring the videotaping of interrogations in homicide cases to cases involving DUI when the violation was the proximate cause of death (SB 72); and allow courts to impose a more severe sentence to a defendant who commits reckless homicide or DUI while driving 20 miles per hour over the posted speed limit (HB 767).

Another bill signed into law this week was SB 75, the Rental Housing Support Program Act. It allows the Illinois Housing Development Authority to provide subsidies to landlords, and grants to developers, of affordable rental housing. In order to fund the program the county recorder collects a $10 surcharge for recording any real estate-related document from those that are filing them (except from any state agency, unit of local government or school district).

Other bills signed into law this week include: