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Illinois to Ban Smoking on State University Campuses
SPRINGFILED, IL, (SWI-News.com), August 17, 2014 - Governor Pat Quinn has signed legislation to prohibit smoking on the campuses of all state-supported colleges and universities. The smoking ban takes effect July 1, 2015 and applies to both indoor and outdoor spaces on campuses. The Governor also signed a law to restrict the display of e-cigarettes.

"Illinois' college students shouldn't be subject to unwanted cigarette smoke on the campuses they call home," Governor Quinn said. "We want all schools to be healthy, clean and productive places of learning for Illinois' bright young minds. This new law will improve the health of our students and encourage healthier lifestyles after college graduation."

Senate Bill 2202, sponsored by State Senator Terry Link (D-Waukegan) and State Representative Ann Williams (D-Chicago), creates the Smoke Free Campus Act that prohibits all smoking on state-supported college and university campuses in Illinois beginning July 1, 2015.

"Smoking remains the leading preventable cause of death," Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck said. "Smoke-free campuses make it more difficult for students and staff to smoke, thereby decreasing the number of people who smoke, and reducing the number of people who start."

Exceptions to the law are made for smoking inside privately owned vehicles traveling through campus and certain activities allowed under the Federal American Indian Religious Freedom Act. A companion bill signed today by Governor Quinn, House Bill 3961, allows smoking on campus inside parked, non-state-owned vehicles. The Smoke Free Campus Act requires each institution to establish a community task force by December 31, 2014 to coordinate the implementation of the act.


New Law Prevents Criminal Background Checks Until After an Applicant is Deemed Qualified for a Job
SPRINGFILED, IL, (SWI-News.com), July 20, 2014 - Governor Pat Quinn has signed legislation to help ex-offenders secure employment in the private sector and become productive members of society. The new law prevents criminal background checks until after an applicant is deemed qualified for a job.

The action follows an administrative order the Governor issued last year to ensure the same consideration for those seeking state employment. The bill signing is part of Governor Quinn's agenda to ensure all Illinois' workers are treated fairly.

"Everyone deserves a second chance when it comes to getting a job," Governor Quinn said in a news release. "This law will help ensure that people across Illinois get a fair shot to reach their full potential through their skills and qualifications, rather than past history. It will also help reduce recidivism, fight poverty and prevent violence in our communities by putting more people back to work."

House Bill 5701, sponsored by State Representative Rita Mayfield (D-Waukegan) and State Senator Antonio Muñoz (D-Chicago), prohibits a private employer or employment agency from inquiring about or considering an applicant's criminal history until the applicant has been determined to be qualified for the job and selected for an interview. The new law does not apply to certain jobs where employers must exclude applicants with criminal histories. The legislation, which was recommended by the bipartisan Illinois Employment Restrictions Task Force, is effective January 1, 2015.

"By allowing applicants to undergo the interview process without being judged as unfit for employment because of their background, we will help individuals get back to work, pursue a higher education and become the responsible residents that our state thrives on," Representative Mayfield said. "I believe this legislation will improve the lives of many residents and give them the opportunities they were previously unable to strive for."

"Everyone should have the opportunity to be considered for employment," Senator Munoz said. "This legislation protects people with criminal records from discrimination, gives deserving people a second chance and allows them to be evaluated based on their suitability for a position."


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