Governor Bruce Rauner has ended local control over the regulation of drones while increasing local control over liquor licenses.
Senate Bill 3291, signed into law by the Governor, makes the State of Illinois the sole regulator of drones, or unmanned aircraft. The law applies to all local governments including Oak Lawn but exempts the City of Chicago, which insisted on having its own regulations.
One mayor, Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder expressed public disappointment at the law since his city had already passed a law banning drones from flying over certain places. He stated that the state law was hindering the right of the local community to provide for public safety.
The state law provides for the Illinois Department of Transportation to adopt administrative rules to allow the operation of drones with the least possible restriction, consistent with their safety and with the safety and the rights of others, and in compliance with federal rules and regulations.
The governor said he is a proponent of returning local control to municipalities and counties on other issues in order to reduce property taxes and increase job opportunities.
One such change in state law was signed into the law by the Governor that eliminates a Prohibition era requirement for liquor license applicants to get state approval if they wish to have an establishment within a 100 feet of schools and churches.
Licensees complained through lobbyists that the process was cumbersome and took up to six months.
Senate bill 2436 eliminates that requirement and throws the issue back to local governments. At the bill signing in a local Chicago café, Rauner said he has pushed hard to give local control back to municipalities.
Rauner also accused some unnamed state politicians of using the 1934 state law to play politics or to get campaign contributions.
Senator Bill Cunningham and Representatives Kelly Burke and Fran Hurley voted in favor of SB 3291 and Senate Bill 2436.