SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation that lets casinos and race tracks garnish gambling winnings from parents who owe back child support.
The new law that was signed Monday takes effect immediately. It's aimed at chipping away at the state's nearly $3 billion backlog in unpaid child support.
The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers (http://bit.ly/167lzRU ) reports the money would be turned over to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. From there, it'd be distributed to parents.
Race tracks and casinos will have to post signs warning gamblers that their winnings may be garnished if their names surface in a database.
The measure was sponsored by Dunlap Republican Sen. Darin LaHood. He says up to $1 million in back child support could be collected in this first year.
Senator Dick Durbin will be in East St. Louis later this morning, urging law enforcement agencies to trace guns used in crimes. Durbin's office says the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms currently provides law enforcement with the means to trace crime guns, but only half of Illinois agencies use the ATF's services. Last month, Durbin introduced the Crime Gun Tracing Act, which incentivizes the reporting of every recovered gun used in a violent crime to the ATF for tracing.
A settlement has been reached between the United Mine Workers of America and St. Louis-based Patriot Coal. It's been a long, hard-fought battle between the mine workers and Patriot Coal, as well as Patriot's parent company, Peabody Energy. UMWA president Cecil Roberts says the new terms and conditions of employment are "significant improvements" over what was previously ordered by a bankruptcy judge in May. Roberts says the new agreement now heads to the UMWA members for ratification. That will take place on Friday. The mine workers say that Peabody spun off Patriot Coal in an attempt to avoid paying union wages and health benefits to employees. The details of the new agreement won't be released until after the union votes on Friday.