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Local state lawmakers pushing for sweeping new punishments in Fentanyl-related cases | RiverBender.com

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GRANITE CITY – Three members of the Illinois General Assembly spoke at the Granite City City Hall today in order to announce a legislative package hoping to protect first responders from the potent and often deadly effects of the drug, Fentanyl.

Fentanyl is a synthesized opiate, which is currently killing more people in Madison County than heroin, Madison County Coroner Stephen P. Nonn, who was also at the announcement, said. It was found in a Brooklyn, Illinois, night club last month and contact with it sent multiple police and EMTs to area hospitals with side effects of merely coming into contact with the drug. Fentanyl is powerful enough to harm through simple skin contact or inhaling minuscule amounts of it.

Because of that early morning incident, State Rep. Monica Bristow (D-Alton), joined with State Rep. Katie Stuart (D-Collinsville) and Jay Hoffman (D-Highland) to announce new legislation hoping to increase penalties for those using and dealing Fentanyl in cases involving first responders coming into contact with the dangerous opioid.

“Opioid abuse is hurting our entire state, especially our area,” Bristow said. “We’re working with law enforcement and educators to help save lives. Two cops and an EMT were exposed to Fentanyl at a Brooklyn night club and had to be treated for it. We owe it to them to grant them more safety while they are doing an already dangerous job.”

Called House Bill (HB) 5942, the bill, which was introduced by Bristow today, would add to the charges incurred by exposing first responders to Fentanyl. According to the synopsis on the Illinois General Assembly’s website, HB5942 would do the following:

Provides that a person who unlawfully possesses Fentanyl commits reckless endangerment of a first responder by Fentanyl exposure if he or she, by any means, lawful or unlawful, recklessly performs an act or acts that cause a first responder bodily harm as a result of exposure or contact with Fentanyl. Provides that a person commits reckless endangerment of a first responder by Fentanyl exposure when he or she unlawfully delivers Fentanyl to another that causes bodily harm to a first responder as a result of exposure or contact with that Fentanyl. Reckless endangerment of a first responder by Fentanyl exposure is a Class 2 Felony – effective immediately.

A second bill was also filed by Bristow today in regards to Fentanyl. HB5943 would increase the sentencing enhancement for the following violations involving Fentanyl: manufacture or delivery, possession with intent to manufacture or deliver, a controlled substance, a counterfeit substance or controlled substance analog, controlled substance trafficking, calculated criminal drug conspiracy, criminal drug conspiracy, streetgang drug conspiracy or delivery of a controlled, counterfeit or lookalike substance to a person under 18 years of age.

HB5943 would increase sentencing enhancement for those crimes from three years to six years imprisonment. It would also modify the amount of Fentanyl required to trigger sentencing intervals.

“Throughout the Metro East, we are seeing the opioid epidemic tear apart and hurt families, and put our emergency responders at risk when they come into contact with these dangerous substances,” Stuart said in a release following the announcement. “This legislation helps protect our law enforcement officers and first responders who could be seriously harmed or injured through their service. We need to make sure that our laws are updated to not only address those that are put in harm’s way, but also to protect the brave individuals fighting to keep our community safe.”

The measure is backed by several members of local law enforcement, who were at the announcement to grant their support. Madison County Sheriff John Lakin was not able to attend, but Bristow said he gave his full support to the measure. Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons was at the announcement, however, and praised the measure, which was just today filed with the clerk in the Illinois General Assembly.

“Mexican drug cartels are flooding our communities with ever-more dangerous drugs,” he said. “As the up the ante with ever-more dangerous drugs, we have to do the same in kind to meet their force with more force. We’re talking about those who choose to do these drugs and those afflicted by addiction putting those first responders in danger, whose lives are now seriously at risk for trying to help.”

Nonn said Fentanyl has replaced heroin in recent years as far as overdose-related deaths in Madison County are concerned. He said as many as 651 people have perished as a direct result of overdose deaths in the last nine years.

In 2013, the first instances of Fentanyl deaths hit the county with only three succumbing to it and 23 dying as a result of heroin. By 2016, however, those numbers had flipped, with 2014 and 2015 having less than 10 Fentanyl-related deaths and many more related to heroin. In 2016, 45 died from Fentanyl-related overdoses and 11 died from heroin.

This year so far, no one in Madison County has died from heroin alone and 31 people have already succumbed to Fentanyl alone or a cocktail of drugs including it.

Reporter Cory Davenport can be reached via call or text at (618) 419-3046 or via email at cory@riverbender.com

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August 18, 2018 at 02:38PM

Local state lawmakers pushing for sweeping new punishments in Fentanyl-related cases | RiverBender.com

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GRANITE CITY – Three members of the Illinois General Assembly spoke at the Granite City City Hall today in order to announce a legislative package hoping to protect first responders from the potent and often deadly effects of the drug, Fentanyl.

