Promotes Illinois products in a large and growing market

SPRINGFIELD, IL – State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-16th) joined Governor Pat Quinn, university and business leaders and other prominent Illinoisans as ambassadors for the state’s products on a trade mission to Brazil last week.

“I was deeply impressed by the dynamic diversity of this beautiful country, and I’m excited Illinois has forged new ties with Brazil in education, tourism, investment and exports,” Sen. Collins said. “Illinois, which already attracts more foreign investment than any other state in the Midwest, is ideally positioned for profitable partnerships with Brazil.”

During the six-day trip, the delegation visited Sao Paulo, Brasilia and Recife. They announced several new initiatives to bring Brazilian students to Illinois universities, facilitate joint research opportunities, promote mutual investment and position Illinois companies to provide goods and services to Brazil as it prepares for a nationwide, $150 billion infrastructure upgrade. Sen. Collins and her fellow travelers also spoke to Brazilians about opportunities for tourists in Chicago and elsewhere in Illinois.

“It was an honor to help showcase not only Illinois products, but Illinois’ phenomenal workers, researchers, communities and institutions of higher learning,” Sen. Collins said. “Continued economic growth is vital to improving quality of life in Illinois, and I’m confident the bridges we’ve built on this visit will benefit both Illinois and Brazil for years to come.”

Brazil’s economy is the largest in Latin America and the sixth-largest in the world. The nation’s GDP growth surpassed expectations last year, indicating a strong recovery from the global recession. The total value of exports from Illinois to Brazil rose 24 percent between 2010 and 2011.

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Touring the Ingredion Brazil corn processing plant in Cabo

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Measure will keep guns out of the hands of domestic violence offenders


SPRINGFIELD, IL – State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-16th) successfully negotiated legislation, signed today, to tighten state oversight of the Firearm Owner Identification (FOID) card program and keep guns out of the hands of people legally prohibited from owning them. Senate Bill 1034 addresses key findings from the much-publicized Attorney General’s FOID audit, which found many perpetrators of domestic violence, individuals with an active order of protection or “no contact” order against them, and mentally ill individuals illegally owning guns.


“Our firearms laws are designed to protect people from those who may be more likely to commit violent acts; it is thus extremely disconcerting to learn that restrictions on gun ownership often were not enforced,” Sen. Collins said. “Victims of domestic violence in particular should not live in fear that their abusers could have access to a firearm because of a loophole in the law.”


Sen. Collins’ measure clarifies that certain domestic violence perpetrators may not own guns whether they plead guilty to the offense or are tried and convicted. It also states that FOID cards must be confiscated immediately from subjects of order of protection or stalking “no contact” orders who are not allowed to possess guns, and it requires a court to immediately notify police when a person becomes ineligible for gun ownership by reason of mental illness.


In addition, the legislation contains protections for lawful firearm owners, such as giving new residents up to 60 days to obtain a FOID card, reducing penalties for gun owners who forget to renew their cards on time and creating a religious exemption to the photograph requirement for firearm owners in the Amish community.


“The intent of the state’s gun laws is to keep guns out of the hands of those who should not possess them, not to harass law-abiding gun owners,” Sen. Collins said. “The legislation signed today affirms that intent and makes our communities safer.”


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On Saturday, August 18, Senator Jacqueline Collins celebrated Community Day at Chatham's ICE Theater, stopping by the West Chesterfield table before speaking to the assembled crowd about HIV/AIDS and the $4.1 million already raised for awareness and services through the Red Ribbon Cash lottery program she sponsored. Individuals and families attending Community Day obtained health information and resources, enjoyed refreshments and watched the new documentary Red Ribbon as well as an excerpt from Endgame: AIDS in Black America. From left to right: West Chesterfield Community Association table sponsor Honora Taylor, WCCA board member Jenny LaFargue, Black Pages publisher Eugene Dillanado, Sen. Collins and WCCA President Michael LaFargue.


Radon, a leading cause of lung cancer, can easily be prevented

SPRINGFIELD, IL – State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-16th) hailed the governor’s signing of a law she sponsored to protect people from an often undetected danger lurking in more than one-third of Illinois homes. Radon, a colorless and odorless gas, can accumulate in houses, schools and other buildings and is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.


“The bad news is that radon is potentially deadly, and unacceptable levels are found in an estimated 36 percent of homes in our state; the good news is that preventing radon build-up in the construction phase is relatively easy and inexpensive,” Sen. Collins said. “In 2009 the legislature convened a task force of experts to research best practices for radon-resistant new construction, and this year legislators asked them to finish the job and produce standards the building industry can implement promptly before anyone else needlessly develops cancer from radon build-up.”


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