Quinn Signs Boating Laws, Birth Control Question

CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn has approved several laws aimed at increasing boater safety on a holiday weekend that many Illinois residents are spending on lakes and rivers.

The Chicago Democrat signed the three measures Saturday. They require safety courses, set down rules for towing people on water tubes and impose stricter DUI penalties.

Beginning in 2016, residents born after Jan. 1, 1998, must hold a state safety license. The rules apply to those operating watercraft with more than 10 horsepower.

Additionally, boaters towing a person must display a foot-long orange flag while the rider is in the water.

And residents convicted of three boater-related DUI offenses or people operating a watercraft with revoked licenses could have their boats taken away.

Gov. Pat Quinn has signed a November ballot question that’ll ask voters if they think prescription drug coverage plans should be required to include birth control.

He inked the non-binding question Sunday. In a statement, Quinn says a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on birth control has brought the issue of women’s rights to the forefront.

Illinois already requires insurance providers that cover prescription drugs to also cover FDA-approved contraceptive drugs for women.

State Sen. Iris Martinez sponsored that legislation, which became law in 2003. She’s a sponsor of the ballot measure and says t’s necessary to make the argument stronger in light of the Affordable Care Act and court disputes.

But Republicans argue it’s a gimmick intended to boost Democratic voter turnout.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)