Blagojevich reminds public about new laws in effect as of Jan. 1
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will protect seniors and homeowners, strengthen monitoring of sex
offenders, help children, and benefit hardworking citizens all
around the state
[JAN. 2, 2007]
SPRINGFIELD -- Gov.
Rod R. Blagojevich promoted a number of important new laws that he
signed in 2006 and are in effect as of Jan 1, 2007.
"2006 was a very productive year for state government," Blagojevich
said. "We worked hard to pass new laws to help our seniors, children
and the hardworking citizens of our state. A number of those new
laws … [went] into effect on Monday, so now is the time for the
public to learn about new protections and programs we enacted."
House Bill 4121
punishes individuals who falsely claim to be decorated war
heroes. The new law creates criminal charges and imposes
penalties on individuals falsely representing themselves as
recipients of various military honors.
House Bill 4125
helps autistic children get access to new treatments by
requiring all state and local insurance plans, as well as
private insurance plans offered by many employers, to pay for
the treatment of pervasive developmental disorders. It also
requires group health benefit plans to provide coverage for 20
additional outpatient visits for speech therapy.
4606 and Senate
3016 give law
enforcement agencies more tools to protect Illinois families and
communities from sex offenders. The comprehensive package
authorizes Global Positioning System monitoring of paroled
sexual predators, includes stricter guidelines for sex offenders
who are near child care facilities, prohibits custody or
visitation by a father of a child who is convicted of sex crimes
that resulted in the conception of the child, and requires
clarification of disclosure of sex offenses in teacher
endorsement or certification.
House Bill 4300
makes it illegal to sell or buy the pure form of dextromethorphan, a drug commonly used in cough syrups such as
Triaminic or Robitussin. The legislation will help counter the
availability of highly concentrated DXM on the Internet. The
level of DXM in prescription and over-the-counter medications is
safe in correct doses, but when taken incorrectly it can have
hallucinogenic effects similar to PCP and ketamine.
House Bill 4676
helps prevent cases of self-abuse and self-neglect by senior
citizens by requiring the Illinois Department on Aging to
respond to reports of self-abuse and self-neglect.
House Bill 4986
requires districts that offer a secondary agricultural education
program to provide instructional courses approved by the
Illinois State Board of Education and requires a state and
nationally affiliated FFA chapter to be a part of the
curriculum. The legislation also requires hands-on instruction
through formal, supervised agricultural experience activities
House Bill 5284
requires carbon monoxide detectors in homes and apartments that
use fossil fuel for heating or cooking. All buildings that use
fossil fuel and have sleeping rooms or have an attached garage
must have an approved, operating carbon monoxide detector
installed within 15 feet of any sleeping area. Homes that have
all electric appliances and do not have a fireplace or an
attached garage will be exempt from the requirements.
Senate Bill 1001
creates the Illinois African-American HIV/AIDS Response Fund to
address the disproportionate rate of HIV/AIDS in the
African-American community. The fund will be used for HIV/AIDS
prevention efforts and to establish a system for delivering
HIV/AIDS services to reduce transmission among
African-Americans. The approved budget for fiscal 2007 includes
$3 million for the fund.
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Senate Bill 2165
guarantees condo owners can freely observe the doctrines of
their religion at home, including being able to display objects
on their front door. The legislation was prompted by several
cases in Chicago when co-op boards and condo associations
attempted to pass rules that would ban the display of religious
symbols in hallways.
2968 protect people trained in first aid or medical response
from being sued for trying to help injured people. The new laws
aim to alleviate worries by "Good Samaritans" that they could be
sued for helping someone who is seriously injured.
Senate Bill 2310
allows Illinois residents to place a security freeze on their
credit reports. The legislation also requires a password to
remove the freeze. The Illinois Attorney General Office's
Identity Theft Hotline has information on how to do that and
other measures one can take to prevent identity theft. The
toll-free number is 866-999-5630.
Senate Bill 2349
protects vulnerable homeowners from unscrupulous mortgage
"rescue" firms that purport to help avoid foreclosure, but
instead profit at homeowners' expense by taking over the
property and not alleviating the debt. The law gives homeowners
new rights when dealing with companies that offer financial
assistance to help them save their homes from foreclosure. It
also guarantees that homeowners will receive a substantial
portion of their equity in the home from the companies.
Additionally, the new law creates new disclosure requirements
for mortgage rescue companies.
Senate Bill 2865
makes Illinois' railroad crossings safer by giving local
governments the ability to use photo enforcement at rail
crossings to crack down on drivers who go around lowered
crossing gates. The legislation comes in response to an accident
during Thanksgiving eve in 2005, when a Metra express train
crashed into several cars trapped in rush-hour traffic at the
Grand Avenue railroad crossing in Elmwood Park, injuring 16
Senate Bill 2885
helps make sure that Illinois working families, seniors and
people with disabilities continue having access to affordable
housing through the coordination of state government resources.
Specifically, the legislation will encourage businesses to
locate closer to public transportation and to the areas where
their work force lives.
Senate Bill 3086
requires clear and convincing evidence that private land is
necessary for a public use before it can be seized. The new law
also requires governments to reimburse property owners for
relocation expenses and, in some cases, legal fees.
Additionally, the new legislation allows trial courts to reset
the valuation date of the property if the trial begins more than
two years after the filing. Currently, Illinois law only
requires "just compensation" for property owners, which is the
fair market value of the property plus any damage to associated
property not taken through eminent domain.
[News release from the governor's