April is Distracted Driver awareness month

In the time it takes to look at a text message, a car traveling at 55 miles per hour will cover the length of a football field. Because a lot can happen in that time, State Senator John G. Mulroe sponsored legislation in 2013 to curb distracted driving by prohibiting the use of hand-held cell phones while operating a motor vehicle. Distracted driving includes any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from driving, including texting, operating navigation systems and eating.

The law went into effect in 2014, making driving while using a phone a ticket-able offense. Drivers are still able to use hands-free features on their phones and one-touch dialing.

“I want to remind everyone that April is distracted driver awareness month,” Mulroe said. “This is a great opportunity for parents and guardians to discuss the dangers of distracted driving with teens, who are at a higher risk of being involved in a fatal accident that involves distracted driving. Though it may seem like just a moment, a lot can happen when cars are traveling at high speeds.”

Since Mulroe’s bill went into effect, a study conducted by Cambridge Mobile Telematics found that drivers in states with laws against using hand-held devices like Illinois spent less time on their phones than in states that did not have rules against cell phone use while driving. However, the study also found that one in four drivers was using a phone within a minute before getting into an accident.

Distracted driving remains a serious concern. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 400,000 people were injured and 3,477 individuals were killed in car crashes that involved distracted drivers in 2015 alone.

Category: Showcase

Senator Mulroe on the Senate floor

 

Chicago residents may no longer be forced to drive to the suburbs for their vehicle emissions testing based on new legislation sponsored by State Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago). After emissions test sites closed in the Chicagoland area in November, Mulroe introduced legislation to require the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to locate vehicle emissions inspections stations within a five-mile radius of those subject to testing.

“By closing emissions testing facilities in Chicago, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has created an undue burden on Chicago residents to meet the emission testing requirement” Mulroe said. “Getting a vehicle’s emissions tested can already be a time-consuming task in and of itself. We should not add to that by forcing Chicagoans to driver further to fulfill this obligation.”

The Illinois Vehicle Emissions Testing Program was established by federal law to improve air quality and public health in large cities. Current state law requires emissions test sites to be located within a 12-mile radius of vehicle owners subject to testing. Cars manufactured in 1996 or later must have its emissions tested after it is 4 years old.

“The goal of the emissions testing is to reduce air pollution from vehicles,” Mulroe said. “We shouldn’t be increasing pollution by forcing individuals to drive further from their homes for testing.”

Category: Showcase

Senator Mulroe on the floorSPRINGFIELD – Last year the General Assembly passed a measure that would add 3D mammography to the list of low-dose mammograms covered by insurance agencies. Today the governor signed that legislation.

“I feel now as I did when SB54 passed, that this is important legislation that will help save lives,” said Mulroe, who sponsored that measure in the Senate. “Any innovation or advancement in medical technology that can save lives is a good thing.

Under the previous measure, insurance companies were required to cover 3D mammography but only Medicare and Blue Cross Blue Shield covered the screening. Other insurance companies followed suit, but not quickly enough.

Within the previous legislation, conditional terms existed that would have rendered mandated coverage null.

“When we worked on the previous measure, I told the insurance companies ‘Get on board or I’m coming back,’” Mulroe continued. “This is too important to drag our feet on. I’m glad the governor used good judgment and signed the proposal.”

The bill goes into effect immediately.

Category: Showcase

VetHomeShowcaseSPRINGFIELD – A five-story, 200 bed veterans home on Chicago’s northwest side has stood vacant and half completed since June of last year. The home became a victim of the Illinois budget impasse. Thankfully, construction is set to resume thanks to Senator John G. Mulroe (D-Chicago).

“It’s outrageous that projects like the Chicago Veterans Home ever got caught in the line of fire with the budget impasse,” Mulroe said. “These men and women served their duty to this country, and we can’t get our act together enough to ensure that they have a dedicated facility at their disposal?”

The project broke ground in September of 2014, with a price tag of $70 million, slated to be completed midway through this year. The US Department of Veterans Affairs agreed to reimburse the state for up to 65% of the cost to build the facility. However, when funding for the project was not approved, local residents and veterans began to fear the worst.

The proposal contains the remaining state obligation of $8.5 million. While the state currently operates four other veterans homes, this would be the first facility in Chicago. According to the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, the Chicago home would offer housing as well specialized medical care for veterans suffering from diseases like Alzheimer’s or dementia.

“People aren’t bargaining chips. I’ve been working hard for the past year to get things moving on this facility,” Mulroe continued. “I’m angry that this was the way to get this project going, but I am glad to see work begin again.”

SB2047 received overwhelming bipartisan support in the House and Senate, and now goes to the governor.

Category: Showcase

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Office Info

Springfield Office:
Senator 10th District
127 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-1035
(217) 782-2331 FAX
 
District Office:
5940 North Milwaukee Avenue
Chicago, IL 60646
(773) 763-3810
(773) 763-3881 FAX