Governor Pat Quinn today signed legislation to make emergency response systems in Illinois more efficient and effective. Today's action is part of Governor Quinn's agenda to ensure the safety of all people in every community across Illinois.
"Emergency response depends on the ability of our 9-1-1 centers to take the call," Governor Quinn said. "It is critical for public safety that once our operators get a call, they are able to direct it to the responders who can best help those who are in need."
House Bill 2856, sponsored by State Representative Natalie Manley (D-Joliet) and State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood), requires the development of an Illinois 9-1-1 systems directory so that calls answered by one system can be quickly and easily forwarded to another 9-1-1 system when necessary. This is particularly important for cell phone users, whose calls to 9-1-1 are sometimes answered by an operator in their home area code, rather than where the phone user may be at that moment. The law takes effect January 1, 2014.
Governor Quinn also today signed House Bill 2690, sponsored by State Representative Lawrence Walsh, Jr. (D-Joliet), and State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Joliet), which authorizes fees for Court Appointed Special Advocates in counties where special advocates are used. Court Appointed Special Advocates provide assistance to abused or neglected children who need help navigating the legal system. To provide resources to make this program possible, the law allows counties to charge a fee to people found guilty of felonies and certain other crimes. The law takes effect immediately.
In addition, Governor Quinn signed Senate Bill 1930, sponsored by Senator Bertino-Tarrant and Representative Walsh, which grants the Joliet Park District an additional five years to sell a parcel of its land. Sale of the parcel, located at the corner of Route 59 and West Caton Farm Road will help the park district improve its recreational offerings. The original deadline was December 31, 2013 and is now extended to the end of 2018.