Many state laws going into effect with new year

Illinois Senate Republicans have released a compilation of new laws which are scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1.

They include laws that have the following provisions:

Adds seizures (including those characteristic of epilepsy) to the list of "debilitating medical conditions" that medical marijuana may be used to treat. Also allows the Illinois Department of Public Health to adopt rules authorizing "other" minors with medical conditions covered by current law to become registered users.

The stated purpose of this legislation was to authorize the use of CBD oil for children with epilepsy or conditions that cause seizures. Limits cannabis use by minors (with parental consent) to only infused forms.

Allows coroners access to all mental health records of patients when conducting a preliminary investigation of the patient’s death. Removes requirements that records must be limited to those relating to the factual circumstances of the incident being investigated.

Prohibits counties, municipalities, conservation police and state police from implementing ticket quotas.

Prohibits the Prisoner Review Board from releasing the name or address of a victim to anyone other than law enforcement. Prohibits the Attorney General’s Office from releasing the personal information of any person or entity registered to receive a victim’s information or notifications to anyone other than state or local officials.

Requires law enforcement agencies to provide bulletproof vests for officers. Outlines requirements that the law enforcement agency, the state and local governments must pursue to provide funding for the cost of these vests.

Prohibits private employers with 15 or more employees from asking a job applicant about their criminal history until the applicant has been selected for an interview or, if there is not an interview, until after a conditional offer of employment is made. Currently a check box appears on some employment applications asking if the individual has been convicted of a crime. Advocates argue that the legislation allows applicants to have the opportunity to address questions about their past criminal records in person, during an interview.

Provides that giving blood or volunteering at a blood bank does not qualify as community service.

Prohibits a law enforcement agency from using a drone owned by a private third party to acquire information (with certain exceptions). Allows the use of a drone without a search warrant if law enforcement is using a drone during a disaster or public health emergency such as a flood, tornado or earth quake.

Includes preventing or impeding law enforcement entry through the use of video surveillance, motion-sensing devices or booby traps as part of the criminal fortification of a residence or building. Law enforcement has found that criminals are increasingly reliant on technology as a way to inhibit law enforcement at locations where illegal activity occurs, and this legislation would incorporate these techniques into current law.

Provides that a defendant whose conviction is reversed on final appeal or by a finding of factual innocence is not liable for court costs or fees or for any charge of subsistence while detained in custody. If the defendant has paid any costs, fine, or fees, it will be refunded to the defendant.

Includes in the offense of aggravated participation in the manufacture of methamphetamine, methamphetamine manufacturing that occurs within 1,000 feet of a school.

Adds "25I-NBOMe," "25B-NBOMe" and "25C-NBOMe" to the list of Schedule I controlled substances in response to a powerful new hallucinogenic synthetic drug which has caused overdoses and fatalities in youth.

Requires gated residential communities, including condominium associations or cooperatives, to grant unannounced entry into the community, including its common areas and common elements, to a person who is attempting to serve process on a defendant or witness.

Expands current law that makes it illegal for parents or guardians to allow underage drinking at a residence or other private property so that it will include vehicles, conveyances or watercraft under their control.

Ensures that prior convictions for domestic battery, or for any offense which is substantially similar, that occurs in another jurisdiction will trigger penalty enhancements.

Grants adult grandchildren access to original birth certificates, adoption registries and appointments with confidential mediators.

Deletes a provision in state law that allowed vendors of personal information to assume parental consent to the buying and selling of a child’s personal information. This legislation permits the sale or purchase of a child’s personal information without parental consent when it is made as part of a criminal or civil investigation.

Temporarily raises the age of a Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) guardianship from 14 to 15, which would allow a judge to place the juveniles in question into the guardianship of DCFS. This provision will sunset in two years and the jurisdictional age would revert to 14.

Makes the definition of "related child" consistent in state law and clarifies that when an adoption is completed there will only be two legal parents. The definition of related is amended to include relationships by civil union and to add a step-grandparent and second cousin to the definition.

Modifies the Children’s Advocacy Center Act to reflect current practices. Includes "child maltreatment" instead of just sexual abuse.

Adds "fictive kin" to the definition of "relative." "Fictive kin" is defined as "any individual, unrelated by birth or marriage, who is shown to have close personal or emotional ties with the child or the child’s family prior to the child’s placement with the individual." Under the law, "fictive kin" are defined as relatives and are not required to have a foster home license in order to receive the placement of a child with "close personal or emotional ties."

