Breen legislation would create drug disposal task force
State Rep. Peter Breen (R-Lombard) has helped passed legislation to create a task force to inform Illinoisans of the methods and benefits of proper disposal of pharmaceuticals and the risks associated with improper and non-disposal of those products. Through SB 2524, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) would provide administrative support of a newly created Pharmaceutical Disposal Task Force, with assistance from the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois State Board of Education. The task force, which would serve without pay, would be in place through 2022. “Increased abuse of prescription medications by people other than the individuals for which they were prescribed has reached a crisis point in Illinois,” said Breen. “We’re learning that the medicine cabinet is the primary source of drugs for teens and that older teens and young adults actually engage in ‘pharm parties,’ where kids steal prescription medicines from home, take them to a party, and share them with friends. It’s a dangerous game that sometimes has deadly consequences.” In addition to the risks associated with people taking pills that were prescribed to someone else, Breen pointed to significant environmental concerns that result when unused pharmaceuticals are poured down sinks or flushed, causing them to enter the public water supply. “Drugs enter our water supply when people flush their unused pharmaceuticals down the toilet or pour them down the sink,” Breen said. “While water from sewage is filtered and chlorinated, drugs remain in the water, posing a threat to families who drink water from the tap. This issue could be largely preventable if folks take advantage of opportunities to properly dispose of their unused or expired medications.” With passage of the bill in the House and Senate, SB 2524 now moves to Gov. Rauner for his signature.
Lombard water exceeds standards, report says
The Village of Lombard’s 2018 Annual Water Quality Report once again shows excellent results that surpass requirements established by the Environmental Protection Agency. The report covers water tested from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2017. To view this year’s water report, visit www.villageoflombard.org/waterqualityreport. Individuals who do not have access to the internet or would like a paper copy, contact Public Works at 630-620-5740 or email publicworks@ villageoflombard.org and a paper copy will be mailed to you. The Village of Lombard is dedicated to providing the highest quality of water to its residents. The annual water quality report is intended to provide important information pertaining to the village’s water supply, including violations and contaminants, if applicable. The Village of Lombard’s 2018 Annual Water Quality Report maintains its ongoing record of violation free water, and shows that the village’s excellent water quality meets all of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and state drinking water health and safety standards. For more information, visit www. vilalgeoflombard.org/water or contact Public Works’ Utilities Superintendent Brian Jack at 630-620-5740 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Work continues on manhole aerator project
Work is under way on the Village of Lombard’s Edson/Wilson intersection manhole aerator project. Work to improve the sanitary sewer manhole began during the week of June 25 and includes the vertical realignment of the sanitary force main that discharges into the manhole, installing a Vortex flow insert to reduce sewer odors, construction of an emergency bypass and repairing and lining of the manhole. During construction, Wilson Avenue, between Main Street and Finley Road, will be closed to thru traffic but open to local traffic only. The intersection of Edson and Wilson is closed to all traffic. Depending on the weather, the completion of the project, and the reopening of the intersection, is anticipated during the week of Aug. 6. For more information, visit www.villageoflombard.org/manholeaerator.
Eliminating fee to freeze credit signed into law
In response to the recent Equifax data breach, state Rep. Deb Conroy, D-Villa Park, co-sponsored House Bill 4095, which would prevent credit agencies from charging consumers fees to freeze their credit. The bill was recently signed into law. “I helped introduce legislation that ensured that consumers who trusted the security of Equifax would not foot the bill for freezing their accounts due to the company’s reckless behavior,” said Conroy. “Equifax’s mistakes put the personal information of millions of Illinoisans at risk. This law is a big step in ensuring that the rights of consumers are put ahead of the profits of large corporations.” Equifax announced it had suffered a massive data breach of sensitive consumer information from May to July of 2017, impacting as many as 143 million Americans. In Illinois, the breach is believed to have jeopardized the personal and financial information of more than 5.4 million residents. In order to protect oneself from identity theft, customers of Equifax were encouraged by the Attorney General’s Office to consider placing a freeze on their credit and sign up for free credit reports. House Bill 4095 now requires that agencies like Equifax provide this service for free. “The Equifax breach was a huge blow to the confidence of many consumers who trusted their services,” said Conroy. “It was unfair for Equifax to ask that customers pay for the mistakes of a large institution. This bill is a huge win for consumers. Residents who are still concerned about their risks after the data breach should reach out the Attorney General’s Office for resources and more information.”
Nybo files bill to target, report senior financial abuse
With growing concerns around identity and credit fraud scams and senior citizens, State Sen. Chris Nybo (R-Elmhurst) filed new legislation to more effectively target and report suspected financial exploitation of vulnerable adults. The initiative mandates that financial advisors must come forward if they have a reasonable belief that a client who is a senior citizen or vulnerable adult has fallen victim to financial exploitation— and are obligated to report it to the state securities regulator. “This legislation bridges a partnership between financial advisors and government authorities to protect Illinois’ investors who may be more susceptible to fraud, and offers the advisors immunity for filing the report,” said Nybo. “It creates a safer space for seniors and other adults to invest their money, so they can trust that they will be notified and action will be taken if their advisor believes that fraud has occurred or been attempted.” The uptick in senior financial exploitation is a cause for national concern, as the True Link Financial Report on Elder Financial Abuse 2015 cited that the senior citizen population in the United States loses $36.48 billion each year to financial abuse. In addition to reporting potential financial abuse, the legislation requires that financial advisors provide records that are relevant to the suspected or attempted financial exploitation to government authorities. “We focus on financial advisors as part of the solution to combat financial exploitation with seniors, because most often they have closer, and more trusting, relationships with their clients,” said Nybo. “Additionally, they have the necessary records and authority to expedite these issues quickly as they occur.” Financial advisors may only notify third parties of their concerns if they have consent from the client; however, they may not notify a third party if that party is suspected to be responsible for the financial exploitation. Furthermore, the advisors have the ability to temporarily delay monetary disbursement if fraud is suspected. Nybo filed the legislation on June 28, and it now moves to Illinois Senate Assignments Committee.
Conroy urges governor to approve firearm restraining order legislation
State Rep. Deb Conroy, D-Villa Park, is urging the governor to sign House Bill 2354, which gives family members the ability to petition the courts for the right to temporarily take firearms away from individuals who have been deemed as threats to themselves or others. “This bill is a perfect example of common sense gun reform that everyone should support,” said Conroy. “This bill will give family members the power to step forward when a loved one is struggling and petition the courts for a firearm restraining order to temporarily suspend their FOID card and remove weapons from their possession. It is imperative that we keep guns out of the hands of those who pose a danger to themselves and others around them.” Conroy joined lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to sponsor House Bill 2354, which authorizes courts to issue Firearms Restraining Orders to suspend an individuals FOID card and prohibit a person from possessing a firearm during the duration of the order. Only family members or law enforcement officers may file a petition in circuit court for a restraining order and will be granted if the individual poses a significant or—in the case of an emergency order—immediate danger of causing personal injury to himself, herself or another by having a firearm in his or her custody, control or ownership. The bill passed both the House and Senate with bipartisan support. “This bill is one step of many that we must take to combat gun violence in our state,” Conroy said. “I urge Gov. Rauner to stand up to the gun lobby, stand with Illinois residents, and sign this bill into law.”