CollinsFloorShot12CHICAGO – State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) issued the following statement on Gov. Quinn’s amendatory veto of House Bill 183, which would permit the concealed carry of a weapon in Illinois:

In May, I voted against this legislation because I believed it would make communities in my district — and throughout the state — less safe. Today, I applaud the governor for rewriting it in a way that respects the court order while introducing commonsense restrictions.

As written, the legislation does not limit the number of guns a person can carry, nor does it ban firearms anywhere alcohol is served. These are reckless omissions. It will also prevent home rule communities from taking control of their own public safety by passing assault weapons bans; the governor’s proposal would restore that right.

I will not vote to override this veto, and I will urge my colleagues to consider and adopt the suggestions made today, either as part of the current plan or as follow-up legislation.

070113 0276rPolice must partner with schools on shooting incident drills

OAK PARK – State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) spoke today at a ceremony held at Percy Julian Middle School in Oak Park for the signing of school safety legislation she sponsored. The new law requires law enforcement to work with schools to conduct shooting incident drills.

“Preparation is one of the keys to making sure school is a safe environment for all our children,” Collins said. “If in the future, God forbid, someone enters one of our schools to harm students and teachers, administrators and police will already have experience communicating and working together.”

Public and private schools in Illinois are already required to conduct evacuation drills to prepare for disasters such as tornados and fires. They may also simulate bomb threats, hazardous materials situations and other types of incidents. The law Collins proposed requires local law enforcement agencies to participate in exercises that prepare for a shooting incident and to notify schools if they find deficiencies in their response plans. It explicitly states that students do not have to be present at the time of the drill. Some schools may decide that the disruption and apprehension caused by asking students to act out a response to a shooting outweigh the benefits of student participation, particularly in the younger grades.

The legislation also adds suspicious person drills to the list of other kinds of safety exercises schools may conduct. Senate Bill 1625 takes effect immediately.

Photo caption: State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (center) stands with (from left to right) Sen. Don Harmon (D-Oak Park), State Representative Linda Chapa LaVia (D-Aurora) and Governor Pat Quinn. The officials were joined by school children as Gov. Quinn signed Collins’ school safety legislation at Oak Park’s Percy Julian Middle School.

Please listen to Sen. Collins' comments from the bill signing:

CollinsFloorShot11SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago 16th) was pleased to announce the signing today of legislation she sponsored to make sure most of the proceeds from foreclosure filing fees go directly to homeowner counseling and abandoned property rehabilitation. Senate Bill 1674, a follow-up measure to the landmark legislation she sponsored last year to expedite foreclosures on abandoned properties, takes effect immediately.

“As the abandoned property foreclosure plan is implemented, it is important to ensure that lenders are charged the correct filing fees, assistance flows to the neighborhoods that need it most and as much money as possible goes directly to alleviating Illinois’ foreclosure crisis,” said Collins, who as chairperson of the Senate Financial Institutions Committee is well-known for her work on foreclosure.

“With the clarity this measure provides, I am confident that communities can move ahead in their recovery from a housing slump that has left too many neighborhoods riddled with unsafe, unsightly homes and vacant lots.”

Last year’s Senate Bill 16 increased foreclosure filing fees, with the largest increases reserved for the lenders filing the most foreclosure actions each year, and directed the proceeds to two funds: one for foreclosure prevention counseling for an additional 18,000 households and another for grants to municipalities seeking to demolish or rehabilitate abandoned properties. The expedited judicial process it created is expected to shorten the foreclosure timeline for abandoned properties from more than 500 days to approximately 100 days.

The new law caps at four percent the amount the Illinois Housing Development Authority may deduct from foreclosure prevention grants to cover its administrative costs. It clarifies the process by which a lender’s filing fee is determined, the process for allocating grants to different regions of the state and other particulars of the original legislation.

CollinsFloorShot2SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) secured passage today of legislation to protect tenants living in a building in foreclosure.

“Tenants should not be evicted on short notice because of the financial circumstances of their landlord,” Collins said. “This legislation establishes that paying tenants have rights under state law, even when the rental property is repossessed by a bank or sold.”

Currently, tenants living in foreclosed properties are protected under federal law, but those protections are set to sunset in 2014. An owner who acquires a property in a foreclosure proceeding can evict a tenant only at the end of the lease or, if there is no lease, with 90 days’ notice. If the new owner intends to use the property as his or her primary residence, he or she may terminate the lease but must give 90 days’ notice. A bank foreclosing on a rental property also must inform tenants of where they should pay their rent.

“As a legislator with a consistent commitment to housing rights and keeping people in their homes, I do not want the residents of Illinois to fall through the cracks when federal protections expire or are inadequate,” Collins said. “I want Illinois to be known for its comprehensive approach to the foreclosure crisis so our neighborhoods can weather this storm and emerge stronger.”

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Chicago Office:
1155 W. 79th St.
Chicago, IL 60620
(773) 224-2830

Springfield Office:
M114 Capitol
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-1607

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