SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois state Senate was busy Thursday, taking on subjects diverse as notifica-tions in the cases of death of child to trans fats in school food to letting motorcyclists drive straight on red in the absence of other traffic.
Legislation inspired by a Florida jury’s acquittal in July of Casey Anthony advanced in the Senate.
The measure is among two competing versions of a push to make it a Class 4 felony if a parent fails to notify officials in a timely manner if their child is missing or dead.
In the case of Anthony, she waited a month to notify authorities that her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, was dead. Her acquittal in July drew howls of protest.
The high-profile case triggered a number of states to begin investigating ways to legally punish parents who fail to report a missing child within a reasonable amount of time.
The legislation is Senate Bill 2537.
Trans fat ban
Senators have dumped a proposal to ban schools from serving foods containing artery-clogging trans fats.
The measure, which needed 30 votes for passage, received just 11 “yes” votes after opponents said it was an unneeded law.
“I don’t know why we need to be deciding what other people eat,” said state Sen. Kyle McCarter, R-Lebanon.
The legislation is Senate Bill 3408.
Straight on red
The Senate moved Thursday to clarify a new law allowing motorcycle riders and bicyclists to go straight through red lights after coming to a complete stop.
On a unanimous vote, senators forwarded legislation to the House that would force bikers to wait at least two minutes before proceeding through an intersection.
The change, sponsored by state Sen. Gary Forby, D-Benton, comes after Gov. Pat Quinn raised traffic safety questions about the original straight-on-red law, which included no time limits.
Motorcycle rights groups pushed for the original law, saying motorcyclists can get stuck at a red light for several light cycles because the lighter weight of the two-wheel vehicles doesn’t trigger sensors.
The legislation is Senate Bill 2528.
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