A new rule in Illinois brings the state
into compliance with the USA Patriot Act’s provisions on background checks for
Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed a bill into
law July 21 that sets up the state to conduct its portion of the
fingerprint-based background checks now required of hazmat drivers, a process
being led by the federal Transportation Security Administration.
The measure – SB1825 – won widespread
support from state legislators.
While the effort winded its way through the Legislature,
Illinois officials went ahead and started gathering fingerprints and other
information for the security threat assessments. Dave Druker, press secretary
for Secretary of State Jesse White, said the state started taking information
from new applicants for hazmat endorsements Jan. 31, the same date that process
started in the rest of the country. The checks for renewal and transfer hazmat
applicants began May 31.
The Secretary of State’s Office requested the bill.