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updated: 8/8/2014 5:17 AM

New law means you can keep your license after violation

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  • A new state law would let drivers keep their licenses if pulled over for minor stops.

      A new state law would let drivers keep their licenses if pulled over for minor stops.
    Daily Herald File photo

 
 

A small consolation is coming for lead-footed drivers caught speeding.

Gov. Pat Quinn is set to sign a new law soon that will let people who get pulled over for minor traffic violations keep their driver's licenses.

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Busted motorists will be able to sign a paper that says they'll either show in court or pay the fine, keeping the ID card they might need for anything from cashing a check to boarding a plane.

Now, police can keep your license after a minor traffic stop until the case is resolved.

"This is going to let them get on with their lives," said state Sen. Mike Noland, an Elgin Democrat and author of the so-called "sign and go" law.

Quinn has until Saturday to act on the legislation before it becomes law automatically, and a spokesman said he looks forward to signing it.

"This is going to save time in court for our police, for our attorneys and for our judges," Noland said.

It takes effect Jan. 1.

Refocus

As troubling heroin use continues to be a problem in the suburbs, Quinn this week signed legislation that slightly alters a task force aimed at stopping high schoolers from using heroin.

It directs the panel of lawmakers to also consider younger kids, starting at grade six.

Marijuana licenses soon?

Applications for people to apply to use medical marijuana could be available soon, Illinois Department of Public Health spokeswoman Melaney Arnold said earlier this week.

So could applications to be one of the few legal dispensaries and growers in Illinois.

That licensing process will have to play out before anyone can start using marijuana legally in Illinois, and that might take until next year.

But the availability of applications will be a first chance for individuals to start the process.

Stinky saving?

"We stink."

That's state Sen. Daniel Biss, an Evanston Democrat, on the collective will of people everywhere when it comes to saving for retirement on our own.

He's aiming for the end of the year to try to win final approval for legislation that would try to help people save for retirement when their employers don't.

If someone works for an employer that doesn't offer a 401(k) or similar plan, the worker would see 3 percent of his or her salary put in a Roth IRA. The worker could opt out.

Biss told the Daily Herald editorial board Thursday if people don't have a payroll deduction to help them save for retirement, they're far less likely to do so.

The worker's money would be put in an existing mutual fund chosen by a state board, but the state board wouldn't be picking stocks. Letting the state pick investments is an idea that could make some people wary.

Still, Biss says, signing up workers to save for retirement when they otherwise might procrastinate could help them long-term.

Biss is one of the lawmakers who worked on the state worker and teacher pension cuts that were approved last year.

He said personal retirement accounts have something in common with the state pension funds: Not enough money was put away to generate the amount of money eventually needed.

"We have a continued failure of putting enough money away for the future," he said.

Republicans at the fair

Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner of Winnetka, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk of Highland Park and Senate candidate Jim Oberweis of Sugar Grove are among those headlining the Republicans' day at the Illinois State Fair Thursday.

The Democrats' day is Wednesday, with U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth keynoting brunch.

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