SPRINGFIELD – The 253 new laws that will take effect in Illinois on Jan. 1 cover many areas of daily life. The laws touch on everything from animal protection to school safety drills, sexual assault training for police and a firearm waiting period. Some of the new rules are likely to affect every resident of Illinois while the more esoteric ones will only apply to a select few.
A small sampling of the new laws, by category, that will take effect Jan. 1 follows.
Animal Control Facilities and Shelters (SB 2380/PA 100-0870): Adds new license-renewal requirements for animal control facilities and animal shelters, including breakdowns of incoming animals (stray, left by owner) and the ultimate disposition of those animals (adopted, euthanized) in the previous calendar year. Department of Agriculture must post the statistics on their website for each facility.
Animal Protection (SB 2270/PA 100-0740): Provides that nothing prevents a law enforcement officer from taking temporary custody of an animal that is being put in danger due to extreme heat or cold conditions; however, the officer must attempt to make contact with owner. Owner is responsible of cost required for veterinary care.
Reckless Dog Owner Penalties (SB 2386/PA 100-0971): Sets penalties for reckless dog owners and allows courts to confiscate dogs from owners for periods from 12 to 36 months for a first violation. Sets fines for each animal found in their care they refuse to relinquish.
Blaze Pink (HB 4231/PA 100-0949): Allows hunters to wear blaze pink during firearm deer season and upland game season.
Social Worker License (HB 5110/PA 100-0766): Attempts to streamline the “licensure through endorsement” process for out-of-state clinical social workers, licensed marriage and family therapists and clinical professional counselors, to address the shortage of behavioral health practitioners in Illinois to reduce the time in which IDFPR issues licenses to not more than 60 days after a completed application is received by the Department.
Immigration Licensure (SB 3109/PA 100-1078): Provides that no person may be denied professional licensure for immigration status. Applicant may provide a Tax Identification Number in lieu of a SSN.
Sexual Harassment Training (HB 4953/PA 100- 0762): Professions that have continuing education requirements, the required hours shall include at least one hour of sexual harassment prevention training for license renewals occurring on or after Jan. 1, 2020.
Child Abuse Reports (SB 293/PA 100-0697): Requires DCFS to keep all unfounded reports of child abuse/neglect for a minimum of five years (currently three). Seeks to provide DCFS investigators more information to better recognize patterns of abuse/neglect.
Visitation Clarification (SB 2498/PA 100-0706): Clarifies situations where a grandparent, great- grandparent, sibling or step-parent can seek visitation.
Public Lactation Room (SB 3503/PA 100-0947): Requires every facility that houses a circuit court to designate at least one public lactation room/area by June 1, 2019 (cannot be in a restroom). The room must include a chair, table, electrical outlet and where possible, a sink with running water.
Physical Fitness Service Contract (HB 4275/PA 100-0658): Removes provisions prohibiting certain basic gym membership services. Prohibits contracts for basic physical fitness services in excess of $2,500 per year, per person; requires contracts be in writing; prohibits financing of a contract over a period of more than three years; prohibits contracts measured by the life of the consumer; and prohibits a gym membership of greater than one year.
DOC Inmate Violence Reporting (HB 4888/PA 100-0907): Requires the Illinois Department of Corrections to collect and report violence in prisons and other correctional facilities and to publish public safety reports. The data will include numbers on assaults, sexual assaults, contraband, weapons, suicide and segregation.
Corrections Visitation Policy (HB 4741/PA 100- 0677): Entitles inmates to seven visits per month and permits inmates to supply the IDOC with a list of 30 persons who are authorized to visit. The required list of authorized visitors is to be available beginning August 2019 in electronic format.
Posting Requirement for Intersex/Gender Individuals (SB 574/PA 100-0966): Allows the court to waive the notice and publication requirement for a change of name involving a person who files with the court a written declaration that publishing their name change would place them at risk of physical harm or discrimination. The person must provide evidence to support their claim that the publishing notice would put that person at risk of physical harm or discrimination. This will provide more privacy for individuals undergoing a gender change when they seek to change their name.