Fentanyl is a synthesized opiate, which is currently killing more people in Madison County than heroin, Madison County Coroner Stephen P. Nonn, who was also at the announcement, said. It was found in a Brooklyn, Illinois, night club last month and contact with it sent multiple police and EMTs to area hospitals with side effects of merely coming into contact with the drug. Fentanyl is powerful enough to harm through simple skin contact or inhaling minuscule amounts of it.

Because of that early morning incident, State Rep. Monica Bristow (D-Alton), joined with State Rep. Katie Stuart (D-Collinsville) and Jay Hoffman (D-Highland) to announce new legislation hoping to increase penalties for those using and dealing Fentanyl in cases involving first responders coming into contact with the dangerous opioid.

“Opioid abuse is hurting our entire state, especially our area,” Bristow said. “We’re working with law enforcement and educators to help save lives. Two cops and an EMT were exposed to Fentanyl at a Brooklyn night club and had to be treated for it. We owe it to them to grant them more safety while they are doing an already dangerous job.”

Called House Bill (HB) 5942, the bill, which was introduced by Bristow today, would add to the charges incurred by exposing first responders to Fentanyl. According to the synopsis on the Illinois General Assembly’s website, HB5942 would do the following:

Provides that a person who unlawfully possesses Fentanyl commits reckless endangerment of a first responder by Fentanyl exposure if he or she, by any means, lawful or unlawful, recklessly performs an act or acts that cause a first responder bodily harm as a result of exposure or contact with Fentanyl. Provides that a person commits reckless endangerment of a first responder by Fentanyl exposure when he or she unlawfully delivers Fentanyl to another that causes bodily harm to a first responder as a result of exposure or contact with that Fentanyl. Reckless endangerment of a first responder by Fentanyl exposure is a Class 2 Felony – effective immediately.

A second bill was also filed by Bristow today in regards to Fentanyl. HB5943 would increase the sentencing enhancement for the following violations involving Fentanyl: manufacture or delivery, possession with intent to manufacture or deliver, a controlled substance, a counterfeit substance or controlled substance analog, controlled substance trafficking, calculated criminal drug conspiracy, criminal drug conspiracy, streetgang drug conspiracy or delivery of a controlled, counterfeit or lookalike substance to a person under 18 years of age.

HB5943 would increase sentencing enhancement for those crimes from three years to six years imprisonment. It would also modify the amount of Fentanyl required to trigger sentencing intervals.

“Throughout the Metro East, we are seeing the opioid epidemic tear apart and hurt families, and put our emergency responders at risk when they come into contact with these dangerous substances,” Stuart said in a release following the announcement. “This legislation helps protect our law enforcement officers and first responders who could be seriously harmed or injured through their service. We need to make sure that our laws are updated to not only address those that are put in harm’s way, but also to protect the brave individuals fighting to keep our community safe.”

The measure is backed by several members of local law enforcement, who were at the announcement to grant their support. Madison County Sheriff John Lakin was not able to attend, but Bristow said he gave his full support to the measure. Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons was at the announcement, however, and praised the measure, which was just today filed with the clerk in the Illinois General Assembly.

“Mexican drug cartels are flooding our communities with ever-more dangerous drugs,” he said. “As the up the ante with ever-more dangerous drugs, we have to do the same in kind to meet their force with more force. We’re talking about those who choose to do these drugs and those afflicted by addiction putting those first responders in danger, whose lives are now seriously at risk for trying to help.”

Nonn said Fentanyl has replaced heroin in recent years as far as overdose-related deaths in Madison County are concerned. He said as many as 651 people have perished as a direct result of overdose deaths in the last nine years.

In 2013, the first instances of Fentanyl deaths hit the county with only three succumbing to it and 23 dying as a result of heroin. By 2016, however, those numbers had flipped, with 2014 and 2015 having less than 10 Fentanyl-related deaths and many more related to heroin. In 2016, 45 died from Fentanyl-related overdoses and 11 died from heroin.

This year so far, no one in Madison County has died from heroin alone and 31 people have already succumbed to Fentanyl alone or a cocktail of drugs including it.

Reporter Cory Davenport can be reached via call or text at (618) 419-3046 or via email at cory@riverbender.com

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August 18, 2018 at 02:38PM

Stuart to host town hall with local female leaders

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GLEN CARBON – State Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, is hosting a town hall meeting with women leaders in the Metro East on Tuesday, May 1 from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Glen Carbon Centennial Library located at 198 S. Main St.

