North Shore Lawmakers Author New Laws

When 215 new laws took effect in Illinois January 1, 21 of them were authored by state senators or representatives with constituencies along the North Shore covering topics including education, property taxes, law enforcement and health care.

State Sen. Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) proposed nine laws that were approved by the Illinois General Assembly and signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner. Both state Rep. Laura Fine (D-Glenview) and former state Rep. Elaine Nekritz each had four. Two bills written by state Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) and state Rep. Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston) were enacted.

Two bills written by Morrison and one authored by Biss concern education. One of Morrison’s laws gives parents the right to have standardized assessment test scores required by the state dealing with “college and career ready determination” removed from their children’s transcripts.

Another law introduced and shepherded through the legislature by Morrison requires schools to post a sign in both English and Spanish containing a toll free telephone number they can call to report abuse. A third assures property tax relief in favor of the owner in the event an appeal languishes more than two years.

Biss’ major contribution in the current session is a student loan bill of rights making abuses violations of the state’s consumer fraud act. The law creates the position of student loan ombudsman within the office of the Illinois attorney general to assist student loan borrowers.

The student loan bill also requires disclosures to borrowers regarding fees, billing statements and the release of cosigners as well as the licensing of student loan servicers. Dispute resolution is also part of the law.

Fine Codifies Preexisting Condition Rights

One of Fine’s contributions codifies protection for people with preexisting conditions when seeking health insurance. Another law she authored dealing with health care broadens the requirements allowing automatic refills on prescription drug refills making it mandatory under certain circumstances.

Fine also introduced a successful bill requiring crisis intervention training for police officers which includes situations involving domestic violence.

One of the two new laws authored by Gabel requires the Department of Public Health to prepare a brochure with specific information concerning meningococcal disease including meningitis. It must be available on the department’s website and at all state institutions of higher learning.

State Rep. Jonathan Carroll (D-Northbrook) took office Oct. 17 and his not yet introduced legislation. He replaced Nekritz who resigned October 2. State Rep. Scott Drury (D-Highwood) introduced 38 bills. Most were assigned to the Rules Committee and received no action there.

“A lot of them had to do with ethics reform and current leadership does not seem to be interested in ethics reform,” Drury said in a interview. He said he did introduce a rewrite of the state’s condominium laws giving more rights to homeowners which passed the house. He hopes it will get senate passage and the governor’s signature this year.

New laws passed in 2017 not authored by local representatives included public funding for abortion, stiffer sentences for persons who commit repeated gun crimes and allows teenagers over 16 to register as organ donors, according to a Chicago Tribune story. The article also reported barbers, hair salons, dry cleaners and tailors must provide customers with price lists.

Legislators Dealt With Opioid Crisis

Other new laws require high schools to provide free feminine hygiene products, prescribers of opioids to register with a data base and tax credits for people donating to private schools, according to the Associated Press.

Morrison represents all of Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, Highland Park, Deerfield and Highwood as well as parts of Glencoe, Northbrook and Glenview. Biss represents all of Wilmette, Winnetka, Kenilworth and Northfield as well as parts of Glenview and Northbrook.

Fine represents parts of Glenview and Wilmette. Gable represents parts of Northbrook, Glencoe, Winnetka, Wilmette as well as all of Kenilworth and Northfield. Carroll represents parts of Northbrook and Glenview. Drury represents all of Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, Highland Park, Highwood and Deerfield as well as parts of Glencoe and Northbrook.

  • Click here to read Morrison’s complete legislative record.
  • Click here to read Biss’ complete legislative record.
  • Click here to read Fine’s complete legislative record.
  • Click here to read Gabel’s complete legislative record.
  • Click here to read Drury’s complete legislative record.
  • Click here to read Nekritz’s complete legislative record.

Illinois State Capitol photo from Wikipedia.

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