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

Tobacco 21

What kills more people than AIDS, car crashes and heart problems? Tobacco, and thanks to a new law sponsored by Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago) that number will hopefully diminish.

"It’s undisputed that smoking will kill you, and before that cause irreparable harm," Mulroe stated. "The cigarette packs clearly state the health risks. If someone doesn’t start smoking by the age of 21, their risk of starting is dramatically decreased."

The proposal would raise the legal smoking age in Illinois to 21, which research shows that young people are not only more fully developed, but also able to make more informed decisions about their health. Tobacco 21 is an effort that has taken hold across the country and recently passed by the city of Chicago.

"There is a huge cost benefit as well. In addition to private costs, studies conducted by CDC says the state of Illinois spends up to $2 billion through Medicaid," Mulroe continued. "The savings to taxpayers would be enormous."

By raising the smoking age to 21, studies show that it becomes more difficult to obtain cigarettes illegally. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Defense is aiming to make all facilities smoke-free by 2020. The legislation includes all smoke tobacco as well as e-cigarettes.

"It makes sense," Mulroe concluded. "Why would we want those that already are in harm’s way to use a product that might kill them?"

The measure passed the Senate yesterday and moves to the House for consideration.

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
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