Amends the State’s Probate Act regarding presumptively void transfers to non-family member care givers, which would void most transfers of property exceeding $20,000 to a person who was a care giver for the deceased. The presumption can be rebutted by showing that the care giver’s share is not greater than the share the they would have been entitled to before they became the care giver or by showing that the transfer was not the product of fraud, duress, or undue influence.

Requires that a seller or firm disclose material defects of doors and windows in a residential unit to prospective buyers in addition to the 23 current disclosures that must be made under the original act.

Allows a condominium association board to rent a foreclosed property for longer than previously permitted by state statute.

Allows for electronic notice to owners prior to the sale of property in an abandoned storage units and also allows online auctions of abandoned units. In the case of electronic mail notice, the e-mail address must have been provided by the renter and the owner must receive notice of its receipt.

Increases transparency in charter schools. Requires that lotteries be used to fill available student slots when demand exceeds capacity. The lotteries must be videotaped by the charter school. Also allows charter schools to undertake additional intake activities; requires charter schools to include a disclaimer in any advertisements that are paid for with public funds; and requires that charter school governing bodies must be separate and distinct from any Charter Management Organizations or Educational Management Organizations.

Requires schools to address electronic bullying under certain circumstances even when it occurs off-campus and uses private computers, cell phones, etc. Applies if the bullying causes a substantial disruption to the educational process or orderly operation of a school. Applies when a school administrator or teacher receives a report that this type of bullying has occurred and does not require school district staff to monitor non-school related activities.

Provides that all new school building construction governed by the "Health/Life Safety Code for Public Schools" must include in its design and construction a storm shelter.

Allows a custodian of a qualifying pupil to be reimbursed for qualified transportation expenses if the pupil attends the Chicago Public Schools and must walk or travel along a safe passage route to reach school or return home from school or if such pupil does not have access to transportation and conditions were hazardous to the safety of the pupil due to traffic.

Establishes a ban in Illinois on "microbeads," which are small plastic beads often used in cosmetic products such as exfoliating face washes. Concerns have been raised that the beads are getting into the water supply and releasing toxic chemicals. Over-the-counter drugs containing synthetic plastic microbeads can not be sold in Illinois after Dec. 31, 2019.

Increases the penalty for trespassing on property owned by CTA, PACE, Metra, and RTA to a Class 4 felony for a second or subsequent violation. The felony offense is limited to those who enter upon the forbidden part of a right of way, including facilities or improvement areas, rather than simply "land."

Creates a statutory look-back date of 5 years for the Liquor Control Commission to review a license holder’s previous activity in determining penalties for the infraction of sale of alcohol to a minor. Also provides that an agent of the Liquor Control Commission does not have the authority to inspect private areas of the premises such as safes, personal property and closed desks without reasonable suspicion or a warrant.

Beginning July 1, vehicles sold for purposes of leasing for longer than 1 year will be taxed at 6.25 percent of the gross receipts of the lessor; currently, the tax is paid at the initial purchase. The bill also requires the township or county collector to receive a request in writing from the property owner or taxpayer prior to sending tax bills via e-mail.

Extends the definition of Illinois retailers to include a retailer who provides to potential customers a code or other method to allow the retailer to track the purchases referred by that person. These can include, but are not limited to, Internet links, promotional codes sent through mail or hand-delivered or sent via broadcast.

Allows the seizure and forfeiture of a watercraft used with the knowledge and consent of the owner in the commission of specified offenses including operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs during a period in which his or her privileges to operate a watercraft are revoked or suspended and the revocation or suspension was for operating a watercraft under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Allows people using non-traditional visual aid instruments such as BiOptics to apply for a restricted driver’s training permit that would allow the applicant to drive from sunset to 10 p.m. for 6 months as long as the applicant is accompanied by a person who has a valid driver’s license with no nighttime driving restrictions.

Allows people who utilize a BiOtpic or telescopic lens for nighttime driving only to take the required driving test once every four (4) years instead of annually. BiOptic glasses are vision-enhanced lenses with extreme magnification.

Allows a religious exemption for identification cards for state-licensed professions primarily to allow Amish people to be able to be issued licenses without having to use their photograph.

