091114 js 0037SPRINGFIELD— Last month’s police shooting death of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., sparked national debate over police procedures and practices. In Illinois, Brown’s death has renewed an effort to expand the use of vehicle-mounted and officer-worn cameras.

Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) and Representative Jehan Gordon Booth (D-Peoria) announced, during a press conference Thursday, their commitment to pass a plan this fall that will increase funding for police departments to buy more cameras.

“Every day, the courageous men and women of Illinois law enforcement put their lives on the line to protect us. Cameras like these help prosecute crimes, protect civil liberties and – ultimately – help save officers’ lives,” Haine said.

The plan, House Bill 3911, brings more money to an existing grant program enabling local police departments to purchase cameras. It also secures additional funds for the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Boards.

“I hope that the tragic recent events in Ferguson, which has brought the value of officer and vehicle-mounted cameras to national attention, may serve as a catalyst to enact legislation that protects our brave police officers as much as it does the general public,” Gordon-Booth said.

“The use of cameras serves as a layer of transparency to document disputed encounters between law enforcement and citizens,” NAACP Illinois State Conference President George Mitchell said.

The proposal increases an existing court fee by $6 to fund the camera grant program and increase funding for ILETSB. The $6 fee is estimated to bring in between $4 million and $6 million per year.

“We live in a visual society. These types of videos will be invaluable,” Illinois State’s Attorneys Association President Brian Towne said.

Lawmakers return to Springfield in November for the annual fall session. Gordon-Booth and Haine plan to call HB 3911 then.

Category: News Releases

ADA LogoRCHICAGO – State officials trying to protect disabled people from abuse now have added legal protection themselves thanks to a new law signed Monday by the governor.

The law – sponsored by State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) – protects the Illinois Department on Aging from being sued for enforcing the Adult Protective Services Act, which was approved last year.

“Last year we passed sweeping protections for this at-risk population. This is a continuing effort to fine tune a new program and ensure the best protections,” Haine said.

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Category: News Releases

052714CM0393SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) introduced a resolution Wednesday urging the U.S. Department of Commerce and President Obama to investigate unfair South Korean trade practices.

There have been recent reports of low-quality, Korean-made steel being dumped into the U.S. market. These goods are being brought into the U.S. through deceptive trade practices and are being sold far below the fair market price.

“This cheap, low-quality steel is hurting the American economy and the federal government shouldn’t sit by while this happens. The Granite City steel works employs skilled workers who could face losing their jobs it their first-rate product continues to be undercut by shoddy foreign steel,” Haine said.

Senate Resolution 1243 urges the Department of Commerce to investigate South Korean companies' trade practices and protect the value of American-made steel.

When it is adopted by the Senate a copy of the resolution will be sent to President Obama.

Category: News Releases

040114 js 1535SPRINGFIELD – Video cameras and motion sensors could be added to a list of illegal booby traps under a proposed law approved by the Illinois Senate on Tuesday.

Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) sponsored plan, House Bill 4269, in the Senate to update the existing law that targets drug dealers who fortify buildings against law enforcement.

“If drug dealers have cameras or motion sensors to let them know when the police are coming, it gives them a chance to escape or destroy evidence,” Haine said.

It is currently illegal to booby trap a building in order to obstruct police. The list of criminal fortifications includes alarm systems, cross bars, steel doors, and the use of dogs.

Representative Jerry Costello (D-Smithton) introduced the plan in the House.

“Law Enforcement officers already take great risk entering a location of suspected criminal activity, and any attempt to harm or impede them in the course of their duties should be aggressively punished,” Costello said.

The Senate approved HB 4269 by a 57-0 vote. It was approved by the House in April and now goes to the governor for approval.

Category: News Releases

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