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Health, environment and energy legislation

THE 1981 Illinois General Assembly passed 823 bills for Gov. James R. Thompson to consider, 48 of them related to science and technology. Compared to other years, there was more health-related legislation, but environmental and energy topics retained their limelight status among the science and technology legislation. These bills awaiting the governor's judgment are highlighted below.


Pharmacy-related matters were addressed in three bills. Provisions are made for the substitution of alternate drug products (generic drugs) for prescribed pharmaceutical products in S.B. 211, sponsored by Sen. Dawn Clark Netsch (D., Chicago). Regulations concerning the prescription and dispensing of drugs and medicines are added by S.B. 166, sponsored by Sens. Netsch and John Davidson (R., Springfield). The qualifications to be a registered pharmacist are amended by H.B. 1367, sponsored by Rep. Glen Bower (R., Effingham).

Drivers licenses would indicate whether the driver, in case of death, wished to donate specific organs or the entire body under provisions of H.B. 2, sponsored by Rep. Harold Katz (D., Glencoe).

An Agent Orange Study Commission (see Illinois Issues, May 1981) would be established by S.B. 16, sponsored by Sen Karl Berning (R., Deerfield).

Reports of all cases of Reye's Syndrome would have to be made to the Illinois Department of Public Health (see Illinois Issues, April 1981), under H.B. 31, sponsored by Rep. Ben Polk (R., Moline). That agency would no longer have to submit annual statistical reports of Laetrile use (see Illinois Issues, August 1981) if S.B. 1205, sponsored by Sen. Donald Totten (R., Hoffman Estates) is enacted.

Dentures and removable dental prostheses, at the time of their manufacture, would have to be marked with the name and social security number of the patient under H.B. 671, sponsored by Rep. Bower.

In an apparent attempt to control illegal drug use and drug paraphernalia, it would be illegal to provide any person under age 18 with tobacco accessories or smoking herbs (see Illinois Issues, March under H.B. 1632, sponsored by Michael Tate (R., Decatur).


Hazardous wastes commanded a fair share of legislative attention, such as S.B. 171, sponsored by Sen. Vince Demuzio (D., Carlinville). Under this bill, effective in 1987, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) can deny a request to dispose of a hazardous waste in an approved site if that agency shows that the waste can be recycled, incinerated or made nonhazardous. Penalties for those who repeatedly violate the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act are provided in S.B. 1111, sponsored by Sen. Adeline Geo-Karis (R., Zion). A state underground injection control program and hazardous waste management program were addressed in S.B. 875, sponsored by Sen. William Mahar (R., Homewood), which would also authorize the IEPA to delegate some of its responsibilities to other agencies.

Weather modification came under consideration in several bills. The procedure to establish special service areas for weather modification is provided for in H.B. 196, sponsored by Rep. Gordon Ropp (R., Bloomington). Two bills, S.B. 610, sponsored by Sen. James Gitz (D., Freeport), and H.B. 978, sponsored by Rep. Elroy Sandquist (R., Chicago), identically revise the membership of the Weather Modification Board, appoint the Institute of Natural Resources to oversee weather modification, eliminate licenses for weather modification operations but still require permits, and repeal the Weather Modification Control Act as of October 1, 1991.

The Illinois Institute of Natural Resources will become the Illinois Department of Energy and Natural Resources if S.B. 900, sponsored by Sen. Stanley Weaver (R., Urbana), is enacted. The bill would also direct the agency to include atmospheric research in its resources studies.

Low sulfur dioxide emission devices would be assessed at one-third their value for the purposes of real property taxes under S.B. 494, sponsored by Sen. Sam Vadalabene (D., Edwardsville). If enacted, it would assure that taxation is at the statutory level and at a uniform rate. Owners of emission sources could apply to the IEPA for a permit to employ alternative pollution control strategies under H.B. 1354, sponsored by Rep. Zeke Giorgi (D., Rockford). The requirements for such a permit could not be more stringent than those of the federal Clean Air Act. The bill is an attempt to promote technological innovation, reduce shutdowns of older emission sources, decrease compliance costs and increase opportunities for capital investments.

Sporting activities (such as shooting clubs and motor sports) will be exempt from noise emission standards if the governor signs H.B. 998, sponsored by Rep. A.C. "Junie" Bartulis (R., Benld).

A permit to surface mine any resources

32 | September 1981 | Illinois Issues

other than fossil fuels does not relieve the permit holder from complying with applicable state and local laws on surface mining facilities, under provisions of H.B. 134, sponsored by Rep. Richard Klemm (R., Crystal Lake). The bill would ensure, for example, that the aggregate industries (such as limestone, sand and gravel mining) comply with conservation and reclamation measures enacted at the state or local level.


An Office of Coal Commerce, to be operated in cooperation with the Illinois Institute of Natural Resources (IINR), would be established if the governor signs S.B. 404, sponsored by Sen. Kenneth Buzbee (D., Carbondale).

The Illinois Coal Research Board would be established within IINR to coordinate information on and provide funding for research in coal technology if the governor signs S.B. 899, sponsored by Sen. Weaver. Certain corporations would be entitled to a 20 percent tax credit on coal research approved or sponsored by the Illinois Coal Research Board and a 5 percent tax credit on equipment to increase Illinois coal use under S.B. 405, sponsored by Sen. Buzbee.

Specifications for the alcohol content in gasohol are spelled out in S.B. 853, sponsored by Sen. Max Coffey (R., Charleston), which also sets a fine for selling as gasohol that which is not.

"Energy efficient designs" will be included in the list of subjects covered in state examinations which certify architects if H.B. 1863, sponsored by Rep. Diana Nelson (R., LaGrange), is signed.

The Illinois Coal and Energy Development Bond Act is amended to authorize bond funds for the development of alternative forms of energy in H.B. 1591, sponsored by Rep. Douglas Kane (D., Springfield).

Rate discrimination against solar energy users by public utilities would be prohibited until October 1984 under H.B. 260, sponsored by Rep. Ellis Levin (D., Chicago).


Bees are the subject of H.B. 787, sponsored by Rep. Harry Woodyard (R., Chrisman). It would require registration of beekeepers and provide a procedure to abate parasites and infectious diseases in bees. Electronic information and entertainment companies would be prohibited from installing and using any equipment to monitor the activities of subscribers' households, if the governor signs H.B. 893, sponsored by Rep. Terry Steczo (D., Flossmoor). Other prohibited activities include disclosing subscribers' television viewing habits; installing or maintaining in subscribers' homes protection scanning devices; and disclosing a list of subscribers' names without the subscribers' knowledge or permission. Fines are set for violations. The last possible day for the governor to sign or veto these bills is October 1.

September 1981 | Illinois Issues | 33

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