Quinn signs special-needs tracking measure into law – chicagotribune.com

Posted: July 12, 2011 by scaryhouse in Uncategorized

By Monique Garcia

It was a quiet Saturday morning four years ago when Nancy O’Brien and her husband realized their 7-year-old son was missing from their Elmhurst home.

As a child with autism, James had a tendency to wander from his parents’ sight, and his absence that morning sparked a neighborhood search that didn’t end until hours later when he was spotted at a grocery store more than two miles away.

The terrifying day for the O’Brien family resulted in legislation that Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law Wednesday that will make it easier for police to locate missing people.

Under the new law, police will be able to remotely activate high-tech bracelets worn by children and adults with disabilities that can pinpoint their whereabouts should they go missing. A family member would first have to file a missing persons report with police, who would then activate a bracelet, which will then dial 911 and provide location information.

“A few minutes turned into a nightmare for us,” O’Brien said. “We did something good today.”

Previously, it had been illegal for the tracking devices to call 911, but that will change with the new measure takes effect Jan. 1. Sponsoring Rep. Karen May, D-Highland Park, said the changes were needed to ensure laws keep up with evolving technology.

“This bill is about safety for some of our most vulnerable citizens, and it’s also about peace of mind for families,” May said.

Later in Naperville, Quinn signed into law a measure requiring licensed child-care employees who watch newborns and infants to complete training every three years on how to prevent sudden infant death syndrome. The state previously only recommended that caregivers study safe sleep methods.

As the Democratic governor toured largely Republican DuPage County, Quinn said he is still weighing his options when it comes to a major gambling expansion lawmakers approved during the spring session that includes a Chicago casino. Quinn has been meeting with supporters and critics, and said he’ll meet with the head of the Illinois Gaming Board on Thursday.

Gaming Board Chairman Aaron Jaffe has criticized the gambling legislation as “garbage” that would undermine regulation.

Quinn also will meet with representatives from Danville, who want Quinn to approve the measure because it would bring a casino to the economically depressed community east of Champaign.

“Frankly, it needs to be examined every which way, and that’s exactly what I’m doing,” Quinn said.

via Quinn signs special-needs tracking measure into law – chicagotribune.com.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s