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June 2, 2000

Governor Approves MTBE Labeling Bill; Expansion Of Monetary Award Program For Illinois Undergraduates

SPRINGFIELD - Governor George H. Ryan today approved a diverse package of legislative initiatives including a measure requiring sellers of gasoline to notify purchasers of fuel blends that contains more than 2 percent methyl tertiary-butyl ether or MTBE.

MTBE is a gasoline additive used to help reduce smog from vehicles, but it has been linked to groundwater pollution across the country. In Illinois, even though MTBE has not been widely used as compared with other states, MTBE has been detected in 26 water supplies.

"The public deserves to know whether or not the fuel they purchase contains MTBE," Ryan said. "MTBE has proven to be an environmentally hazardous substance that can cause health problems for people exposed to water contaminated by MTBE. Clearly, ethanol is a better fuel additive because its safe for the environment and helps support Illinois' agriculture industry.

"I want to thank the General Assembly for addressing this important issue."

Sponsors of House Bill 2909, the MTBE labeling bill, were senators Duane Noland, D-Blue Mound, Dick Klemn, R-Crystal Lake, Larry Bomke, R-Springfield, Judith Meyers, R-Danville, and Larry Walsh, D-Elwood. House sponsors were representatives Julie Curry, D-Mt. Zion, Mary K. O'Brien, D-Coal City, William Black, R-Danville, Douglas Scott, D-Rockford, and Bill Mitchell, R-Forsyth.

Ryan also approved Senate Bill 1538, which increases the maximum Monetary Award Program (MAP) grant for full-time undergraduate students from $4,530 to $4,740 and for part-time undergraduate students from $2,265 to $2,370.

The Monetary Award Program, administered by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC), currently provides more than $310 million in state aid to Illinois students. It is the nation's second largest state need-based grant program for undergraduate students. MAP grants are provided to eligible students who attend Illinois public universities, private colleges, and community colleges, as well as several Illinois-based proprietary institutions.

Sponsors of Senate Bill 1538 were senators Frank Watson, R-Greenville, Kimberly Lightford, D-Chicago, Vince Demuzio, D-Carlinville, and Judith Meyers, R-Danville. House sponsors were Lou Lang, D-Skokie, Judy Erwin, D-Chicago, Monique Davis, D-Chicago, Sara Feigenholz, D-Chicago and Calvin Giles, D-Chicago.

Other bills signed into law today include:

House Bill 1822 which requires a written compliance between the Department of Agriculture and the person conducting a plant or plant-insect quarantine. This will ensure that individuals conducting the quarantine are held accountable for any actions agreed upon with the Department.

Sponsors of House Bill 1822 were senators Todd Sieben, R-Geneseo, Lisa Madigan, D-Chicago, and Carol Ronen, D-Chicago. House sponsors were representatives Larry McKeon, D-Chicago, John Fritchey, D-Chicago, and Eileen Lyons, R-Western Springs.

House Bill 2883 is an initiative of Secretary of State White's Safety 2000 advisory committee, and is designed to provide courts with complete information on a person's driving history. It will allow the Courts to make more informed decisions regarding driving offenses.

Sponsors of House Bill 2883 were Sen. Walter Dudycz, R-Chicago, and Sen. William Shaw, D-Chicago. House sponsors were representatives Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, Jay Hoffman, D-Collinsville, William O'Connor, R-Berwyn, Steve Davis, D-Bethalto.

House Bill 4369 will ban the sale of bidi cigarettes to all persons regardless of age. Bidi cigarettes resemble marijuana joints which may influence their popularity. The CDC found that bidis produce three times the nicotine and carbon monoxide and five times the tar of regular cigarettes.

Sponsors of House Bill 4369 were senators Kathleen Parker, R-Northbrook, Christine Radogno, R-LaGrange, Adeline Geo-Karis, R-Zion, Dave Sullivan, R-Mt. Prospect, Wendell Jones, R-Palatine. House sponsors were Harry Osterman, D-Chicago, Susan Garrett, D-Lake Bluff, Lauren Beth Gash, D-Highland Park, Mary Flowers, D-Chicago, and Willis Harris, D-Calumet City.

Senate Bill 1398 addresses the public health concern of reptile-associated Salmonella with the sale of reptiles, which is currently the fastest growing segment of the pet industry. Given that most reptile owners obtain information on reptile health and nutrition from pet stores, targeting pet stores for point-of-sale preventive education should be effective in educating the public regarding reptile ownership.

Sponsors of Senate Bill 1398 were Sen. Christine Radogno, R-LaGrange, and Sen. Donne E. Trotter, D-Chicago. House sponsors were Joseph Lyons, D-Chicago, Patricia Bellock, R-Westmont, Sara Feigenholtz, D-Chicago, and Elizabeth Coulson, Glenview.

Senate Bill 1434 requires the Department of Public Health to develop training and experience criteria for persons providing health and home care to victims of dementia-related diseases and to assess the effectiveness of certifying those persons.

Sponsors of Senate Bill 1434 were senators Margaret Smith, D-Chicago, Donne E. Trotter, D-Chicago, Miguel del Valle, D-Chicago, Barack Obama, D-Chicago, and Antonio Munoz. House sponsors were Sara Feigenholtz, D-Chicago, Lou Jones, D-Chicago, Susan Garrett, D-Lake Bluff, Patricia Bellock, Westmont, and Patricia Linder, R-Aurora.


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