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

For Immediate Release

Date:  June 23, 2006/ls

SENATE WEEK IN REVIEW: June 19-23, 2006

SPRINGFIELD - An initiative requiring young drivers to spend more practice time behind the wheel, a tax checkoff to help municipalities buy defibrillators, and more comprehensive insurance coverage for persons with autism were among the bills signed into law during the week of June 19-23, according to State Sen. Peter Roskam (R-Wheaton).

Also this week, it was announced on June 22 that the Senate Republican Health Facilities Planning Board Task Force will hold public hearings this summer to take a closer look at the politically charged and increasingly litigious process that are all too common in determining health facility construction and modification. Senator Roskam says the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board has had a tumultuous couple years, with media reports of ties between Planning Board members and a political crony of Gov. Rod Blagojevich. However, other than replacing Board members, the Administration has not made substantial reforms. Senate Republicans are convening this Task Force to examine ways to remove politics from the system and establish a process based on merit, and not on political influence.

House Bill 4768 will strengthen the Illinois Graduated Driverís License program. Parents and guardians will now be required to verify that their child spent 50 hours of practice driving time in the car with a parent or guardian, including 10 hours of night driving, before the new driver is eligible for an Illinois Driverís License. Previously, student drivers were only required to spend 25 hours driving with their parent or guardian.

Also signed this week, House Bill 542 creates a new checkoff for the Heartsaver AED Fund on state individual income tax return forms. The Heartsaver AED Fund was created in 2005 and allows the Illinois Department of Public Health to make matching grants to any public school, public park district, public college, or public university required to have an automated external defibrillator.

Another new law, House Bill 4125, requires insurance plans to cover 20 additional outpatient visits for speech therapy for treatment of autism, Aspergerís Syndrome, or other pervasive developmental disorders.

Other legislation signed into law during the week of June 19-23 includes: