Thank 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.
State Senator Daniel Biss
9th Legislative District
Here is a brief video highlighting my legislative priorities for this session. As always, feel free to
A contingent of guests from the City of Evanston visited the Capitol on Wednesday, and Senator Biss spoke to them in the secretary of state's office.
(click photo to enlarge)
Perhaps you've heard that Illinois has more units of local government than any other state—by a margin of thousands.
I'll bet you're not aware that it's actually quite hard to figure out how many units of government that is. The 2012 U.S. Census of Governments says we have 6,963, whereas the Illinois Comptroller, who collects financial reports from units of local government and posts information about them on this excellent website, will tell you we have 8,466. One can find a variety of numbers in between those two from all sorts of other sources, but you get the basic idea: There are lots of these things and they're hard to keep track of.This is the story of one of those units of local government: Evanston Township.
This morning in the Senate Criminal Law Committee, I presented legislation that would limit the circumstances under which law enforcement may use electronic location surveillance, including GPS tracking information from cell phones, in criminal investigations.
From our phones to the GPS systems built into many of our cars, the devices we use every day can reveal a surprising amount of detailed information most of us believe should stay private. Location data can establish not just where you are right now, but your habits, your hobbies, groups you spend time with, items you probably purchase and your daily routine. I’m excited about this legislation, which I first introduced last year and have been working to improve since then, because I think it effectively balances legitimate law enforcement needs with the basic, constitutional right not to be subjected to unreasonable searches.
Senate Bill 2808 would allow a law enforcement agency to obtain a tracking order — similar to a search warrant — if officers can convince a judge they have probable cause to believe obtaining current or future location information from an individual’s electronic device is needed to solve or prevent a crime. In the absence of a tracking order, information collected through electronic surveillance would be inadmissible in court. The legislation contains exceptions for emergencies, such as responding to a 911 call or locating a missing person believed to be in danger. It also clarifies that police and prosecutors may make use of information already available to the public, such as locations posted on social media.
In 2012, a Congressional report revealed the staggering statistic that in the past year, cell phone carriers had responded to 1.3 million requests from law enforcement agencies for customer information. Currently, there are few limits — either state or federal — on when law enforcement agencies can make these requests, what they can do with the information, how they must store it, etc. But while the technology is new, the principle isn’t: a free society needs to put strict limits on the government’s collection of information about citizens’ private lives.
Now that members of the Criminal Law Committee have approved the bill, it can go to the full Senate for a vote. Check back for updates on SB 2808 and other legislation you read about here.
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District office:3706 Dempster St.Skokie, IL 60076(847) 568-1250(847) 568-1256 FAX
Springfield office:M121 Capitol BuildingSpringfield, IL 62706(217) 782-2119