State Representative John Cavaletto (R-Salem) is reminding constituents about several new laws that went into effect in Illinois as of January 1st.
If you would like to know more about any of these new laws, more information may be found at the General Assembly web site (www.ilga.gov). Some of the new laws that may be of most interest to area residents include:
G.I. Bill of Rights Day
(Public Act 100-817, House Bill 4954)
November 4 of each year is designated as “G.I. Bill of Rights Day,” to be observed in recognition of the day in 1943 on which eight American Legion members met in Salem, Illinois, and wrote down on dinner napkins their ideas of how to help returning veterans readjust to civilian life. Their proposal became the federal legislation known as the G.I. Bill, which has helped millions of veterans over the last 75 years.
Expanding acceptable documentation to attain “Veteran” designation on driver’s licenses
(Public Act 100-811, House Bill 4332)
This new law expands the list of eligible documents to receive “Veteran” designation on driver’s license to include an identification card issued under the federal Veterans Identification Card Act of 2015. It provides that if a document cannot be stamped, the Department of Veterans Affairs (IDVA) shall provide a certificate to the veteran to provide to the Secretary of State.
Firearm Restraining Order Act
(Public Act 100-607, House Bill 2354)
The Firearm Restraining Order Act allows for family member or law enforcement to petition the court for an order prohibiting possession of firearms by an individual if they pose a significant danger of causing personal injury to themselves or other by possessing a firearm. The order may be issued on an emergency ex parte basis or for 6-months. The Court is required to make specific findings before issuing the order.
Youth IDNR licenses combined
(Public Act 100-638, House Bill 4783)
Youth hunting and trapping licenses are combined under this new law. It provides that a Youth Hunting and Trapping License entitles the licensee to hunt or trap while supervised by an adult who is 21 years of age or older and has a valid Illinois hunting or trapping license.
FOID definitions, renewal and suspension
(Public Act 100-906, House Bill 4855)
This bill clarifies the definition of “patient” in the FOID Card Act so hospitals and mental health facilities have a better idea as to what should be reported to DHS and the State Police. It also allows the State Police to suspend a FOID card rather than having to permanently revoke the FOID card as long as the disqualifying factor is not permanent grounds for revocation like felony conviction, domestic violence, etc. It also provides that renewal applications will be processed in 60 days.
Youth hunting permit for non-residents
(Public Act 100-691, House Bill 5440)
The fees for a youth resident and non-resident archery deer permit shall be the same, and a resident or non-resident youth under age 18 may apply to DNR for a Youth Hunting License and Youth Trapping License, rather than only resident youth.
Establishing a uniform procedure for concussed athletes
(Public Act 100-747, House Bill 4226)
This new law provides for a uniform set of rules for the accommodation of a student who sustained a concussion during an interscholastic athletic activity. The law also requires the IDPH to, subject to appropriation, develop, publish and disseminate a brochure to educate the public on the warning signs and effects of a concussion.
Rear-facing child seat
(Public Act 100-672, House Bill 4377)
Children under age two must be secured in an approved rear-facing child seat (instead of a forward-facing car seat) while riding in a vehicle.
Signature no longer required for certain violations
(Public Act 100-674, House Bill 4476)
Any person cited for a petty offense will no longer be required to sign the citation. The State Police stated that not requiring an officer to get the violator’s signature would result in an increase in officer safety. This legislation will provide a financial savings as the State Police pay ten cents per sheet of paper required for a violator’s signature. In 2016, the State Police issued 151,379 paper citations.
Grandparent visitation rights clarified
(Public Act 100-706, Senate Bill 2498)
This change to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act makes changes to the process for petitions for visitation. It clarifies that if the petitioner for visitation is a grandparent or great-grandparent, the parent-child relationship needs only to be legally established with respect to the parent of the grandchild or great-grandchild who is related to the grandparent or great-grandparent. It makes a similar clarification regarding step-parents.
More family members may petition for visitation rights
(Public Act 100-1054, House Bill 4687)
This new law expands the list of family members of a person who is a ward of the state who may petition for visitation privileges. The list now includes adult children, spouses, adult grandchildren, parents, adult siblings or other interested persons. “Other interested person” is defined as any person who has a significant, ongoing relationship based on or productive of strong affection. Court shall not allow visits if it finds that the ward has capacity to evaluate and communicate decisions regarding visitation and expresses desire not to have visits with the petitioner.
Additions to the school board member oath of office
(Public Act 100-1055, House Bill 4768)
This legislation adds components to the oath of office sworn by school board members when taking office to demonstrate the board’s role in defining outcomes and ensuring a quality education for each student in the school district.
Domestic Violence Order of Protection expanded
(Public Act 100-639, House Bill 4796)
Foster parents, legally appointed guardians, adoptive parents and prospective adoptive parents are added as persons protected under the Domestic Violence Act and the Protective Orders Article in cases involving domestic violence.
Required dental examinations
(Public Act 100-829, House Bill 4908)
All children in kindergarten and the second, sixth, and ninth grades of any public, private or parochial school shall have a dental examination. This adds one last required dental exam to check for gum disease, eating disorders and issues carried over from having braces during their adolescent years, among other health issues that can be identified and prevented with proper oral health.
Sexual harassment policy for state contracts
(Public Act 100-698, Senate Bill 405)
Those bidding on state contracts will now be required to submit their sexual harassment policy as part of the bidding process.
Prohibiting Township employment for elected officials
(Public Act 100-868, Senate Bill 2299)
A person elected or appointed to fill a vacancy in an elected township position, including, but not limited to, a trustee, a supervisor, a highway commissioner, a clerk, an assessor, or a collector, cannot already be employed by the township.
(Public Act 100-983, Senate Bill 2923)
This new law provides that when a township supervisor issues a payout from the township treasury, the township clerk shall certify all moneys paid out. The road district clerk shall certify all moneys paid out of the road district treasury or township treasury.
Dual credit restrictions for high school students removed
(Public Act 100-792, Senate Bill 2527)
Qualified high school students will now be allowed to enroll in an unlimited amount of dual credit courses and earn an unlimited amount of academic credits from dual credit courses if the courses are taught by an Illinois instructor under the Dual Credit Quality Act.
72-hour waiting period firearm sales
(Public Act 100-606, Senate Bill 3256)
This new law extends the current 24-hour waiting period to 72 hours for purchasing firearms in Illinois. A violation will be a Class 4 felony. The new law also eliminates the exemption from the waiting period requirements for the sale of a firearm to a nonresident of Illinois while at a firearm showing or display recognized by the State Police.
Regulating Severance Payments to Public Employees
(Public Act 100-895, Senate Bill 3604)
When public employees are relieved of their duties the public must now be notified within 48 hours if a severance package will be provided to an officer, agent, employee or contractor. In regard to severance pay, the new Act will limit cash compensation to 20 weeks of compensation, rather than up to one year as was the previous law.