Welcome!

Welcome to my legislative website! I am proud to serve as the State Senator from Illinois' 29th District, representing portions of the North Suburbs of Chicago in Lake and Cook Counties.

It is truly my honor to represent you in Springfield. Please do not hesitate to contact my office with questions or ways I can better serve you.

Sincerely,

Julie Morrison

BoatingBillSigning3F

“Boats can weigh thousands of pounds and go 30, 40, 50 miles per hour or more. We require people who drive cars to get licenses. It only makes sense to ask people who operate powerful boats to have some safety training.” - Senator Julie Morrison

SPRINGFIELD – A series of new laws designed to make Illinois’ rivers and lakes safer for everyone was signed by the governor today. The most important part of the water-safety package is a plan to require boat operators to obtain safety certificates, which will function much like driver’s licenses.

“Boats can weigh thousands of pounds and go 30, 40, 50 miles per hour or more,” said State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield), who sponsored the law. “We require people who drive cars to get licenses. It only makes sense to ask people who operate powerful boats to have some safety training.”

The new law, originally Senate Bill 3433, will phase in safety certificates over time by exempting anyone born before 1990. It also exempts commercial fisherman, who already have to obtain specialized licenses. Renters will not need certificates, but they will have to take a brief safety course from the rental agency before they can take their boats out. The law only applies to boats with more than 10 horsepower motors.

Another one of the new laws, originally Senate Bill 2731, requires boats that are towing inner tubers, water skiers or others to fly orange flags. Several other states, including Illinois neighbor Missouri, already have similar laws. Orange safety flags are widely available for $10 or less.

The final new law in the package, originally Senate Bill 3434, allows law enforcement officials to seize boats used in the commission of serious crimes. These crimes include operating a watercraft under the influence after your boat privileges have been suspended, operating a watercraft under the influence for the third time, and operating a watercraft under the influence and causing an accident that results in death.

A similar law is already in place for cars and other motor vehicles used in the commission of crimes.

Morrison introduced the water-safety improvement plan after months of hearings, a careful study of other state’s best practices and a heavily negotiated bipartisan compromise.

Click below to read more about today's bill signings:

Governor Quinn signs legislation to improve boating safety (FOX 32)

Quinn: New boating laws will increase safety (Chicago Tribune)

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