“I introduced legislation to expand access to private rooms for nursing mothers who visit our state capitol in response to concerns I had heard from local women who had visited Springfield only to find that there were no suitable areas to privately breastfeed,” said Stuart. “The conversations I have with local residents every single day drive my legislative agenda in Springfield, and these town halls are a crucial way that I receive feedback and ideas from the people I represent.”

Stuart hosts regular town hall meetings and other public meetings for residents to share their opinions on state issues. Additionally, she formed and meets with members of her Women’s Issues Citizen Advisory Committee to discuss issues and legislation impacting women. Stuart’s town hall meetings are free and open to the public.

“The legislature is scheduled for nearly non-stop session as we continue work on the budget and other issues before the May 31 adjournment,” Stuart added. “I encourage everyone to attend this town hall and share their ideas with me on how we can tackle any issues that women are facing in our communities and in our state.”

Stuart bill blocking politician pay increase advances in the House

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stuart katie squareLegislation sponsored by state Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, to block an automatic pay increase for state lawmakers from taking effect next year advanced out of the House State Government Committee on Thursday.

“I spend my time going door-to-door in our community, meeting with social service providers and not-for-profit organizations, visiting schools and speaking with small-business owners throughout the Metro East,” said Stuart. “Everyone is struggling to make ends meet, especially schools and organizations that rely on state funding, including organizations that serve senior citizens, veterans, domestic violence victims and the developmentally disabled. This is no time for politicians to take a pay raise.”

House Bill 5760 prohibits cost-of-living adjustments and freezes travel reimbursement rates for lawmakers and statewide office holders. Stuart passed similar legislation last year.

“This is a commonsense bill that all legislators should support to demonstrate our commitment to fiscal responsibility and good government that works for the people we represent,” continued Stuart. “Freezing lawmaker salaries alone won’t solve our fiscal challenges, and I’m committed to working with legislators on both sides of the aisle to identify savings and increase efficiencies to save taxpayer dollars and do more with what we have. This legislation is just the right thing to do.”

Lawmaker proposes splitting up the SIU system

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SPRINGFIELD — After Thursday’s vote against a plan to shift more money from SIUC to SIUE, a state lawmaker with ties to Edwardsville wants to split the two campuses.

State Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Belleville) has suggested the idea several times over the past couple decades, but he still feels the effort could win approval, especially in light of this week’s events.

Hoffman said he feels like SIUE doesn’t benefit much from being in the SIU system. He also feels like the two universities have different missions, and having different governing boards for each one will allow both to thrive.

Hoffman has filed similar legislation as recently as 2014.

His bills would essentially do two things: put SIU Edwardsville and the SIU School of Medicine under one umbrella and let SIU Carbondale have its own board.

It would also guarantee the two universities receive the same amount of money, not the 60-40 split it’s supposed to be currently.

Hoffman said that won’t cause SIUC to lose money.

“I would provide money to adequately fund the university systems, which would, I believe, not end up with SIU Carbondale losing money but both the universities would actually see an increase in the money,” Hoffman said.

Local lawmakers aren’t on board with the proposal.

“The timing is awful and it reeks a bit like a tantrum over what happened (Thursday),” State Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) said.

Bryant also said the move would hurt SIU’s research accreditation.

State Sen. Paul Schimpf (R-Waterloo) and State Rep. Natalie Phelps Finnie (D-Elizabethtown) want more time to research the idea, but Schimpf also said in a statement he feels the two universities are better off in the same system.

State Sen. Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg) worries SIUC will lose more money under the proposal, which could be devastating to the community.

News 3 also reached out to SIU system president Randy Dunn. His spokesman told us he wants to wait a few days to respond.

Jehan Gordon-Booth to receive Victim Service Award | CIProud

https://ift.tt/2HiCEDi PEORIA, Ill. – It is National Crime Victim Rights Week, April 8-14th The annual event celebrates milestones in advocacy and encourages private citizens, organizations …

Conroy Raises Awareness of Pay Equity Day | Elmhurst, IL Patch

https://ift.tt/2GDzIlf VILLA PARK, Ill. – State Rep. Deb Conroy, D-Villa Park, is calling attention to the gender wage gap by recognizing April 10 as Pay Equity Day and sponsor new …

Conroy Raises Awareness Around National Donate Life Month …

https://ift.tt/2GDMLiz Bulletin Board: A Post From the Community | VILLA PARK, Ill. – State Rep. Deb Conroy, D-Villa Park, is raising awareness around National Donate Life month …

Bristow to host I-Cash event with Illinois State Treasurer …

https://ift.tt/2JaWvmm ALTON To help connect Illinois residents with forgotten or lost property, the office of state Rep. Monica Bristow, D-Godfrey, will be partnering with th

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