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Welcome

Thank you for visiting my website. I am pleased to serve as your State Senator from the 56th Senate District in the Metro East, representing much of Madison County and part of Saint Clair and Jersey counties. I hope that this website proves to be an invaluable resource in keeping our community informed on what is happening in Springfield.

If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please contact my office at the link above.

I am honored to be your voice in Springfield.

 

091114 js 0037SPRINGFIELD— Last month’s police shooting death of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., sparked national debate over police procedures and practices. In Illinois, Brown’s death has renewed an effort to expand the use of vehicle-mounted and officer-worn cameras.

Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) and Representative Jehan Gordon Booth (D-Peoria) announced, during a press conference Thursday, their commitment to pass a plan this fall that will increase funding for police departments to buy more cameras.

“Every day, the courageous men and women of Illinois law enforcement put their lives on the line to protect us. Cameras like these help prosecute crimes, protect civil liberties and – ultimately – help save officers’ lives,” Haine said.

The plan, House Bill 3911, brings more money to an existing grant program enabling local police departments to purchase cameras. It also secures additional funds for the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Boards.

“I hope that the tragic recent events in Ferguson, which has brought the value of officer and vehicle-mounted cameras to national attention, may serve as a catalyst to enact legislation that protects our brave police officers as much as it does the general public,” Gordon-Booth said.

“The use of cameras serves as a layer of transparency to document disputed encounters between law enforcement and citizens,” NAACP Illinois State Conference President George Mitchell said.

The proposal increases an existing court fee by $6 to fund the camera grant program and increase funding for ILETSB. The $6 fee is estimated to bring in between $4 million and $6 million per year.

“We live in a visual society. These types of videos will be invaluable,” Illinois State’s Attorneys Association President Brian Towne said.

Lawmakers return to Springfield in November for the annual fall session. Gordon-Booth and Haine plan to call HB 3911 then.

052614 js 0094CHICAGO – Professionals in Illinois who break the rules of their licenses could face steeper penalties thanks to a new state law pushed by State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton).

A new law signed Monday by the governor gives regulators more flexibility when disciplining severe breaches of professional conduct.

"We need to hold professionals in Illinois to higher standards. This law is about accountability for egregious actions," Haine said.

Haine sponsored the plan following a court case where a doctor was only given a 6-month suspension after having sex with and giving alcohol and marijuana to a 20-year-old patient.

In the court case Kafin v. IDFPR, the court overturned an Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation attempt to strip the doctor's license. Haine's plan strengthens the department's ability to enforce its existing rules.

The department handles professional certification and licensing. It regulates jobs ranging from locksmiths to barbers and doctors to pawnshop managers.

The new law –Senate Bill 232 – takes effect Jan 1.

ADA LogoRCHICAGO – State officials trying to protect disabled people from abuse now have added legal protection themselves thanks to a new law signed Monday by the governor.

The law – sponsored by State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) – protects the Illinois Department on Aging from being sued for enforcing the Adult Protective Services Act, which was approved last year.

“Last year we passed sweeping protections for this at-risk population. This is a continuing effort to fine tune a new program and ensure the best protections,” Haine said.

Read more...

sec-camSPRINGFIELD – Video cameras and motion sensors have been added to the list of illegal booby traps under a new law sponsored by State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) that was signed by the governor on Friday.

Haine pushed for the proposal – HB 4269 – in the Senate to update the existing law that targets drug dealers who fortify buildings against law enforcement.

“This law will help police investigations and potentially save lives. If drug dealers set up cameras or motion sensors warning them when the police are coming, it gives them a chance to escape, destroy evidence or worse,” Haine said.

Haine worked with State Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Smithton) to get the proposal through the General Assembly and to the governor’s desk.

It is currently illegal to booby trap a building in order to obstruct police. The list of criminal fortifications includes alarm systems, cross bars, steel doors and the use of dogs.

The new legal provisions take effect Jan. 1.

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