Expands the list of surviving family members that are eligible for "Gold Star" license plates to include a son or daughter of a deceased solider.

Reinstates "sign and drive" as the law by prohibiting the taking of a driver’s license as bail following a traffic law or ordinance violation. Illinois is one of six state which take a driver’s license for a minor traffic offense. "Sign and drive" was the law in Illinois until July of 1986 when it was repealed as part of a broader legislative package.

Requires all adult driver education course providers to undergo a criminal background check.

States that military veterans with a disabilities parking placard or decal do not have to show evidence of disability for renewal of the placard or decal if at the time of initial application the veteran’s disability has been classified as permanent.

Allows a vehicle that uses natural gas as a motor fuel to exceed weight limitations for other trucks by 2,000 pounds. Does not allow this exception for vehicles using interstate highways or on roads or bridges in the state with a posted weight limit.

Allows a printed receipt of an online license plate renewal to be used as proof of renewal until the physical sticker is received in the mail.

Increases the minimum mandatory coverage amounts for liability insurance policies in the State and increases the amounts sufficient to satisfy a judgment following a motor vehicle accident as follows: bodily injury or death to any one person from $20,000 to $50,000; bodily injury or death to more than one person from $40,000 to $100,000; and injury or destruction of property of others from $15,000 to $40,000.

Sets a 60 mph speed limit for second division vehicles on interstates in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will Counties. Second division vehicles are those weighing over 8,001 pounds. This is to allow large trucks to travel at a speed closer to the 70 mph speed limit allowed for passenger vehicles. Proponents have raised concerns that the 15 mph differential between a 55 mph speed limit for trucks and a 70 mph speed limit for cars can be dangerous.

Adds the gray wolf, the black bear and the cougar to the list of protected species in Illinois, while spelling out conditions that allow land owners to kill the animals if they are causing an immediate threat of physical harm or death to a person, livestock or domestic animals or harm to structures or other property. In recent years, all three have started to return to Illinois in limited numbers, and the law is an effort to manage that reintroduction.

Provides that releasing any aquatic life into the wild in Illinois without first securing permission of the Department of Natural Resources is a Class B misdemeanor. This bill seeks to target potentially invasive species being imported into the state, as has happened with Asian carp and zebra mussels.

Provides that the dissolution of a corporation shall not take away any civil liability at the time of or after such dissolution if the action is taken within 5 years after the date of such dissolution.

Makes it easier to transfer or sell a certain types of property when an owner dies. The law applies only to property with one to four units, condominiums or a single tract of agriculture land of 40 acres or less which contains a single-family residence.

Allows the Chicagoland Motor Speedway to hold concerts and additional auto racing schools and functions. Currently, off-road riding facilities such as the Speedway are immune from liability for noise under "normal" facility usage. This expands the exemption to cover other events.

Allowa for easier renewal of religious organization bus drivers, senior citizen transportation drivers and for-profit ride-sharing arrangement drivers. Provides that for a lapse in license renewal of 30 days or less, the applicant shall be eligible for renewal without a waiver from the Secretary of State’s Office.

Streamlines disciplinary sanctions for licenses and certificates issued under the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. More clearly defines what constitutes "good moral character." Provides the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation the power to authorize disciplinary action if a licensee or registrant violates the continuing requirement of "good moral character."

Requires employers to provide "reasonable accommodations" for all working pregnant women unless the accommodation would impose an "undue hardship" on the business.

Gives the Illinois Department of Human Rights jurisdiction to enforce the state Equal Pay Act. Allows the state Department of Labor to refer a pay discrimination case back to the Department of Human Rights as long as the referral also includes potential Human Rights Act violations.

Repeals the Illinois Savings and Loan Act of 1985. The last savings and loan association in the state (in Milford) converted to a savings bank on April 1, 2013, so there are no longer any savings and loan associations in the state.

Regulates sales of precious and recyclable metals, collectible items and other goods, including assuring that accurate records are available so that items can be traced. "Resale dealers" buy, sell, take on consignment, or trade jewelry, stamps, electronic equipment, or precious metals that have been previously owned by a consumer. This would include swapshop operators, cash for gold operators, and jewelers that purchase and resell items from persons. The term "resale dealer" does not include pawnbrokers, coin dealers, providers of commercial mobile services or their authorized dealers, or retail merchants that do not purchase previously owned items directly from the public at the retail location.