Thursday, December 29, 2011
sponsored by

A look at some of Illinois' new laws

Send a link to a friend

[December 29, 2011]  SPRINGFIELD -- In all, the Illinois Legislature enacted 214 new bills to become effective in January 2012. The following are just a few of the new laws.

U.S. veterans: Senate Bill 98 provides residents at federal veterans' facilities with the same voting options and assistance as residents at state facilities and nursing homes.

Mental retardation: Senate Bill 1833 makes changes to language in state law to replace the term "mental retardation" with "intellectual disability" and "crippled" with "physically disabled."

House Bill 3238 expands the list of those arrested or convicted of certain crimes who are required to submit to DNA testing. Crimes include first-degree murder, home invasion, predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, aggravated criminal sexual assault and criminal sexual assault.

House Bill 3283 enacts tougher penalties for filming, videotaping or creating a moving image of child pornography, or possessing such items.

House Bill 1562 provides public access to hospital report cards through the Illinois Department of Public Health website.

House Bill 1359 allows fire departments to prohibit open burning on an emergency basis when wind, weather or other factors create a risk of fire spreading.

House Bill 3281 allows a school board to suspend or expel a student who has made an explicit threat on a website against a school employee or student.

House Bill 1670 requires all current and future elected and appointed officials in Illinois to take Open Meetings Act training courses administered by the public access counselor in the attorney general's office.

An additional law of the road will take effect on Jan. 3. Truck drivers will no longer be able to use hand-held mobile devices. Drivers won't be able to bypass this rule by using their speakerphone. The law outlaws all mobile hand-held phones completely. If you must use a phone, you're required to pull off the road and park your vehicle in a safe zone.

Andrea's Law -- Creates a First Degree Murderer Database for people convicted of first-degree murder who have been released from a penal institution or other facility. Places them on the existing Sex Offender Registry or the amended Murderer and Violent Offender Against Youth Registry.

Antique vehicles -- There is a new expanded-use category of antique vehicles (vehicles more than 25 years old). While regular antique vehicles are generally limited to driving to and from car shows when using state highways, the expanded-use vehicles have unrestricted use of the highways from April 1 through Oct. 31. The owner must pay appropriate registration and renewal fees and also pay the $45 annual fee for expanded-use antique vehicle registration.

Brush clearing -- A township is allowed to authorize without a referendum the use of road funds to finance the collection, transport and disposal of brush and leaves within the unincorporated areas of the township.

CDL licensing -- A new state law brings Illinois into compliance with a federal law that requires Commercial Driver's License holders who must comply with the physical qualifications requirements of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to provide a current original copy of their medical examiner's certificates to the state driver's licensing agency before a CDL is issued, renewed, upgraded or transferred.

[to top of second column]

Consumer loan affiliates -- Payday loan "affiliates" are defined as any person or entity that directly or indirectly controls, is controlled by, or shares control with another person or entity. The law states that a person or entity who has control over another is the person or entity who has an ownership interest of 25 percent or more in the other.

Cottage food deregulation -- Deregulation of cottage food operations is allowed at the local level, so only "state-certified local public health departments" would be permitted to regulate cottage food operation. Cottage food operations are those where a person produces or packages non-potentially hazardous food in a home kitchen.

Expelled students -- An expelled or suspended student may immediately be transferred to an alternative program unless there is a threat to the safety of students or staff in the alternative program. A pupil must not be denied transfer because of the expulsion. Additionally, enrollment in a charter Alternative Learning Opportunities school must be available to any pupil who has been expelled or suspended for more than 20 days. The district policy choice is changed to state that the student must complete the entire term of suspension or expulsion in a Regional Safe School or Alternative Learning Opportunities Program before being admitted into the school district.

Financial exploitation -- Laws against financial exploitation of an elderly person or person with a disability are strengthened by lowering the property value threshold that constitutes a Class 1 or 2 felony for the offense of financial exploitation. Payment of restitution is not limited to five years for this offense as it is with other crimes.


Seat belts -- Adult passengers in the back seat of a vehicle are required to wear a seat belt, and students 18 and younger riding in a taxicab for school-related purposes are required to wear a seat belt.

Mandatory maximum fines are required for a person who has multiple convictions of driving an uninsured motor vehicle. A $2,500 fine must be imposed, in addition to any jail sentence, for an individual convicted of driving an uninsured vehicle in an incident that results in bodily harm to another person, if the defendant has two or more convictions for driving an uninsured vehicle. The same fee is required for a person who receives a third conviction of uninsured operation of a motor vehicle that leads to bodily injury to another. The fee is set at $1,000 for an individual convicted of a third or subsequent violation of uninsured operation of a vehicle that does not result in bodily injury.

[State of Illinois, LDN]

< Top Stories index

Back to top


News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching and Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries

Community | Perspectives | Law and Courts | Leisure Time | Spiritual Life | Health and Fitness | Teen Scene
Calendar | Letters to the Editor