Gov. Quinn signs legislation to improve boating safety - FOX 35 News Orlando

Gov. Quinn signs legislation to improve boating safety

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

In the past month three people have died from boating accidents in Illinois.

On Saturday, Governor Pat Quinn signed three bills to improve recreational boating safety and honor the lives that have been lost.

“I would like to say to Tony’s family and friends, part of your pain has been turned into purpose...these bills will save lives and your work in Tony’s name will help that,” said Senator Julie Morrison.

A little boy’s death is inspiring change in Illinois to save lives on the water.

“When it comes to the water and boating, alcohol just doesn’t mix,” Governor Quinn said.

Ten-year-old Tony Borcia was tragically killed July 28, 2012 when he fell off of a water tube in the Chain-O-Lakes.

He was wearing a bright red life jacket and waving his arms as he was waiting for his dad to pick him up when he was hit by a boat.

“What happened to Tony was not an accident. Tony was taken from us because the man who killed him decided that day to drive a boat after ingesting a deadly combination of alcohol and cocaine on a lake where families were engaging in recreational boating,” Jim Borcia said.

The Borcia family worked alongside lawmakers to keep this from happening to another family.

“The lakes in this great state of ours belong to everyone. None of us should be fearful to use our lakes for whatever water activities we enjoy. No more should they be fearful of driving down our public roads,” Borcia said.

Governor Quinn signed three bills sponsored by Tony’s aunt, Senator Julie Morrison, Saturday to make boating safer in our state.

“From the simple act of flying a brightly colored flag, to seizing boats that are used in the commission of more serious crimes by repeat offenders, to requiring education...this trio of bills underscores our states commitment to safety on its waterways,” Senator Morrison said.

The bills will go into effect January 1, 2015. If you'd like to get involved the Borcia Family is holding a wiffle ball event in August to raise money for increased patrols of our lakes and rivers.

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