Mobile Home Owner Disposing Abandoned Homes (SB 3261/PA 100-1083): Authorizes mobile home owners and operators to remove and dispose of an abandoned mobile home. A proceeding to remove an abandoned mobile home can be filed in the circuit court of the county where the mobile home is located. Also outlines circumstances in which the mobile home park owner or operator may commence a judgment that the home is abandoned.
Police Sexual Assault Training (HB 5203/PA 100-0910): Codifies current training already being conducted for law enforcement officers concerning sexual assault and sexual abuse. Adds responses that recognize special sensitivities of victims due to age (including those younger than age 13), gender or other qualifications. Also adds “age sensitive” to the training requirements for courses for police.
Enforcement Training (SB 2925/PA 100-0984): Requires the Law Enforcement Training Standards Board to develop a program for school resource officers, establishes requirements, and determines if existing local police agency training meets the requirements.
Police Citation Quotas (SB 3509/PA 100-1001): Removes the exemption that applies only to Chicago in the section of law prohibiting municipalities from instituting police citation quotas statewide and use of those quotas from assessment of job performance.
Order of Protection Status (SB 2826/PA 100- 0714): Updates the order of protection status under the Human Rights Act to reflect new types of protective orders that have been created over time.
Nursing Mom Jury Duty (HB 5745/PA 100- 0696): Exempts nursing mothers from jury service.
Officer-Involved Shooting Policies (SB 2378/PA 100-0970): Requires all law enforcement agencies to adopt a written policy for the internal review of officer-involved shootings. Each written policy shall be available for copying and inspection under the Freedom of Information Act.
Stalking (SB 3411/PA 100-1000): Provides that stalking behavior includes sending unwanted messages via social media. Expands who may bring a petition under the Act to include an authorized agent of: a workplace, a place of worship and a school.
Dual Credit Access (SB 2838/PA 100-1049): Improves access to dual credit coursework for Illinois students. Requires community colleges to enter into a dual credit agreement if a high school district within their boundaries requests it, and other changes.
Dual Credits (SB 2527/PA 100-0792): Qualified students are allowed to enroll in an unlimited amount of dual credit courses and earn an unlimited amount of academic credits from dual credit courses provided the course is taught by an Illinois instructor.
Mental Health Awareness (HB 4658/PA 100- 0903): Requires licensed school personnel and administrators who work with grades K-12 to be trained, once every two years, to identify the warning signs of mental illness and suicidal behavior in youth and be taught appropriate intervention and referral techniques.
Safety Drills (SB 2350/PA 100-0996): Requires active shooter/threat school safety drills to be conducted within 90 days of the start of the school year. Drills must be conducted on days and times when students are present in the building and requires participation from all school personnel and students. Requires that law enforcement observe the drill.
Child Dental Examination Requirement (HB 4908/PA 100-0829): Children in ninth grade must have a dental exam before May 15 of the school year (applicable to public, private and parochial schools).
School Board Member Oath (HB 4768/PA 100- 1055): Adds numerous requirements to the oath sworn by school board members when taking office.
School Board Vacancy (SB 2900/PA 100-0800): If a school board has to fill a vacancy due to lack of candidates from a congressional township, the board must put a proposition on the ballot at the next general election to elect school board members at large without requiring residency in certain areas of the district. This addresses situations where no candidates come forward from specified areas within a school district.
Gender Neutral Election Code Amendment (HB 1010/PA 100-1027): Amends the Election Code to replace gender specific terms with gender neutral terms, such as changing “Chairman” to “Chair.”
Concussion Information (HB 4226/PA 100- 0747): Requires the Department of Public Health to develop, publish and disseminate a brochure to educate the public on the effects of concussions in children and how to look for warning signs. Requires schools to provide the brochure free of charge to parents/guardians of children who may have sustained a concussion regardless of where the concussion may have taken place. The State Board must (as opposed to may) adopt rules to administer concussion oversight teams, including rules governing the informal or formal accommodation of a student who may have sustained a concussion during an interscholastic athletic activity.
