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Military service members, veterans and their families will now have additional financial resources to assist with navigating the “sea of goodwill” that is available throughout the state.  SB 3222, sponsored by State Representative Wayne Rosenthal (R-Morrisonville), will allow the Illinois Joining Forces (IJF) to raise money as a not-for-profit to further their goals of offering a broad array of support services. Read more.

Domestic violence legislation sponsored by State Representative Joe Sosnowski (R-Rockford) to allow prosecutors to charge repeat domestic abusers with a higher-level felony was signed into law on Monday, August 18, 2014.

House Bill 4653 provides that any prior convictions for domestic battery, or for any offense which is substantially similar, that occurs in another jurisdiction will trigger penalty enhancements.

Activating higher felony penalties for those charged with domestic abuse will give prosecutors more tools to stop abuse, Sosnowski says.

“These enhanced penalties seek to prevent domestic abusers who show a longstanding pattern of violence, despite the intervention of the criminal justice system, from potentially victimizing more people,” says Sosnowski. Read more.

Legislation sponsored by State Representative Michael P. McAuliffe (R-Chicago) to raise awareness on the various breast cancer detection services available to women with dense breast tissue was signed into law on Friday, August 15.

House Bill 3765 calls for the Illinois Department of Public Health to include information on newly available 3-D mammography technology in state sponsored pamphlets.

“When breast density is high, mammograms are harder to interpret than when density is low. Many women find that after going through a regular mammogram, they get a call to get retested,” said McAuliffe. “3-D mammograms are more accurate than regular mammograms and can help radiologists distinguish between cancer masses, and overlapping tissue.” Read more.
Chicago – NRI
Call for disclosure of State budget games associated with troubled Chicago program. Federal, state and local investigators and law enforcement are looking into the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative (NRI). The troubled program, initially funded with $54.5 million in State taxpayer money in late 2010, was created to distribute resources to community organizations in neighborhoods, most of them located within Chicago and adjacent suburbs that were and are threatened by violent crime.
Students across Illinois are gearing up to head back to the classroom. To help families prepare, the Illinois Association of School Nurses (IASN) shares five simple items to their back-to-school checklist, ensuring a smooth transition into the 2014-2015 school year.

See the checklist here on WIFR.

Leader Jim Durkin calls on the Governor to explain spending
The Illinois Senate and House Republican Leaders today – in concert with members of the Legislative Audit Commission – called on Governor Quinn and his Administration to lift the curtain of secrecy and come clean on new spending for a rebranded version of his failed Neighborhood Recovery Initiative.

“We’ve seen a disturbing pattern of a lack of transparency from Governor Quinn and his Administration,” Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno said. “Every week we see new reports about the mismanagement of the NRI program. Every week, Governor Quinn spins that he’s fixed the problems. It’s the same claim he made about the patronage scheme at the Department of Transportation and we all know now that just wasn’t true.
A bill, sponsored by State Representative Mike Unes of East Peoria, was signed Friday afternoon by the governor.

The bill makes it a crime of official misconduct for an employee of a law enforcement agency to tip off a criminal of pending law enforcement action against them. This legislation, Unes says, was necessary because of a 2010 Illinois Supreme Court decision that a 911 dispatcher tipping off a criminal of pending law enforcement action was not an act the employee could be charged criminally for committing. There's more on