Five Rep. Bennett Bills Headed to Governor

Several initiatives spearheaded by State Representative Tom Bennett this spring are poised to become law. Bennett (R-Gibson City) said today that measures awaiting the Governor’s signature include local initiatives to help keep school students and staff safe from violence and to protect seniors from financial exploitation.

House Bill 1498 is aimed at keeping school students and faculty safe.  It clarifies that school boards may go into executive session to discuss security details if they feel that’s what they need to do to best ensure everyone’s safety. It’s a very unfortunate reality today that schools need to have security measures in place, and specific plans to deal with threats of violence in their buildings.

House Bill 1588 allows elderly or disabled victims of financial exploitation or abuse to promptly proceed in court with a civil case, and increases the damage awards they may recover. All too often the most vulnerable in our community are targeted by criminals, but the high burden of proof in criminal cases often discourages prosecution. Expediting the civil process affords another avenue for victims to seek justice and to recover financially.

House Bill 1407 ensures that the materials on SIDS prevention new parents receive at the hospital will include information developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics or a statewide or nationally recognized SIDS or medical association. As we continue to learn more about SIDS, prevention information continues to evolve as well. It’s crucial that new parents leave the hospital armed with the best, most reliable information available.

Senate Bill 920 clarifies that counties and municipalities will be in control of establishing standards for wind farms and electric-generating wind devices within their boundaries.
“All four of these initiatives were brought to me my residents here in our communities. It’s very exciting to see local ideas move through the legislative process and I’m confident the Governor will soon sign each one into law,” Representative Bennett said.

Representative Bennett also guided through the legislative process House Bill 3944, which will permit auxiliary lighting on motorcycles that will make them more visible to motorists on the road to help reduce collisions. The measure was initiated by ABATE in cooperation with their “Start Seeing Motorcycles” safety campaign.

Representative Bennett noted that on May 31s, the end of the regularly-scheduled Spring legislative session, nearly 500 had passed both Houses and should proceed to the Governor’s desk - 269 of the bills were House bills and 226 were Senate bills.  This accounts for only a small fraction – 7.8 percent – of the 6,375 (4,226 House, 2,149 Senate) filed by House and Senate members so far in 2015.