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biss0619Thank you for visiting my website.

I am proud to serve as the State Senator from Illinois’ 9th Senate District. I hope you’ll find this site a useful resource in keeping up to date with what’s happening in our district and in Springfield. Please contact any of my offices with questions or ways I can better serve you.

It is my honor to represent you in Springfield.

Sincerely, 

 BissSig

State Senator Daniel Biss

9th Legislative District

Biss100 SPRINGFIELD — Legislation State Senator Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) sponsored to crack down on "patent trolls" became law this week.

"Illinois businesses — particularly small businesses that aren't in a position to hire pricey legal representation and embark on lengthy court battles against harassing fraudsters — deserve the full protection of the law," Biss said. "The new penalties will put patent trolls on notice that Illinois isn't a fertile location for their scams."

The new law targets the practice of extorting money from businesses by threatening to sue them for fictitious violations of patents that may have expired or may not be owned by the "trolls" at all. Patent trolling is lucrative because many businesses, especially smaller companies that can't afford to hire legal representation, opt to pay the scammers rather than spending time and money fighting them in court.

Biss' measure prohibits misrepresenting one's self as the owner of a patent, seeking compensation on the basis of activities undertaken after a patent has expired, falsely claiming to have filed a patent lawsuit or using any written form of communication, including email, to falsely accuse a person or company of a patent violation with the intent of forcing a settlement. If found to be in violation of the law, patent trolls will be subject to civil penalties and/or forced to pay restitution.

Thank you to everyone who came out to join our conversation, "Rethinking Privacy in a Digital Age." I want to especially thank our panelists for providing great presentations and giving us the context and background to better understand these issues. The discussion was very thoughtful, and I personally learned a lot. But I also feel confident we can't think of this forum as a one-time event. As these technologies continue to advance and as we have more and more tools at our disposal, we'll need to continue to grapple with finding that balance -- using those tools to make our lives better, easier or safer while protecting our desire for and our right to privacy. I'm eager to continue that conversation with you.

To see Rajiv Shah's presentation from last night, you can pdfclick here.

Thank you again to everyone who came out last night and I hope to see you at our next Critical Issues Series forum! We'll be talking about education funding in Illinois, and I'll be joined by District 65 Superintendent Paul Goren and Illinois State Senator Andy Manar. Details of that and future events can be found here.

As always, please call my office with any questions or concerns! We can be reached at 847-568-1250.

Biss100SPRINGFIELD —State Senator Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) was preparing for a panel discussion he held Tuesday on technology and privacy when the governor signed his legislation requiring law enforcement officers to obtain a warrant before using information from the GPS in a person's phone or other device.

"This is one of many areas where technological advances have suddenly made possible unprecedented intrusions into what most people would consider their private lives," said Biss, who has taken the lead on updating state law to account for innovations in law enforcement technology. "The law signed today, along with the legislation we've passed to regulate the domestic use of drones, acknowledges the important role new technology can play in protecting the public, while at the same time drawing a line to preserve reasonable expectations of privacy."

The location surveillance legislation, introduced as Senate Bill 2808, allows law enforcement to obtain a tracking order — similar to a search warrant — if they have probable cause to believe obtaining current or future location information from an individual's electronic device is needed to solve a crime or prevent a crime from taking place. In the absence of a tracking order, information collected through electronic surveillance is inadmissible in court.

The legislation contains exceptions for emergencies such as responding to a 911 call, locating a missing person believed to be in danger or keeping track of a parolee or other person ordered by a court to wear an electronic monitoring device. It also clarifies that police and prosecutors may still make use of information already available to the public, such as locations posted publicly on social media.

The new law takes effect immediately.

capitolLast week, Governor Quinn signed HB5785 into law. I was the Senate sponsor of this measure, which empowers the governing boards of twelve types of units of local government to voluntarily dissolve the districts. (In case you're curious, the twelve types are: cemetery maintenance districts, civic center authorities, public health districts, tuberculosis sanitarium districts, museum districts, Illinois international port districts, solid waste disposal districts, street light districts, surface water protection districts, water service districts, water authorities, and water commissions.)

Yes, you read that right, before the passage of this law, these units of government weren't allowed to dissolve -- even if they wanted to!

The topic of local government consolidation has garnered a fair amount of interest as of late. Illinois has far more units of local government than any other state, and painful cuts in programs paired with high property taxes leave policymakers and citizens alike searching for mechanisms to decrease costs without harming service delivery more than absolutely necessary.

The passage of HB5785 is a good step to address this topic, but some might be frustrated that it doesn't go further. After all, with 7,000 or so units of government still in existence, isn't there a more aggressive step we could take than allowing a small fraction of them to disband voluntarily?

Read more...

Local Government

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Contact me

District office:
3706 Dempster St.
Skokie, IL 60076
(847) 568-1250
(847) 568-1256 FAX

Springfield office:
M121 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-2119

Email:
biss@senatedem.illinois.gov

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