Many new state laws going into effect




by CYRYL JAKUBOWSKI

Illinois Senate Republicans have released a compilation of news laws that took effect on Jan. 1 or that will take effect later in the year.

Not all measures approved by the General Assembly go into effect on Jan. 1. Some pieces of legislation specify an effective date, while other bills that carry an "immediate" effective date can go into effect at other times of the year.

Jan. 1 is the default date for a new law to become effective if it is passed prior to June 1, if there is no language establishing another date.

Some of the new laws include the following provisions:

Requires sheriff’s offices and municipal police departments that employ more than 100 police officers to comply with the AED Act and be equipped with an automated external defibrillator.

Establishes rules and regulations for the use of officer-worn body cameras and implements a package of police reforms. Prohibits police from using chokeholds except when deadly force is justified, requires an independent review of officer-involved deaths, and makes investigation reports part of the public record if an officer involved in a death is not charged with a crime. Also, expands police officer training to include topics such as use of force and creates a database of officers who have been fired or resigned due to misconduct.

The bill does not require police departments to use body cameras. If they choose to do so, officers must keep their cameras on when conducting law enforcement activities. Officers are allowed to turn the camera off when talking to a confidential informant or at the request of a victim or a witness.

The bill requires officers to let people know they are recording if they enter a home. Videos will be kept for 90 days unless flagged for specific reasons. The bill allows for grants via a $5 fee increase for each $40 on criminal and traffic offenses to go toward cameras and new training.

Creates the Coroner Training Board Act and transfers the oversight of coroner training from the Law Enforcement Training Standards Board to a new Coroner Training Board to conduct and approve training programs in death investigations.

Several new driving under the influence of alcohol provisions have taken effect including requiring certain individuals suspected of consuming alcohol to sign the written warning from law enforcement. Also, removes "hard time" provisions which currently prohibit driving relief for DUI offenders and allows offenders to apply for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit or a Restricted Driving Permit, with a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device. Also, requires any offender with two DUI or reckless homicide convictions to install the device as a condition of a Restricted Driving Permit.

Another law requires the installation of the device if the offender is convicted of DUI involving death, great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement to another.

Sets conditions under which the secretary of state may issue a driver’s license if someone has a license that is revoked in another state.

Allows drivers who had their license permanently revoked after a fourth DUI conviction to obtain a restricted driving permit after 5 years if the person shows a minimum 3 years of uninterrupted sobriety and successful completion all of the recommended rehabilitation activity.

Requires ignition interlock devices for a minimum of 5 years on all vehicles owned by a person who has been convicted of a second or subsequent DUI offense.

Prohibits parking a non-electric car in a parking spot reserved for charging electric cars and sets a fine for violating this rule.

Requires reimbursement where a person makes a false 911 call knowing there is no reasonable ground for making the call or transmission and further knows that the call or transmission could result in the emergency response of any public safety agency. The law caps reimbursement at $10,000.

Increases the penalty for aggravated assault of a peace officer, firefighter, emergency management worker or emergency medical technician.

Prohibits the sale of products consisting of or containing powdered alcohol by creating a Class A misdemeanor for a violation and a Class 4 felony for a second or subsequent violations.

Prohibits the sale or offering of powdered pure caffeine to anyone younger than age 18.

Requires schools to be equipped with carbon monoxide alarms or detectors.

A new $250 fine and community service of not less than 100 hours for people who are convicted of cruel treatment of animals in the presence of a child. Also, a law requires animal control facilities to check for microchips and other identification means to determine pet owners. Also, bobcat hunting will be allowed from Nov. 1 through Feb. 15, and the age cap for hunting licenses will be raised from 16 to 18.

A new law mandates any child-care facility that cares for children age 6 and younger to require child-care employees to provide proof of two doses of the measles mumps and rubella vaccine or proof of immunity. Also, a law requires child-care employees to show proof of having received the tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis vaccine.

Provides that a dental license applicant who did not graduate from a dental school in the United States or Canada must complete 2 years of general dental clinical training in the U.S. or Canada prior to licensure.

Allows companies, particularly start-ups, to build capital by soliciting small amounts of money from many investors over the Internet for the purchase and sale of securities. Investors may be accredited or non-accredited, and the secretary of state is allowed to establish rules pertaining to issuance of securities, fees and notice requirements.

Another law provides that nothing may be construed to require an employer or a property and casualty insurer to reimburse a person for costs associated with the medical use of cannabis.

Requires the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to create and maintain a Web site to help anyone wishing to start a business in Illinois or relocate a business in Illinois.

Makes changes relating to the procedures and record-keeping requirements of those seeking to open, or who have opened, private employment agencies. Establishes penalties for violators.

Provides car rental and leasing companies with additional time to provide proof that the car is a rental or a leased vehicle in the event of a toll violation.

A new law creates regulations on vendors that buy and resell smart phones. Prohibits minors from trading in smart phones. Defines resale businesses that have 25 of more locations in the state to ensure such business can enter into trade-in agreements for promotions and upgrade offers.

Authorizes the Illinois Department of Public Health to establish and assess penalties or fines against any person who violates the Tattoo and Body Piercing Establishment Registration Act. Provides the department may assess a late fee if the renewal application and renewal fee are not submitted by the registration expiration date. Provides that in no circumstance will any penalties or fines exceed $1,000 per day for each day the violation continues.

Deletes a section that allowed for a temporary practice license for optometrists licensed in other states who want to practice in a residency program in Illinois. Requires the department to audit renewals of optometrist licenses.

Prohibits tow truck drivers from removing commercial vehicles under their own power unless authorized to do so by a law enforcement officer. Requires all law enforcement departments that patrol highways excluding Chicago to create a tow list to regulate towing in their jurisdictions.
Prohibits mental health providers from engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with a person younger than age 18. Prohibits advertising that represents homosexuality as a mental disease, disorder or illness, and provides that a violation is an unlawful practice under the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.

