On January 1, 2016, 237 new laws go into effect in Illinois, including measures that impact fighting crime, government transparency, business, hunting, health, and family.
When it comes to fighting crime, several news laws are making public safety a top priority. For example, individuals who continue to endanger citizens on Illinois roadways by repeatedly driving under the influence of alcohol, will have another barrier that can prevent them from getting back behind the wheel.Senator Jason Barickman’s SB 627/PA 99-0467 requires individuals convicted of two or more DUIs or reckless homicide convictions to install a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device as a condition of a Restricted Driving Permit.
Another new law taking effect January 1, spearheaded by Senator Kyle McCarter, goes after designer drug manufacturers. SB 1129/PA 99-0371 combats dangerous synthetic or designer street drugs by targeting how they are made and allowing prosecutors to not have to wait as long for lab tests to show if the synthetic drug involved was illegal.
In addition, the sale of powdered caffeine to anyone younger than 18 and the sale of products consisting of or containing powdered alcohol will be prohibited under two new laws (SB 9/PA 99-0050 and SB 67/PA 99-0051).
Those who call 9-1-1 in 2016 better be sure it’s a legitimate emergency. Individuals convicted of making false or prank calls to 9-1-1 call centers or making other false reports to emergency responders could be held responsible for reimbursing the costs incurred by the responding emergency agency under HB 3988/PA 99-0160.
As more police officers start to use body cameras, SB 1304/PA 99-0352 establishes new rules and regulations for officers who use the technology. The new law requires police officers who wear a body camera, to keep it on when conducting any law enforcement activities, among other rules.
Keeping people healthy and avoiding terrible diseases are the goals of a new law sponsored by Senator Christine Radogno. Any child-care facility that takes care of children ages 6 and younger, must show proof their employees received the Tdap vaccine and have received two doses of the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine or provide proof of immunity under a new law (SB 986/PA 99-0267) that goes into effect January 1.
Major airports in Illinois will have one year to establish a private breast-feeding area set up behind the security screening process in 2016. SB 344/PA 99-0228 also requires this area to include a chair and an electrical outlet and be outside the confines of a public restroom.
Illinois joins several other states January 1 with a new law that can help save or prolong people’s lives. Terminally-ill patients in Illinois will have access to clinical-trial, experimental medical treatments and medications, thanks to the Right to Try law (HB 1335/PA 99-0270) sponsored by Senator Michael Connelly.
In keeping with the late Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka’s tradition of government transparency, SB 903/PA 99-0393 ensures that the Online Ledger and The Warehouse will continue to provide state financial records, official reports, and local government finances to taxpayers. Senator Karen McConnaughay sponsored this legislation in honor of Judy Baar Topinka.
Illinois continues to rank near the bottom when it comes to being a business-friendly state. In 2015, however, Senator Sue Rezin led the effort in one of the very few pro-growth, pro-jobs business reforms passed by the General Assembly during the spring session. SB 1672/PA 99-0463 will allow businesses to file and receive a permit directly from the state, instead of going through the federal government. That will speed up the application time and provide for more certainty for job creators.
Hunting is a very popular activity, especially in downstate Illinois. In 2016, under a new law spearheaded by Senator Sam McCann, hunters will be able to hunt bobcats to control overpopulation and keep the animal at healthy numbers. HB 352/PA 99-0033 sets the dates for the bobcat hunting season from November 1 through February 15.
In an effort to boost tourism for downstate communities and to put a focus on the family, Senator Chapin Rose sponsored HB 3234/PA 99-0307 to raise the age cap for youth hunting licenses from 16 to 18.
In the classroom in 2016, to help high school students better understand government and the democratic process, a civics course requirement has been added to high school curriculum through HB 4025/PA 99-0434.
With 90 percent of pumpkins grown in the nation produced in Illinois, HB 208/PA 99-0364 recognizes that fact by making pumpkin pie the official state pie.
For a complete listing of all new laws scheduled to take effect on January 1, click here.
Not all measures approved by the General Assembly go into effect on January 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.
January 1 is the default date for a new law to become effective if it is passed prior to June 1, if there is no specific language establishing another date. As such, a large number of laws take effect on January 1.