Bone-Marrow Registry (SB 3062/PA 100-1020): Requires the Department of Public Health to develop and disseminate information about a bone-marrow registry that includes the need for bone-marrow donations, the population that would benefit, how to join a bone-marrow registry, and how to acquire a free swab kit from a bone-marrow registry.
Pharmaceutical Disposal Task Force (SB 2524/PA 100-0925): Creates the Pharmaceutical Disposal Task Force to coordinate a state-wide information campaign to highlight the benefits and ways to properly dispose of pharmaceutical products.
Black History Course Requirement (HB 4346/PA 100-0634): Requires every public institution of higher education and community colleges to offer a course studying the events of Black History.
Education Loan Pilot Program (SB 2559/PA 100-0926): Each public institution of higher education that receives student loan information for a student enrolled at that institution shall provide that student or their parent/guardian estimates of the total amount of education loans taken out by the student or parent/guardian, the potential total payoff amount of the incurred loans, and the monthly repayment amounts a borrower may incur for the amount of loans the student or parent/guardian has taken out.
Non-Marital Life Insurance (SB 2437/PA 100- 0871): Makes changes regarding beneficiaries of life insurance policies in response to circumstances where life insurance policy owners do not change the beneficiary after the dissolution of a marriage and the ex-spouse seeks to claim the proceeds from the policy because the ex-spouse is still listed as the beneficiary.
Stage 4 Cancer Drugs (HB 4821/PA 100-1057): Prohibits insurers from limiting or excluding coverage for a drug used to treat stage 4, metastatic cancer by requiring an insured to first try to successfully respond to another drug or prove history of failure to the drug.
Township Officers (SB 2299/PA 100-0868): Prevents all elected and appointed township officials from simultaneously holding any other employment with the township in which they are elected. Exempts volunteer firefighters from the prohibition.
Golden Parachutes (SB 3604/PA 100-0894): Sets severance pay conditions for government employees to attempt to prevent “golden parachutes.” States that severance pay provided may not exceed more than 20 weeks compensation and that severance pay is prohibited when the employee in question has been fired for misconduct.
72-hour Waiting Period (SB 3256/PA 100- 0606): Creates a 72-hour waiting period on all firearms (not just handguns). Also eliminates the current exemption from the waiting period for the sale of a firearm to a nonresident of Illinois while at a recognized gun show. The bill retains the current 24-hour withholding period for stun guns and Tasers. A violation of this provision would be a Class 4 felony. The bill also eliminates the current statutory exemption from the waiting period requirements for the sale of a firearm to a nonresident of Illinois while at an official gun show recognized by the State Police.
Firearms Restraining Order (HB 2354/PA 100- 0607): Allows family members or law enforcement to petition the court for an ex parte order alleging the respondent poses significant danger of causing personal injury to himself/herself or another by having in his/her custody or control, owning, purchasing, possessing or receiving a firearm. The court may issue this order without notice to the respondent but a hearing must be held as soon as possible not to exceed 14 days. Allows for two types of orders: ex-parte/emergency (probable cause) and six-month orders (clear and convincing). Allows the court to issue search warrants (even in cases where the petitioner is a family member) to law enforcement to seize the weapons if there is probable cause to believe the respondent possesses weapons.
Agriculture Commodity Transport (HB 5749/PA 100-1090): Between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31, requires IDOT to issue special permits authorizing the movement of loads of agricultural commodities that may exceed the current axle or vehicle gross weight limits by 10 percent. Also increases the fee to ISP for a police escort to $75 per hour.
Covered Farm Vehicle Designation (SB 3241/PA 100-0734): Allows second division vehicles in the 8,000 pounds or less category, that are specialty plated, to receive the Covered Farm Vehicle (CVF) designation on the vehicle’s registration card. Vehicle owners requesting to receive the CFV designation must pay an additional $10 surcharge.
Rear-Facing Car Seat (HB 4377/PA 100-0672): Requires children under the age of 2 to be secured in a rear-facing child-restraint system. Children weighing more than 40 pounds or taller than 40 inches are exempted.