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State

New Ill. laws support diabetes research, reporting

CHICAGO — A pair of new Illinois laws will fund diabetes research and track economic costs of the disease.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed the bills Thursday at a conference organized by the University of Chicago Medicine's Kovler Diabetes Center.

One measure creates a special license plate. Just over half of the $40 cost of the plate will go to the Diabetes Research Checkoff Fund.

House minority leader Tom Cross sponsored the bill. He hopes the license plate will serve as a "moving billboard" for diabetes awareness.

The second bill requires the Illinois State Diabetes Commission to report regularly on the economic and social costs of diabetes and efforts to prevent the disease.

The laws take effect Jan. 1.

The Illinois Department of Public Health says about 800,000 state residents have diabetes.

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