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Silverstein’s milk products kosher certification measure signed by governor

Silverstein Bill SigningSPRINGFIELD–A measure sponsored by State Senator Ira Silverstein (D–Chicago) to amend the Grade A Pasteurized Milk and Milk Products Act to match rules adopted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and define labeling to address Jewish dietary issues was signed by Governor Rauner today.

Senate Bill 1228 amends the Grade A Pasteurized Milk and Products Act to clarify the definition of pasteurized and unpasteurized according to the latest FDA definition. The Grade A Pasteurized Milk and Milk Products Act is enforced by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

“The Chicago Rabbinical Council provides kosher certification services for hundreds of food producers and brought this issue to my attention,” Silverstein said. “Milk products other than those from cows and goats as the FDA expansion permits are not necessarily kosher, so labeling is necessary.”


PHOTO: Rabbi Levi Mostofsky and Rabbi Dr. Jerold Isenberg of the Chicago Rabbinical Council and Senator Silverstein joined Governor Rauner as he signed Senate Bill 1228 today.

Governor signs first US state investment policy on Israel: Silverstein

silverstein-israel-boycottSPRINGFIELD–A bipartisan measure sponsored by State Senator Ira Silverstein (D–Chicago) to guide state pensions systems in not investing in companies that boycott Israel was signed today by the governor.

“Corporations have the right to boycott Israel but the state has the right to reject investing in corporations who choose that position. Our nation’s relationship with Israel must guide our state’s investment policies,” Silverstein said.

Senate Bill 1761 establishes the Illinois Investment Policy Board to be made up of appointees from Gov. Rauner’s office and the state employee pension systems; board members would not be paid. A list of companies openly boycotting Israel or those friendly with Iran, Sudan or other anti-Semitic entities would be maintained to advise investment policy.

Senate Bill 1761 was approved in the Senate in April and the House in May with broad bipartisan support in both chambers.

Governor approves Silverstein’s powdered alcohol ban

silverstein-alcpowder-passesSPRINGFIELD–A plan sponsored by State Senator Ira Silverstein (D–Chicago) to ban powdered alcohol in Illinois was signed into law by the governor yesterday. Senate Bill 67 also sets penalties for its sale.

Powdered alcohol or “Palcohol” is a product not yet for sale but expected to be dangerous, particularly for minors. Alaska, Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, South Carolina and Vermont have already banned Palcohol or are considering legislation to ban it.

“The ease of concealing a lightweight, 1-ounce packet for minors to carry in situations where alcohol abuse or poisoning is predictable or liquid alcohol is prohibited is a risk we can avoid,” Silverstein said.

Powdered alcohol is any crystal substance of powder containing alcohol. It may be dissolved in water or other liquids or sprinkled on food. It could be eaten or snorted without mixing.

Violating this law would result in a Class A misdemeanor for a first offense and a Class 4 felony for a second or subsequent offense.

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York) is pursuing a federal ban, saying, “Underage alcohol abuse is a growing epidemic with tragic consequences and powdered alcohol could exacerbate this.”

Silverstein bill to help volunteer EMS providers becomes law

hatzalah-ambulanceCHICAGO – Hatzalah Chicago is a non-profit volunteer emergency medical service that is capable of responding to emergency medical situations 24 hours a day at no cost to those who need it in parts of the Chicagoland area. Hatzalah is a BLS Ambulance Provider whose role is to stabilize patients, and depending on the level of care necessary either provide transport or transfer care to 911 upon their arrival. State Senator Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago-8th District) proposed a plan in March focused on helping them, and Senate Bill 621 was signed into law by the governor yesterday.

“Volunteer EMS providers fill the need that exists between the time of an accident and the arrival of local firefighters and EMS services,” Silverstein said.

The law allows these volunteer EMS employees to participate in an emergency vehicle operation training course and, upon completion, have red and white oscillating lights on their cars while responding to an emergency situation.

“This law will ensure other motorists are aware of these volunteers and remain alert when the vehicle is en route to a call. Both the responders themselves and other drivers will be safer with the use of these lights,” said Silverstein.

Hatzalah operates in the Chicagoland Jewish communities of Lincolnwood, Peterson Park, Skokie and West Rogers Park to augment existing services provided by municipalities. Hatzalah operates in six major US metropolitan areas in addition to Chicago, as well as cities worldwide.

Senator Ira I. Silverstein

Majority Caucus Chair Ira I. Silverstein

8th District

Years served:
1999 - Present

Committee assignments: Executive (Vice Chairperson); Executive Appointments; Financial Institutions; Gaming; Judiciary; Revenue.

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.