Illinois Lawmakers were busy in 2017. Of the more than 200 new Illinois laws that will go into effect on January 1, 2018, here are 17 that may be of immediate interest. Summaries of the additional laws are included in the pdf below.
Barack Obama Day (SB 55/PA 100- 0037): Designates Aug. 4 of each year as Barack Obama Day.
Corn as State Grain (HB 470/PA 100- 0109): Names corn as the official State grain of Illinois.
Organ Donor Registry (HB 1805/PA 100-0041): Provides that the age of an individual who has the opportunity to have his or her name included in the First Person Consent organ and tissue donor registry to be 16 or older, rather than 18.
Breastfeeding Students (HB 2369/PA 100-0029): Requires public schools to provide reasonable accommodations to a lactating student on a school campus to express breast milk, breastfeed an infant child or address other needs related to breastfeeding. Also provides that a lactating pupil must be provided a reasonable amount of time to accommodate her need to express milk or breastfeed her infant child. Schools are only required to provide these accommodations if there is a lactating pupil on campus and they may use an existing facility to meet the requirements of the legislation.
School Absences (HB 3139/PA 100- 0156): Mandates that beginning July 1, 2018, all schools receiving public funds must collect and review chronic absence data and determine what systems of support and resources are needed to engage the students and their families. Defines “chronic absence” as “absences that total 10 percent or more of school days of the most recent academic year.” Includes with or without valid cause, and out-of-school suspensions.
Feminine Hygiene Product Availability (HB 3215/PA 100-0163): Requires a school district to make feminine hygiene products available, at no cost to students, in the bathrooms of school buildings.
Electronic Cyberstalking (HB 3251/PA 100-0166): Expands the cyberstalking statute by prohibiting the electronic harassment of a person using spyware or electronic tracking software to transmit a threat of immediate or future bodily harm, sexual assault, confinement, or restraint toward that person or a family member of that person.
Spreading of Cremated Ashes (SB 1586/PA 100-0097): Adds to the definition of “scattering area” as property used for outdoor recreation or natural resource conservation owned by the Department of Natural Resources and designated as a scattering area.
Plant Material Sales (HB 2488/PA 100- 0061): Allows the DNR to sell plants and plant materials from state-run nurseries to conservation groups for forest restoration and other conservation efforts.
Snow Inconvenience Fees for Farmers (HB 1800/PA 100-0046): Allows county boards to pay increased inconvenience fees to farmers that allow farmable land to be used as snow breaks on highways.
Home Kitchen Regulations (HB 3063/PA 100-0035): Seeks to address challenges facing farmers’ market vendors, and seeks to implement safe, fair, and consistent regulations throughout the state. With relation to farmers’ markets, in the Home Kitchen Operation section, provides baked goods and only high-acid fruit pies are allowed. Under the Cottage Food Operation section, removes a list of non-potentially hazardous foods allowed, and includes a list of
prohibited foods. Adds a statement regarding safety to the cottage food
Birth Certificate Changes (HB 1785/PA 100-0360): Provide changes concerning the issuance of new birth certificates for those who have undergone gender transition treatment. In order for a person to change their sex designation on their birth certificate, a licensed health care professional or licensed mental health professional must make a declaration concerning the treatment. Requires that the licensed health care professional or licensed mental health professional sign and date a specified document. Provides that following the issuance of a new birth certificate, the individual may request the original certificate and
evidence of adoption, paternity, legitimation, or change of sex designation for inspection or certification purposes.
Domestic Violence Cell Phones (SB 57/PA 100-0388): Allows victims of domestic violence to petition a court to keep their current wireless phone and phone number by petitioning a court to separate a shared wireless service plan without approval from the primary account holder. Under the terms of the bill, the petitioner assumes all financial responsibility for their cell phone after that.
Mammogram Coverage (SB 314/PA 100-0395): Provides that
insurers must provide coverage for breast MRI if a mammogram
demonstrates heterogeneous or dense breast tissue (when medically
Abortion Expansion (HB 40/PA 100-0538): Expands taxpayer funding for abortions and ensures that abortion remains legal in Illinois. Allows for the use of tax dollars to fund abortions for any reason, including purely elective procedures, mandating state insurance and Medicaid coverage of abortion, induced miscarriage or induced premature birth.
Test-Drive with Vehicle Sign (HB 733/PA 100-0346): Prohibits a new or used auto dealer from allowing a person to leave their lot with a vehicle with sign, decals, paperwork, or other material that could block a driver’s vision. A person found guilty of this will be fined between $50 and $500 for a first-time offense and guilty of a Class C misdemeanor for a second or subsequent violation.
Companion Animals and Divorce (SB 1261/PA 100-0422): States that in cases of divorce, the court shall allocate the sole or joint ownership or responsibility for a companion animal of the parties. In making this custody determination, the court shall take into consideration the well-being of the companion animal. Establishes other guidelines with regard to consideration of pets in divorce proceedings. Also, establishes that “companion animal” does not include a service animal, which is an animal trained in obedience and task skills to meet the needs of a person with a disability. A companion animal is one commonly considered by the owner to be a pet.
Passing a Bicycle (HB 1784/PA 100-0359): States that a driver of a
motor vehicle may overtake and pass to the left of a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on a portion of a highway designated as a no-passing zone when: (1) the bicycle is traveling at a speed of less than half of the posted speed limit of the highway; (2) the driver is able to overtake and pass the bicycle without exceeding the posted speed limit of the highway; and (3) there is sufficient distance to the left of the centerline of the highway for the motor vehicle to meet the overtaking and passing requirements in the Code. Also allows any person operating a bicycle or motorized pedal cycle to use the shoulder of a roadway. Allows that the rear of a bicycle may be equipped with a lamp emitting a steady or flashing red light (rather than only a red light) visible from a distance of 500 feet
in addition to or instead of a red reflector (rather than in addition to a red reflector).