A new law advances an innovative way to collect child support from “deadbeat” parents, and other measures signed by the Governor during the week will help Illinois veterans and protect young people from the potentially deadly effects of sunless tanning.
Legislation signed targeting deadbeat parents
In Illinois, deadbeat parents owe $3.1 billion in unpaid child support. House Bill 2843 will garnish the gambling winnings of parents who win more than $1,200 at a casino or racetrack. The garnishment will be turned over to the Department of Healthcare and Family Services and given to the custodial parent of the dependent child.
House Bill 2843 took effect immediately, making Illinois the largest state in the union with this type of gambling garnishment.
Veterans to benefit from a number of laws signed by Governor
On August 11, Veterans Day at the Illinois State Fair, the Governor signed several bills benefitting Illinois veterans and active duty service members. The new laws will study ways to better serve female veterans; protect veteran memorials; help veterans and service members at the state’s public universities and community colleges; and assist disabled veteran business owners.
House Bill 3346 requires the Illinois Discharged Servicemember Task Force to further explore the needs of Illinois’ women veterans. These issues range from compensation parity and rehabilitation, to outreach efforts and health care needs. The task force will then make recommendations on how the state can better respond to the needs of female veterans.
Senate Bill 2231 seeks to deter the damage or defacement of veterans’ graves or memorials by enhancing penalties for this crime. Memorials of police officers, fire fighters and historic figures are also included in the bill.
Senate Bill 2245 requires public universities and community colleges to give veterans and service members the earliest possible enrollment opportunity they offer. The measure addresses a problem resulting from the federal government being slow in reimbursing veterans. By allowing veterans to submit the information to the federal government earlier, the hope is they will be reimbursed in a timelier manner.
Senate Bill 2229 will give anyone who served more than 10 years in the Illinois National Guard an additional two years of tuition and fee waivers from any public university or public community college. This increases total tuition and fee waivers for Illinois National Guard members from four to six years.
New law bans indoor tanning for Illinois minors
Illinois minors will soon be prohibited from using UV tanning booths and equipment. House Bill 188 prohibits Illinois residents younger than 18 from using UV tanning booths and equipment. Current law bans those younger than 14 from UV tanning, but allows minors between 14 and 17 to tan with a parent’s permission.
The legislation was introduced in response to medical and scientific determinations that sunless tanning is carcinogenic to humans. The United States Department of Health and Human Services, the World Health Organization and the International Agency for Research on Cancer are just some of the organizations that caution against tanning bed use - particularly by young people.
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) emphasized that people younger than 18 are particularly at risk for the damages associated with UV radiation and exposure. Studies have found a 75 percent increase in the risk of melanoma in those who have been exposed to UV radiation from indoor tanning, and the risk of cancer increases with every use. Melanoma in the United States is increasing rapidly in children and young adults, and is now the second most common form of cancer for individuals ages 15 to 29.
“Sunless” or spray-on tanning is exempt from the new law. An exception for phototherapy, which applies to situations where a physician supervises tanning when it is necessary to treat a medical condition, is also included in the new law.
The new law takes effect January 1, 2014.
Commonsense law to benefit Illinois motorists
Illinois motorists are familiar with the delays created by road construction and maintenance. Commonsense legislation was signed into law this week creating separate offenses for speeding in a construction or maintenance zone depending on when workers are present, and when they are not present.
Previously, under certain circumstances motorists could be subject to the penalty of a license suspension if caught speeding in a construction zone, even if workers were not present and not in danger of being hit. House Bill 1814 removes that license suspension penalty if no workers were currently at the construction site.