Quinn Signs Several Laws

CHICAGO (AP) — Legislation proposed by three suburban Chicago third graders to better protect pets is now Illinois law.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed a measure Saturday increasing fines for mistreating or abusing animals. Supporters say it targets unethical operators of puppy mills.

It was sponsored by Arlington Heights Republican Rep. David Harris and Sen. Pamela Although, a McHenry Republican. It doubles or more than doubles the fines for one or more instances of animal mistreatment.

But the idea came to Harris from Claire Hackmann, Brooke Martin and Maddie O’Dell. They are third grade students at Patton Elementary School in Arlington Heights. The children read a book about students who rescued a dog from a puppy mill. They researched the issue further and contacted Harris.

A new state law eliminates the registration fee for owners of all-terrain vehicles who only use them on private property.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed the measure Friday. It also cuts the fees for some ATVs used in local and state parks.

Peoria Democratic Sen. Dave Koehler says his measure refines a 2012 registration law.

The $15 registration fee is cut to $10 for smaller ATVs — typically used by children. It also exempts golf carts, vehicles for disabled people, and ATVs used by government officials or farmers. ATVs used only on private land or in competitions are also exempt.

Koehler says ATV owners want to support state parks but thought the 2012 fee schedule was unfair.

The law takes effect immediately.

Gov. Pat Quinn has signed a measure into law that allows diabetics to inject insulin where and when they need to.

Sponsoring Sen. Mattie Hunter — a Chicago Democrat and member of the Illinois Diabetes Caucus — says people with diabetes could risk being charged with indecent exposure because they needed to quickly inject insulin into certain parts of their bodies.

Hunter says, “When someone needs an insulin shot, they do not have time to find the nearest restroom sometimes.” She says the law will end embarrassment, make it easier for people dealing with a difficult disease and save lives.

Hunter says she has worked to protect funding for diabetes research. Last year, her idea for a “diabetes awareness” license plate became law.

Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation aimed at protecting water supplies.

One three bills Quinn signed Sunday creates the Urban Flooding Awareness Act. The new law forms a working group to evaluate research urban flooding policies. The group’s report will be due in 2015.

Another law Quinn signed lets law enforcement agencies collect pharmaceuticals and other controlled substances and transport them to sites approved by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. Often times those substances are flushed down the toilet and threaten water supplies.

Also Sunday, Chicago’s Department of Water Management confirmed Chicago water is safe to drink. City officials tested water supplies over the weekend after Ohio officials conducted tests revealing the presence of a toxin possibly from algae on Lake Erie.

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