In addition to legal weed, the new year added more than 250 new laws to the books in Illinois. Among the new laws, are 20 listed below, which may be of interest, anticipation or regret to the residents of Illinois:
- Keep the Smart Kids in Illinois. All Illinois high school graduates with a GPA in the top 10% of their class will be accepted to NIU, EIU, SIU and WIU. (P.A. 101-0448)
- Pride in the Land of Lincoln. This fall, students in grades K through 12 learning U.S. history, must also learn Illinois history, which would necessarily cover a lot of politicians in prison. (P.A. 101-0341)
- No means No and Stop means Stop. Grades 6 through 12 sex education courses will include discussions on the meaning of voluntary consent to sexual activity, limitations of consent, the right to withdraw consent, the capacity to give consent and the absence of consent. (P.A. 101-0579)
- The State of Illinois (taxpayers) will kick start your kid’s college savings fund. Under the new Illinois Higher Education Savings Program, the state will deposit $50 into a college savings account for every child born or adopted in Illinois after 12/31/2020. (P.A. 101-0466)
- Don’t tell my insurance company about that. Commercial genetic testing companies (like ancestry.com or 23andMe) are now prohibited from sharing genetic test or other personally identifiable information about a person with health or life insurance companies without written consent from the person. (P.A. 101-0132)
- Unpaid judgments will grow more slowly. The Consumer Fairness Act reduces the post-judgment interest rate on consumer debt under $25,000 from 9% to 5% and reduces the time to collect. (P.A. 101-0168)
- Don’t pose for nude pictures, but if you did . . . Victims of revenge porn can sue to recover damages for economic loss, emotional distress, punitive damages within 2 years after an image is disseminated or threatened under the Civil Remedies for Nonconsensual Dissemination of Private Sexual Images Act. (P.A. 101-0556)
- Politicians can’t ignore the inmates. Those incarcerated but not yet convicted can vote in elections at the Cook County Jail. (P.A. 101-0442)
- Learn to be a good citizen from jail. The Department of Corrections and Department of Juvenile Justice are required to teach civics – including voting rights, government, current affairs and more to those getting out in the next 12 months. (P.A. 101-441)
- Start the job search from the joint. Before being released, Department of Corrections inmates will have access to job search and career building websites. (P.A. 101-0442)
- The poor will become less poor. The State’s minimum hourly wage increased from $8.25 to $9.25 on January 1st, will jump to $10.00 in July, $11.00 next January and climb to $15.00 by January 1, 2025. (P.A. 101-001)
- Good news for coat checkers or Hey boss, those tips were meant for me! The Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act provides that gratuities and tips to employees are property of the employees and cannot be retained by the employer. (P.A. 101-0509)
- Raining (on) Cats and Dogs. Enacted after a terrible fire that cost the lives of dozens of dogs, a new law requires a fire sprinkler or alarm system in each building housing animal if a kennel is not staffed at all times. (P.A. 101-0210)
- What’s it going to take for drivers to S L O W- D O W N in a construction zone? The maximum penalty for hitting a worker in a construction zone jumps from $10,000 to $25,000. (P.A. 101-0172)
- Don’t pass that stopped school bus with the extended stop arm and flashing lights. The fine for illegally passing a school bus increased from $150 to $300 for the first offense and from $500 to $1,000 for a subsequent offense. (P.A. 101-0055)
- Do we need to review Scott’s Law again? Change lanes or slow down and proceed with caution when approaching emergency vehicles or disabled cars on the side of the highway. Fines for violations increase from $100 to $250 for a first offense and from $750 to $10,000 for a subsequent offense. (P.A. 101-0173)
- Big Brother is watching you. The Expressway Camera Act increases the amount of cameras on Cook County highways, to help law enforcement investigate gunfire or detect hazards on roadways. (P.A. 101-0042)
- Do not watch movies while you drive. Drivers are not allowed to use an electronic device to stream or watch videos while on the road. Fines start at $75 and increase with each additional offense. (P.A. 101-0297)
- Donate an organ and lose your insurance? NO. Insurers are prohibited from refusing to insure, increasing rates or discriminating against living organ donors. (P.A. 101-0179)
- Neither he nor she needed to drive. The Illinois secretary of state is updating its system to allow applicants for a driver’s license or state I.D. to choose from “male,” “female” or “non-binary” when designating sex. (P.A. 101-0513)
For anyone wishing to read the full text of the new laws, you can refer to the cited Public Act (P.A.) on the Illinois General Assembly website, www.ilga.gov.
Oh Wow, man, I almost forgot. . . Um, oh yeah. Like, ha-ha, if you want to know about legal pot and stuff like that, watch for my next blog post thing.
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