Sen. Tony Munoz

CHICAGO – After more than two decades serving the 1st Senate District, Assistant Majority Leader Antonio “Tony” Munoz (D-Chicago) retired from the Senate Friday.

“I was taught at a young age that hard work and determination is the key to success,” Munoz said. “I have applied this to everything I have accomplished, especially as a state senator.”

Munoz first joined the Senate in 1999, serving as assistant majority leader since 2009. Over the years, he sponsored nearly 2000 bills, with more than 800 signed into law. In addition, he chaired the Licensed Activities, Transportation, Executive Appointments and Veterans Affairs Committees.

Prior to becoming a state lawmaker, he served in the United States Army with the 82nd Airborne Division and a former Chicago police officer. During his time in office, he worked tirelessly to give veterans opportunities when they return to civilian life and having sufficient resources for their mental and physical health.

He also worked to keep children in school and off the streets by fighting for funding for after-school programs and passed a law making it a crime for street gangs to recruit on school grounds and making it illegal for a sex offender to live within 500 feet of a school, park, daycare, or child facility.

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CHICAGO – Street sideshows are becoming increasingly common in Chicago, halting traffic and creating dangerous situations for both bystanders and their vehicles alike. However, currently, there’s little action law enforcement officials can take against people participating.

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That will change come January when Assistance Majority Leader Tony Munoz’ law that prohibits street sideshows takes effect.

“It seems like every weekend we see another case of dozens – or even hundreds – of people gathering on busy streets and putting other people’s lives at risk,” said Munoz (D-Chicago). “Not only is it frustrating for people trying to travel down those roads, it’s frustrating for law enforcement officers who aren’t currently allowed to take action.’

Munoz led House Bill 5439 during the spring legislative session. The law defines a street sideshow as any event in which one or more cars block or impede traffic to perform unauthorized motor vehicle stunts, motor vehicle speed contests, or motor vehicle exhibitions of speed.

Munoz’ law prohibits a street sideshow on any street or highway in Illinois and a person may not knowingly cause the movement of traffic to slow or stop for the purpose of facilitating street racing or a street sideshow. Under the previous law, people cannot be arrested for blocking a street or highway.

The law penalizes the impediment of traffic for a street sideshow or street racing in the same manner as the act of street racing. The first violation is considered a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a determinate sentence of less than one year and a minimum fine of $250. A second or subsequent violation is considered a Class 4 felony punishable by a sentence of one to three years and a minimum fine of $500.

“We must provide police officers with the tools they needs to best serve our communities,” Munoz said. “This law does just that and will make our streets safer for all. The time to stop this nonsense is now.”

House Bill 5439 takes effect Jan. 1, 2023.

CHICAGO – The Illinois Veterans’ Home at Quincy will receive nearly $195 million to upgrade the facility, Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz announced Wednesday. Senator Munoz

“As a veteran, I have fought to ensure veterans have the essential resources they need when they return home,” said Munoz (D-Chicago). “This long-awaited upgrade invests in our veterans who fought for our freedom and rely on these services.”

Illinois received nearly $195 million from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to enhance the Illinois Veteran’s Home at Quincy. The funding will be used for campus reconstruction and replacement of the current veterans’ home with a 210-bed skilled care facility.

In addition, 80 independent rooms will be created which will modernize the campus and provide a cost effective, state-of-the art facility with single rooms and a more intimate setting for veterans needing skilled nursing care.

“Veterans have been a top priority in my legislative agenda and as the chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee,” Munoz said. “This investment will make a significant impact on the lives of our state’s veterans.”

The building construction grant comes from a federal-state partnership between the federal VA, Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Capital Development Board. The project is currently in progress with the completion targeted for the end of 2024.

SPRINGFIELD – Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago) spearheaded a measure to help reduce the number of stolen car parts by requiring people to keep record of the sale of catalytic converters that was signed into law Friday.Senator Munoz

“The rise in crime in Chicago and across Illinois was addressed this legislative session,” Munoz said. “This new law will decrease catalytic converter thefts by closing the loophole many found a way around.”

The new law adds catalytic converters to the definition of recyclable metal, requiring record keeping on the purchase of catalytic converters. The license plate number of the vehicle, photographs or video of the seller, a verified name and address of the seller, and a signed declaration by the seller stating that the catalytic converter was not stolen are required.

In addition, the measure prohibits a recyclable metal dealer from purchasing a catalytic converter with a value over $100 with cash.

According to a recent State Farm study, Illinois ranks in the top five states in the nation for catalytic converter thefts.

“I’m hopeful innocent people won’t be affected by this senseless crime anymore,” Munoz said. “We need to keep our streets safe, and this is one way we will do that.”

The new law takes effect immediately.

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Springfield Office:
323A State Capitol Bldg.
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-9415

Chicago Office:
1836 W. 35th St. 1st Fl.
Chicago, IL 60609
(773) 869-9050