Governor Thompson signs three new bills

By Susie Snyder

Gov. James Thompson recently signed into law three bills which had been sponsored by State Representative John Countryman, R-DeKalb, during the spring session of the General Assembly.

House Bill 1391 concerns liability disclosure. It requires an insurer to disclose the limits of liability, under the private passenger automobile liability insurance policy of its insured, to a person who receives personal injuries in a car accident.

Countryman said the bill is significant because a person receiving injuries in an accident now can demand to know the amount of the liable party’s policy. He said before this bill became law, this information was not available to the injured party.

The law also requires a description of injuries, medical costs and copies of medical records to be submitted with a request for disclosure, as opposed to a copy of the accident report.

Countryman said the second bill, HB730, is an outgrowth of child abduction cases such as the one of Melissa Ackerman (of Somonauk) a few years ago.

As of Jan. 1, 1989, the bill will require every Illinois birth certificate or record of birth filed or established, and each record of foreign birth made and filed, to specify the blood type of the individual registered.

Countryman said police will be able to identify a body more accurately if they know the blood type.

Countryman said the information will also be helpful to have on hand in many other emergencies.

The third bill, HB1120, pertains to background checks of persons seeking employment as substitute teachers.

The bill, a proposal from Regional Superintendent Tom Webber, will allow a regional superintendent, with the approval of the school board, to initiate criminal background checks for prospective substitute teachers in more than one school district, Countryman said.

Previously, a substitute teacher would go through a criminal check in each district to which he applied. This bill cuts the process down to one check, Countryman said.