ALTON, IL -- Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) has been named "Legislator of the Year" by the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police.

"As a public servant, I have dedicated much consideration to those men and women who serve and protect the people of our state," Haine stated. "I want to truly thank the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police for this honor and I will continue to work to serve those who have committed their lives to ensuring public safety."

Senator John Millner (R-West Chicago), a former police chief who is the Republican spokesperson on the Senate Criminal Law Committee of which Haine is also a member, commended Haine for his work supporting law enforcement and public safety.

"Senator Haine reaches across the aisle in a bipartisan manner to get things accomplished for the common good," Millner said. "Bill is a committed public servant who has dedicated his entire life to upholding the rule of law and has set a standard of service in his work promoting public

Haine and Millner have worked on a number of major issues in the Senate Criminal Law Committee within the last year. One major piece of legislation, House Bill 4081, gives law enforcement officials the authority to record or listen to a conversation where reasonable cause has been established in connection to drug crimes. The bill was signed into law on July 24, 2012 and goes into effect on January 1, 2013.

"This bill represents another tool in combating drug offenses in the state," Haine said. "We must do whatever it takes to get these criminals off our streets and bring these offenders to justice."

Haine also shepherded House Bill 5099 through the Senate this spring, a bill that prohibits within 500 feet of an emergency scene the use of a cell phone, the taking of photographs, and the recording of video, except for reporting of an accident and other emergency concerns.

"The use of electronic devices by motorists in an emergency scene was causing even greater trouble for law enforcement and first responders," Haine stated. "We had to act to remove this obstacle and allow our public safety personnel to proceed with their duties without additional hazards."

House Bill 5099 was signed into law on July 20, 2012 and is effective immediately.

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