Geo-Karis Pushes Boating Safety Bills
Byline: Natasha Korecki Of Our Springfield Bureau
SPRINGFIELD - Several measures that may soon become law will affect water-sport lovers who are getting ready for boating season on Illinois waterways.
The legislation, which was recently sent to the governor and sponsored by state Sen. Adeline Geo-Karis, a Zion Republican, aims to make boating safer in Illinois.
The first measure requires children under 13 years old to wear a lifejacket while on a moving boat less than 26-feet long. Those who boat on private areas would be exempt from the measure.
The second measure requires motorboats used for water-skiing to have a capacity for at least three people.
It also prohibits boaters to sit on tops of seat backs or gunwales or on decking over the bow or stern while a boat is in motion. It raises the age at which a person can rent a jet ski from 12 to 16.
Another measure extends the DUI law to boaters. Under the measure, law enforcement could issue a breath test if they suspect the person operating the boat has been drinking.
"Boat safety has been a big issue for me this year because the citizens in my district wanted to see this legislation pass," Geo-Karis said. "I will continue to push for this legislation as the governor makes his decision."
If the governor approves, the boat safety measure would go into effect Jan. 1, 1998.
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School reform: As the General Assembly continues to wrestle with school funding reform, lawmakers are trying to determine if their residents support an income tax increase.
State Rep. Elizabeth Coulson, a Glenview Republican, said a survey of her district shows 47 percent of the 1,500 surveyed support a school funding proposal that calls for property tax relief and an income tax increase. …