05182018CM0105A new scratch-off Lottery game to fund police memorials, provide financial assistance to the families of officers killed in the line of duty and assist officers purchasing bullet-proof vests for work will soon be available. The legislation to create this new scratch-off, House Bill 5513, was co-sponsored by State Senator John G. Mulroe (D-Chicago).

“I am proud to co-sponsor this legislation which will help police officers, their families and the community,” Mulroe said. “Police officers risk their lives to keep us safe every day. This new law will support their families and the memory of their sacrifices.”

Proceeds from the scratch-off will be used to fund grants for building and maintaining police memorials and parks. It will provide financial assistance to officers who are catastrophically injured or killed in the line of duty and their families. It may also be used to provide scholarships to the children of officers killed or seriously injured in the line of duty.

This legislation was signed into law this week and takes effect on Jan. 1, 2019.

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Senator Mulroe in a committee hearingPatients may soon be able to skip the doctor’s office and head straight to a physical therapist under a measure sponsored by State Senator John G. Mulroe.

“This legislation will save people time and money,” Mulroe said. “Our current system forces patients to see a doctor, pay a co-pay, receive a referral and then start treatment. Physical therapists are highly trained within their field and should be able to diagnose a patient.”

Under House Bill 4643, patients would be able to visit a physical therapist for diagnosis and treatment without first visiting a doctor for a referral. Physical therapists are limited to diagnosing and treating patients within the realm of their practice.

House Bill 4643 advanced out of the Senate Licensed Activities and Pensions Committee last week with a 9-0 vote.

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0400 DistractedDrivingIn the time it takes to read a text message, a car traveling at 55 miles per hour will cover the length of a football field. A lot can happen in that time, including a fatal crash.

Nearly 10 people die every day because of distracted drivers, statistics show. April is distracted driving awareness month, a good time to brush up on best practices and Illinois laws. State and local authorities will be stepping up distracted driving enforcement and teen education efforts.

“Though it may seem like you’re taking your eyes off the road for just a moment, a lot can happen when cars are traveling at high speeds,” State Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago) said. “I encourage parents and guardians to talk about the dangers of distracted driving with their teens.”

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Senator Mulroe in a committee hearingState Senator John G. Mulroe (D-Chicago) is disappointed that the governor vetoed yet another measure to support firefighters. The governor recently vetoed House Bill 688, which addresses a pension issue for firefighters that worked outside of Chicago and then transferred to the Chicago Fire Department. This marks the third pro-firefighter piece of legislation that the governor has vetoed in the past 18 months.

“Firefighters that have served in communities outside of Chicago should be able to transfer their pension contributions from their previous fund to their current pension fund,” Mulroe said.

House Bill 688 allows active firefighters to transfer up to 10 years of creditable service from the Downstate Firefighter Pension Fund to the Firemen’s Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago. Active firefighters would also be able to transfer up to six years of creditable service from a police pension fund to a firefighters’ pension if both funds are administered by the same unit of local government. These transfers must occur within six months of this legislation going into effect.  

Last year, the governor vetoed Senate Bill 440, a measure Mulroe sponsored to support widows, widowers and family members of Chicago police officers, firefighters, and paramedics that die in the line of duty. The legislature took action and overrode the governor’s veto. The legislature also overrode the governor’s veto of a measure to refinance Chicago’s police and fire pension funds last year.

“I will support Senator Cunningham’s efforts to override the governor’s misguided veto of House Bill 688,” Mulroe said. “It is time to do what’s right for those who risk their lives to protect our communities.”

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