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  98th General Assembly | 70th Legislative District

Laws Taking Effect in the New Yea

Sycamore… With January 1st just around the corner, it is time to take a look at some of the more than 150 new laws that become effective in Illinois.  According to State Representative Bob Pritchard (R-Sycamore), the most notable pieces of legislation are aimed at protecting children from criminal offenders, ensuring public safety and providing more consumer protections.  There will also be new fees and fee increases. “With a spotlight on child safety, Illinois will enact several new pieces of legislation that will help provide additional security measures,” said Pritchard.  “Starting January 1, 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 they are travelling to or from school (HB 5265/PA 97-0998).”  Pritchard said new driving laws in Illinois include the prohibition of using the cell phone in all roadwork zones (Senate Bill 2488/PA 97-0830).  Previously, this law only applied to work zones with speed limit restrictions.  In addition, the law prohibits use of a mobile phone while driving within 500 feet of an emergency scene (House Bill 5099/PA97-0828) and commercial drivers are prohibited from using hand-held cell phones while driving (House Bill 5101/PA 97-0829). A motor vehicle is now subject to seizure and forfeiture if the driver has a suspended or revoked license for certain actions (HB 4863/PA97-984).  The conditions include a revoked or suspended license in another state for operating the vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol; leaving the scene of a personal injury accident; refusing to submit to alcohol or drug testing; or reckless homicide. 

People involved in a traffic accident are now allowed to move their vehicles to the nearest off‐ramp, access road or other safe location following an accident if there is no personal injury (SB3409/PA97-763).  Also drivers may request that their driver’s license and record contain information about certain medical conditions that may affect their driving (HB4692/PA97-1127).  The Disabled Parking Bill (HB 5624/PA 97-845) creates a two-tiered disabled parking system beginning in January 2014.  The first tier would only be able to park in disabled parking spaces.  The second tier would be able to also avoid paying parking meters.   Representative Pritchard noted the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Sustainability Fee Bill (SB1566/PA97-1136) takes effect January 1 but the actual collection of fees will not start until at least July.  An estimated $32 million will be collected through a variety of fees including a $2 increase in vehicle licenses, off highway vehicle stamps, increased fishing fees, watercraft fees and park entrance fees for non-residents. Other new laws of general interest include the Debtors Bill (HB 5434/PA 97-0848) which requires debt collectors to give debtors proper notice and an opportunity to show an inability to pay the debt.  In an effort in increase transparency in government, House Bill 4687/PA 97-827 requires public notices and agendas posted prior to a public meeting now include the general subject matter of the resolution or ordinance that will be voted upon at the meeting. Finally, SB 3287/PA 97-913, will extend additional benefits to active duty service members and members of the National Guard who have been called to duty by the Governor for more than 30 days.  Among these additional benefits are the right to terminate a residential property lease; protection from property repossession on installment contracts; and allow for adjustment to a loan obligation in foreclosure proceedings.  Currently all these protections are available for members called to duty by the President. Details about the laws can be found on the General Assembly website or by calling Representative Pritchard’s office.

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State Representative Robert W. Pritchard
2600 DeKalb Ave.
Sycamore, IL 60178

815.748.3494 - phone
815.748.4630 - fax