The Illinois Parentage Act of 2015 is created to guide establishment of a parent-child relationship, to authorize genetic testing, to establish procedures regarding parentage of a child of assisted reproduction and to provide for establishment of child support obligations.

Provides that a defendant charged with speeding 26 miles per hour or more above the speed limit may be eligible for court supervision if the defendant has not been previously convicted for a similar offense or previously assigned court supervision for a similar offense.

Adds a history of domestic violence to the list of mitigating factors for judges to consider during sentencing. Creates a process for courts to review petitions for re-sentencing for certain offenses committed by a victim of domestic violence who was unable to present evidence of domestic violence at trial.

Amends the Unified Code of Corrections by expanding who may be eligible for certificates of good conduct to include persons convicted of committing or attempting to commit a Class X felony or a forcible felony. Gives an additional 30 days of sentence credit to any prisoner who passes their high school equivalency testing while in the Department of Corrections or while they are being held in county jail prior to commitment to the Department of Corrections.

Helps protect the privacy of rehabilitated inmates seeking to reenter society because of witness protection issues and gang affiliation/retaliation when an inmate is released. The bill does not affect separate victim notification requirements when an offender is released.

Aligns Illinois’ criminal statutes with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that found automatic mandatory life sentences for juveniles to be unconstitutional. Grants judges leeway to determine whether such a sentence is warranted and allows judges to lengthen or shorten a sentence depending on whether a firearm or automatic weapon was used in a capital crime.

Prohibits a delinquent younger than age 13 from being detained in a detention facility unless a local youth service provider has been contacted and is not able to accept the minor.

Provides that the Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board will create a standard curriculum in crisis intervention and specialized policing responses to mental illness.

Changes definition of "sexual orientation" in the hate crime statute, the institutional vandalism statute and the statute concerning aggravating factors in sentencing to the definition used in the Illinois Human Rights Act. Amends the offense of institutional vandalism by replacing the term "sexual orientation" with "ancestry, gender, sexual orientation" and "physical or mental disability."

Gives law enforcement a new tool in combating the sale, distribution and possession of synthetic drugs by banning their underlying chemical structure.

Mandates that of the required 2 years of high school social studies classes at least one semester must be civics. The civics course shall focus on government institutions, the discussion of current and controversial issues, service learning, and simulations of the democratic process.

Student teacher applicants must submit to a fingerprint analysis that is performed by the Illinois State Police and the FBI.

Adds more than 17 plant types to the Illinois Exotic Weed Act, which includes species of bush honeysuckle, olive, salt cedar, poison hemlock, giant hogweed, Oriental bittersweet, teasel and knotweed.

Requires utility companies to waive deposit requirements on new accounts for 60 days for documented domestic abuse victims.

Provides guidelines for license revocation for health care workers who are found guilty of a health care-related crime including Medicare and Medicaid fraud.

Clarifies that an advanced practice nurse, practical nurse or registered nurse who provides hospice or home health services to a person may lawfully possess controlled substances prescribed for the patient when acting as an agent for the patient.

Provides for a 3-year temporary license for podiatrists engaged in postgraduate training and education.

Increases income eligibility standards, primarily working families, for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits by increasing the gross income limit for households that do not include an elderly, blind or disabled member from 130 percent to 165 percent of the federal poverty level. Subject to federal approval.

Prohibits a hospital, health care professional, ambulance provider, laboratory, or pharmacy furnishing hospital emergency services, forensic services, transportation, or medication to a sexual assault survivor from directly billing the survivor. Requires hospitals to provide written notice about billing procedures to sexual assault survivors that are being treated in their facility.

Provides that all regulations that govern land use, construction and alteration of buildings that are adopted by the county board in which the district is located shall apply to all construction projects on property owned by the district. Pertains to the Cook County Forest Preserve District.

Provides that when Cook County Forest Preserve Police are outside the limits of their territory, they will act in aid of regular police force of any such city or village.

If the Department of Natural Resources feels it is in the best interest of the public to vacate any plat of subdivision, street, roadway, or driveway, the department may do so with approval from the governor. Land title is transferred unless there is an easement or deed instructing otherwise.

Gives the City of Chicago legal authority to build a President Barack Obama Presidential Library on parkland. Also adds language allowing for the George Lucas Museum to be constructed by the city on public park land.

Allows local road commissioners to close highways in their jurisdiction to tractor-trailers for up to 90 days in any one calendar year, if the conditions will result in the destruction of or damage to the highway.

Amends the Property Tax Code to provide more detailed instruction for all parties involved during the Property Tax Board of Review complaint procedure outside of Cook County.

Creates the Recyclable Metal Theft Task Force within the Office of the Secretary of State to look at ways to combat recyclable metal theft throughout the state, assist in developing regional task forces to combat recyclable metal theft, develop long-term solutions.

Low-speed vehicles must have a certificate of title and display valid registration in order to be driven on highways.

Increases the number of runways that O’Hare International Airport can operate without obtaining state authorization from eight to 10.

Provides that the secretary of state shall notify by mail any person whose driving privileges have been revoked as a result of a moving violation that is the proximate cause of the death of any person that his or her driver’s license will be revoked 90 days from the date of the mailing of the notice.

Provides that any driver who violates specified motor carrier safety regulations including driving under the influence, motor carrier drivers’ hours of service, motor carrier qualifications for drivers or other violations which would place the driver or vehicle out of service is guilty of a Class 3 felony when the violation results in a motor vehicle accident that causes great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement, or death to another person.

For a full list of laws, visit www.senategop.state.il.us.




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