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Senator Ira I. Silverstein News

Silverstein's smoking in cars with kids ban passes committee

smoke-car-childSPRINGFIELD – An Illinois State Senate committee approved a proposal to ban smoking in cars with children present Tuesday.

Senator Ira Silverstein (D–Chicago), the plan’s sponsor, testified at the Senate Public Health Committee before the bill was approved by a 5-2 vote.

“There are very serious health effects associated with exposure to second-hand smoke, especially for minors. This plan is aimed at reducing that exposure,” Silverstein said.

The plan, Senate Bill 2659, creates an up-to $100 fine for any motorist who smokes tobacco, marijuana or any other combustible substance in a car with a person under the age of 18.

Police will not be able to pull over drivers simply because of this offense. Motorcycles and convertibles with their tops down are exempt from the restriction.

Senate Bill 2659 now moves to the entire Senate for a vote.


Silverstein: State universities that boycott nations could lose state aid

Silverstein-021914 CM 0399csState Senator Ira Silverstein (D–Chicago) is introducing a plan restricting public universities from using state funds to promote political boycotts of Israel and other foreign nations.

“Boycotts of foreign nations limit students’ access to diverse, meaningful study abroad opportunities. We live in a complex, connected world—universities stand for inclusion, not narrow-mindedness,” Silverstein said.

Silverstein’s proposal removes state aid from any public university that supports boycotts of nations in the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development. The OECD is a 34-country partnership that promotes intergovernmental-relations—of which the United States and Israel are members.

Universities would be restricted from funding, joining or sending staff to any organization that is officially boycotting an OECD country.

Last December, the American Studies Association, an academic organization made up of individuals and educational institutions, adopted a resolution boycotting Israeli academic institutions.

Public universities would be allowed to boycott a foreign power if it is a state sponsor of terrorism, if the boycott is labor-related or if the boycott is protesting discriminatory practices under Illinois law.

The proposal will be added to an existing piece of legislation, Senate Bill 3017.


Silverstein proposes 3-D printed gun regulations

3DgunIf a 3-D printer is used to build a firearm, the owner will need a firearm manufacturing license under a new proposal introduced Friday.

State Senator Ira Silverstein (D–Chicago) is sponsoring legislation to bring guns built on 3-D printers under the same laws covering traditionally manufactured firearms. The plan requires a person who prints firearms or firearm components to have a federal manufacturing license.

“A gun is a gun; it doesn’t matter if it’s built on an assembly line or in a 3-D printer. New technology has created a loophole and this plan closes it,” Silverstein said.

Steadily improving 3-D printer technology has the ability to create increasingly more complex designs out of plastic, metal and other materials. Last November, a Texas company unveiled a functional semi-automatic, metal pistol created on a 3-D printer.

The plan, Senate Bill 3018, creates a class-A misdemeanor punishable by no more than one year in prison.


Outlaw smoking in cars with minors: Silverstein

Silverstein-smoke-car-childState Senator Ira Silverstein (D–Chicago) recently introduced a plan creating a penalty for adults who smoke in a car with minors.

“Second-hand smoke has serious health effects, and Illinois already restricts smoking indoors. This protects children from prolonged, enclosed exposure to smoke in an even less-ventilated setting,” Silverstein said.

The plan, Senate Bill 2659, creates an up-to $100 fine for any motorist who smokes tobacco, marijuana or any other combustible substance in a car with a person under the age of 18.

Police will not be able to pull over drivers simply because of this offense.


Silverstein proposal would require insurance for firearm owners

Silverstein-052313br0137State Senator Ira Silverstein (D–Chicago) introduced a plan this week requiring firearm owners to have at least $100,000 of insurance coverage for firearm related accidents.

“Illinois already requires liability insurance for a potentially life-threatening automobile accidents and an accidental discharge of a firearm can cause just as much—if not more—harm,” Silverstein said.

Any insurance policy would specifically protect a firearm owner from the cost of damages that are the result of negligence or willful acts. The policy would extend to a firearm carried by an individual or any gun owned by that person.

The proposal, Senate Bill 2646, would give Illinois State Police the authority to revoke a person’s Firearm Owner’s Identification card if he or she does not have the appropriate insurance. The State Police would also be able to deny a FOID card application if the person does not have coverage.

“This is about protecting the public and extending legal protection to individual firearm owners,” Silverstein said.


Silverstein’s homeless equal rights bill signed into law

HomelessnessSPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois’ homeless will be given equal rights to access public buildings, voting and other basic rights now that a measure sponsored by State Senator Ira I. Silverstein (D–Chicago) was signed into law today.

“The homeless deserve to be afforded the same basic rights as any other citizen in our state,” Silverstein said, “This law will allow homeless people to get back on their feet, find work and improve their situation.”

Homeless individuals face discrimination in situations for merely lacking a mailing or home address, especially when filling out job applications or showing proof of residency when attempting to vote.

“Many of us who enjoy these rights take them for granted and do not realize that something as simple as not having a physical address would keep us from utilizing these rights,” Silverstein continued.

The measure lists seven rights that will be extended to the homeless:

  1. Move freely through public buildings, parks, sidewalks and transit systems;
  2. Equal treatment from all state and municipal agencies;
  3. Freedom from employment discrimination based on a lack of a mailing address;
  4. Emergency medical care;
  5. Register to vote and vote;
  6. Confidentiality of private records and other personal information;
  7. A reasonable expectation of privacy with regard to personal property.

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Majority Caucus Chair Ira I. Silverstein

8th District
Majority Caucus Chair

Years served:
1999 - Present

Committee assignments: Committee of the Whole; Financial Institutions; Gaming (Vice-Chairperson); Insurance; Judiciary; Executive (Chairperson); Subcommittee on Ethics (Sub-Chairperson); Subcommittee on State & Local Govt.; Subcommittee on State Regulation.

Biography: Attorney; Degrees from Loyola University in 1982 and John Marshall Law School in 1985; past President of the Northtown Community Council; board member of the Korean Senior Center; member of the Greek Pan-Hellenic Laconian organization; Director of the Bernard Horwich JCC; married (wife, Debra), has four children.