Photo of BuddyMoved by the vicious dog attack of a 10-year-old Yorkie named Buddy, the Illinois Senate this week approved a plan to restrict the activities of dangerous dogs and their owners.

“I have worked for over a year to get justice for Buddy, a constituent’s pet who was killed by a neighbor’s dogs,” said State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines). “The issue of dangerous dogs killing other dogs is all too common.”

Senate Bill 2386 creates a “reckless dog owner” definition. An individual would be defined as a reckless dog owner if their dog is deemed dangerous for killing another dog and is found running at large twice within 12 months of being deemed dangerous.

If a person is found to be a reckless dog owner, all dogs on their property would be forfeited to a licensed shelter, rescue or sanctuary, where efforts would be made to re-home the dogs if they are believed to be adoptable. Additionally, a reckless dog owner would be prohibited from owning dogs for up to three years if found guilty.

The legislation was prompted by the circumstances of Donna Dary of Hanover Park and her Yorkshire terrier, Buddy, who was killed by a neighbor’s dogs in 2017. The neighbor disregarded guidelines that the dogs needed to be muzzled while walking, and the dogs were found running at large within a week of killing Buddy.

Buddy had been with Dary since he was 2 months old.

“We, as dog owners, are morally obligated to protect, provide and train for our furry family member,” said Dary, who is a constituent of Murphy’s. “The Justice for Buddy Act is about awareness and consequences to reckless dog owners.”

A dog is deemed dangerous if it bites a person without justification or is found running at large and behaving in a manner that a person would believe poses a serious and unjustified imminent threat of serious physical injury or death to a person or a companion animal.

“Poor behavior in dogs is often a result of their training,” Murphy said. “Owners need to take responsibility for their dog’s actions, and we need to strengthen the system to prevent dangerous dogs from injuring other animals.”

05012018CM0129Permanently disabled veterans wouldn’t have to re-certify their disability each year to receive a property tax break under a measure sponsored by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines).

“Our veterans fought for our country and sacrificed their mobility. I don’t think they should also have to fight for a property tax exemption each year,” Murphy said.

Under Senate Bill 2431, permanently and totally disabled veterans would not need to reapply each year to receive the Disabled Veterans Standard Homestead Exemption. Under current law, veterans with a service-related disability of at least 70 percent are exempt from paying property taxes on their primary residence.

Senate Bill 2431 passed the Senate 51-0. It now moves to the House for further consideration.

05012018CM0114The Senate today approved a measure sponsored by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) declaring May 1, 2018, Lyme Disease Awareness Day in Illinois.

“I hope that by sponsoring this resolution more people will learn how to spot tick bites and the symptoms of Lyme disease,” Murphy said. “Illinoisans need to know the dangers of this disease.”

Lyme disease is caused by a bacterial infection transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected tick. Symptoms include a fever, headache and skin rash. If Lyme disease is not treated, the infection can spread to the heart, nervous system and joints.

“Lyme disease can be treated if caught early,” Murphy said. “Lyme disease does not only affect hikers and hunters. Increasingly, people are being infected in their homes by mice carrying infected ticks.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 30,000 Americans report being infected with Lyme disease each year but there could be as many as 300,000 cases annually.

Not all ticks carry the bacterium that causes Lyme disease, and it is not possible to tell by sight which ticks are infected.

The CDC reports that people with Lyme disease can fully recover if they are treated with antibiotics in the early stages of illness.

SPRINGFIELD — Lottery winners’ identities would not automatically be disclosed under legislation sponsored by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines). 04252018KS0115

The Illinois Senate today approved Senate Bill 211 to allow Lottery winners of more than $250,000 to submit a written request that their identity be kept confidential.

“Illinoisans should have a right to their privacy,” Murphy said. “The government should not force Lottery winners to disclose their identities just because they were lucky enough to win. Though this legislation affects a small portion of the population, I think the right to privacy is an important principle.”

Currently, Lottery winners’ names, city of residence, date the prize is won and amount of winnings are matters of public record and are therefore subject to public disclosure laws. Under this amended legislation, winners’ identities would only be available through a FOIA request.

Senate Bill 211 now advances to the House for further consideration.

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Springfield Office:
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Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-3875

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Des Plaines, IL 60016

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