Signed into law: Drew Peterson bill, PTSD training, more financial transparency for Illinois

Signed into law: Drew Peterson bill, PTSD training, more financial transparency for Illinois

Domestic violence priors to be admitted in murder casesHB 5264 – The recently concluded Drew Peterson trial used a history of domestic violence as evidence, a piece of information that may have played a key role in his conviction for murder. Now HB 5264 would mandate that the information used in Peterson’s trial – evidence of prior domestic violence – would be admissible in all first- or second-degree murder cases that involve domestic violence. The law would standardize how evidence of domestic violence abuse is dealt with in murder cases.

Require police to take training in how to deal with post-traumatic stress disorderHB 5587 – The bill aims to help Illinois State Police become more sensitive to people they encounter who may have post-traumatic stress disorder. It mandates the police to conduct a training program, and for the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board to approve a training program for the law enforcement it works with. The law initially came about so that police could help military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, particularly when a domestic violence call against the veteran was placed. It might also have the added effect of helping the domestic violence victims or others who have been exposed to violence and may have trouble dealing with its effects.

More comprehensive financial reporting at the state levelSB 3794 – There are few things that reporters love more than financial information from the state government that is timely, thorough and easy to navigate. SB 3794 creates the Financial Reporting Standards Board to help the state improve in this area. Three of the board’s members will be appointed by the governor; the other half by the Comptroller. At least one member will be a certified public accountant.

Online dating sites must state their policy on allowing members with criminal convictions SB 2545 – The Internet Dating Safety Act, sponsored by state Sen. Ira Silverstein and Rep. Michelle Mussman requires online dating services to let users know whether they do criminal background checks. If they do, but still allow people with criminal convictions to use their services, the law mandates that the site announce its screenings are not “foolproof.” It also mandates that online dating services provide awareness notifications to their members. The 2010 story of a serial rapist who met his victims on set an ominous tone for those wary of online dating. States like New York began introducing similar legislation, requiring a safety warning, in 2010.

Younger children will be allowed to get vaccinations from pharmacists – SB 3513 – Flu and TDAP (tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis) shots may become more accessible for young children, ranging from 10 to 13, who will now be allowed to get their flu or other vaccines from a pharmacist. They will still need a prescription from a licensed physician. Previously, the age that children were allowed to get the shots from pharmacists was 14. Gov. Pat Quinn’s office estimates that this will make vaccinations easier to obtain for 630,000 more children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu is more dangerous than the common cold for children.






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