dog 052419SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) has passed legislation in the General Assembly to address a number of issues regarding animal shelters and foster groups, licensing fees and feral cat programs.

Senate Bill 61 increases licensing fees and fines under the Department of Agriculture for the first time since 1971. It also changes rules regarding adopted dogs and cats and the facilities that provide foster homes and transport pets for adoption.

“This group of animal welfare measures brings several rescue and shelter issues up to date for Illinois,” Holmes said. “So many pets find their forever homes through these facilities and fostering arrangements. This legislation can serve to increase the potential for that to happen while providing the Department of Agriculture with more resources to oversee these programs and facilities.”

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holmes 052419SPRINGFIELD – Three pieces of legislation from State Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) to improve how local governments operate have passed the Illinois General Assembly.

“Measures to put decisions in the hands of voters and to streamline local government functions will save taxpayer dollars and make operations more transparent,” Holmes said. “Citizens need to know their municipal officials are representing them effectively.”

House Bill 814 would allow municipal officials to satisfy their training requirements of the Open Meetings Act by participating in a course sponsored or conducted by the Illinois Municipal League. They would join other organizations that provide training for municipal officials, in this case providing in-person training rather than electronic training provided by other entities. IML would provide a certificate of course completion to each member of a public body who completes the training successfully.

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stalker 052319SPRINGFIELD – A measure from State Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) would require more rapid response by the courts and law enforcement in issuing stalking, domestic violence and civil no contact orders. House Bill 3396 passed the Senate today.

“If someone is being stalked, their safety and peace of mind are being threatened and they deserve immediate response from the courts and law enforcement,” Holmes said. “A no-contact order needs to be moved swiftly from the courts to law enforcement no matter what day or time it is granted.”

House Bill 3396 changes the Stalking No Contact Order Act, the Civil No Contact Order Act and the Illinois Domestic Violence Act to provide that when an emergency no contact order is granted on a court holiday or evening, the court will immediately file a certified copy with law enforcement officials who maintain State Police records. Currently, those orders aren’t filed until the next court day, possibly delaying relief for victims.

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holmes 052119SPRINGFIELD – A measure from State Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) to remove the statute of limitations for any criminal sexual assault passed the Senate today.

A law was enacted in 2017 to remove the statute of limitations for criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse for victims under the age of 18 years old (PA 100-0080). Holmes’ House Bill 2135 would remove that limit for all victims.

“In the event of an individual choosing to pursue justice for their attack years after the event, or in situations where an investigation is delayed for some reason, we need to be sure justice is still accessible for any sexual assault victim,” Holmes said. “The possibility of a perpetrator not being brought to justice is a risk to public safety.”

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