Springfield… As the New Year fast approaches, Illinois will put over 150 new laws on the books. In preparation, State Representative Raymond Poe (R-Springfield) is suggesting Illinoisans take the time to inform themselves of the changes so they’ll know how these laws may impact them.
"With the New Year come new changes to Illinois' laws," said Poe. "I think it's important that our citizens be aware of what those changes are and how they may impact their lives and the lives of their loved ones. I encourage everyone to take a few moments to brush up on what's new for 2013."
Protecting our Children
Starting January 1, 2013, convicted child sex offenders will be prohibited from participating in certain holiday events, such as dressing up as Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny or handing out candy at Halloween (SB 3579/PA 97-0699). Illinois will also allow for the felony prosecution of people who attempt to lure children into their car while travelling to or from school. Current law limits law enforcement's ability to go after these predators (HB 5265/PA 97-0998).
In response to the case surrounding the tragic death of two-year old Caylee Anthony, a new law increases penalties for the failure to report a child missing or dead. The bill charges a Class 4 felony to parents or guardians failing to report a child 13-years-old and under missing within 24 hours. The measure gives parents of missing children 2-years-old and under one hour to report their disappearance. (S.B. 2537/P.A. 97-1079)
Motorist caught excessive speeding will no longer be able to receive a sentence of supervision, and will face increased penalties. The law addresses motorists who are pulled over for driving more than 25 mph over the speed limit in urban areas and more than 30 mph over on highways. Previously, the courts could give a sentence of supervision for cases where motorists are cited for driving up to 39 miles over posted speed limits on highways. (S.B. 2888/P.A. 97-0831).
Another law will ease traffic from fender benders on Illinois roadways by allowing motorists involved in a minor traffic accident to move their vehicles to the nearest off-ramp, access road or other safe location following an accident if it is a property damage-only accident. This law also provides for greater safety for those involved in accidents because they are able to move away from the fast-moving traffic. (S.B. 3409/P.A. 97-0763)
To ease the transition process for our returning veterans, the State of Illinois will allow a veteran to request his or her veteran status be printed on their driver's license. This identification will help cut through red tape and ensure that any benefits that the soldier earned will be easily accessible (S.B. 2837/P.A. 97-0739).
Beginning in January, Illinois will become the third state to enact a law addressing social media privacy by making it illegal for an employer to request a password or other account information in order to access an employee or prospective employee's social networking site, like Facebook. (H.B. 3782/P.A. 97-0875).
In an effort in increase the clarity of and public access to public notices and agendas required under the Open Meetings Act, House Bill 4687/PA 97-827, will require every agenda posted prior to a public meeting to include the general subject matter of the resolution or ordinance that will be voted on at the meeting.
All new laws will take effect on January 1, 2013 or thereafter.