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 30, 2006

Senate Week in Review June 26 – 30, 2006

Springfield, IL – Almost fifty bills were signed into law during the week of June 26 - 30, including measures that provide for more extensive regulation of sex offenders, and new laws intended to reduce teenage truancy and permit Illinois counties to regulate smoking.

Now sex offenders convicted of committing violent crimes against young people will be required to register on a separate sex offender database, said State Sen. Peter Roskam (R-Wheaton). State officials agreed that people who commit crimes against children should be listed separately to help law enforcement more readily recognize the individuals who have committed these types of crimes, and assist police in identifying people who have a history, criminal record or propensity to commit crimes against children.

A measure was also signed prohibiting convicted child sex offenders from working or living within 500 feet of a child day-care center; if the offender is found to be in violation of the new law they could be charged with a Class 4 felony. Previously, child sex offenders were prohibited from working at or living within 500 feet of a facility that provides programs for children, but the law did not specifically identify child day-care centers as being off-limits.

Another new law will allow Illinois police officers access to the home addresses of all employed sex offenders, after legislation was signed permitting law enforcement to obtain personal contact information from the Department of Employment Security. Roskam said state police anticipate that access to this resource will enable them to locate sex offenders who break the law by not registering on the sex offender database.

In other news, non-home-rule county and municipal officials will be able to ban smoking in public places under provisions of a new law recently signed by Governor Blagojevich. Although the legality of the measure is already receiving scrutiny, the law went into effect immediately, leaving it up to local governments to decide whether to prohibit smoking in their communities. Last year, similar legislation was approved by the Governor that allowed home-rule municipalities to pass anti-smoking regulations.

Another new law aims to put the brakes on teen truancy, by allowing the Secretary of State to cancel or refuse to issue driver’s licenses or learner’s permits to high school students under 18 who drop out or continually skip school. Lawmakers hope that the threat of losing or being denied their driving privileges will give students the incentive they need to stay in school, and go to class.

Beginning July 1, 2007, driving privileges will be suspended or rejected for any young person who has been absent for 10% or more of the previous 180 attendance days, or if the child has been removed from the district enrollment roster for reasons other than death, illness, graduation or to transfer to another school. If the minor provides proof that he or she has resumed school, or can confirm that the rejection of his or her driver’s license or instruction permit application was in error, the Secretary of State may reinstate or issue the students driver’s license or permit.

The following measures were also signed during the week of June 26 – 30: