Exactly 237 new laws will take effect in Illinois as of Jan. 1, 2016. That’s a lot for a law-abiding Kane County citizen to keep track of. (Hopefully, one of those laws doesn’t involve the use of a dangling participle, because this editor would be in BIG trouble.)
It’s hard even to present a sampling of the new laws that are most interesting, most bizarre or most relevant to Kane County residents. We’ll offer a “read more” sampling of articles at the end of this one so that you can peruse at your leisure, but (spoiler alert!) we should reveal that most of the articles are going to mention pie.
That’s right: pie.
Pumpkin Pie Is the Official State Pie of Illinois
I don’t know about you, but I think it’s a good choice. Hard to go wrong with pie of any sort, of course, but pumpkin is right up there with the all-time greats. Plus, Illinois leads the league in pumpkin production. HB 0208 is the pumkin-pie law.
No New Units of Government
There’s nothing written down that says units of government need to consolidate, but there is a four-year moratorium on creating new ones. That would be HB 0228, if you’re keeping score at home.
As of Jan. 1, You Can Legally Hunt Bobcats
You can bag one bobcat per permit between 12:01 a.m., Nov. 1, to midnight, Feb. 15. Here’s more on HB 0352.
Severance Agreements Now FOIA-able
Perhaps some of the rancor from the College of DuPage’s $1.5 million settlement for embattled former President Robert Breuder had something to do with this one. FOIA stands for Freedom of Information Act, by the way. This one is HB 0303.
OK to Experiment with Experimental Drugs
If you are dying of an illness and want to try an experimental drug treatment, you can do so legally after Jan. 1, 2016, according to the “Right to Try Act,” HB 1335. The drug has to successfully complete Phase I of a clinical trial approved by the Federal Drug Administration.
Schools Can Hold Closed Meetings to Discuss Safety
One might think school safety would be something that should be discussed in public. Not so fast, in 2016. As of Jan. 1, local governments can hold closed meetings to discuss school-safety issues, under HB 1498.
Slow Down, Daddy!
HB 1453 creates an aggravated speeding offense for anyone caught driving 26 mph or more above the posted limit in a construction, maintenance or school-speed zone.
2 Laws Aimed at Pet Abuse
The penalties will be greater for abusing a pet in the presence of a minor and for keeping pets in extreme heat or cold in 2016. HB 3231 provides that “no person may knowingly beat, cruelly treat, torment, starve, overwork, or otherwise abuse any companion animal in the presence of a minor.” SB 125 says no pet owner may expose a dog or cat “in a manner that places the animal in a life-threatening situation for a prolonged period of time in extreme heat or cold conditions.”
No Taking a Powder
Caffeine and alcohol are at two different ends of the stimulant-depressant spectrum, but they both can cause trouble when put into powdered form. Therefore, the state of Illinois will ban powdered alcohol under SB 0067 and prohibit the selling of powered caffeine to anyone under the age of 18, according to SB 0009.
Don’t Falsely Call 9-1-1
In our 9-1-1 tip of the month, we try to remind people that it’s bad practice to call 9-1-1 unless there’s an actual emergency. HB 3988 underlines that and adds and exclamation point by by requiring people who intentionally falsely call 9-1-1 to reimburse the local government for all costs up to $10,000.
The above grouping offers just 10 examples of new laws that go into effect on Jan. 1, 2016. For more, check out some of the sources below:
- State of Illinois: 99th General Assembly Legislation
- Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus: A Complete PDF List of New Illinois Laws for 2016
- Illinois Homepage.net: New Laws for 2016
- Daily Herald: Illinois’ Official Pie Among 2016 New Laws
- Joliet Patch: 25 New Illinois Laws 2016 That Could Change Your Life
- Fox 32: 237 new Illinois laws take effect January 1, 2016
- WGN: Full list of Illinois laws taking effect in 2016