Nearly 200 new laws take effect in Illinois in 2017

springfield-capital-buildingSPRINGFIELD – While the General Assembly was unable to pass a budget in 2016, they were able to pass nearly 200 new laws that went into effect on January 1, 2017.

The new laws impact a variety of different areas, including units of local government. Under House Bill 4379, also known as the Local Government Travel Expense Control Act, school districts, community college districts and non-home rule units of local government are required to regulate the reimbursement of all travel, meal and lodging expenses of officers and employees.

There were also changes to the Freedom of Information Act as well. House Bill 4715 allows courts to fine public bodies between $2,500 and $10,000 if they willfully and intentionally failed to comply with FOIA and also allows for a $1,000 daily fine if the public body fails to comply with the court’s order after 30 days. If the public body fails to act within 30 days to address the FOIA request, it is presumed to have willfully failed to comply.

Additionally, there are laws impacting the way we drive. One new law requires drivers to change lanes or slow down for any vehicle on the road with hazard lights on. Penalties for drivers caught without insurance have become stiffer as well. If a driver is convicted of driving without insurance and caught again in a 12-month period, the driver’s vehicle is subject to impoundment and seizure.

One new law that has made headlines across the state requires cosmetologists to receive training to help them recognize signs of domestic violence. Advocacy groups provide the training free of charge. Another law gaining attention removes the luxury tax rate from feminine hygiene products, taxing them now that the same rate as other necessity products like toothpaste and shampoo.

We have listed a variety of the new laws in Illinois below. For a full list, visit

λ SB 1102 Prohibits the state or any local government from indemnifying or providing legal representation for any employee in a criminal proceeding arising out of the employee’s government employment

λ HB 1260 Classifies online logins, biometric data and health info as protected information; updates how groups notify the public of a data breach

λ HB 5913 Requires licensed plumbers to complete 4 hours of continuing education each year

λ SB 1120 Makes it a felony if over $500 in rental equipment is not returned within 3 days after the rental period has expired

λ SB 2918 Provides that if specified notice is submitted then an employer may request that the unused portion of a terminated licensee’s pesticide applicator or operator license term be transferred to a newly certified or re-certified individual.

λ SB 2963 Asserts that the state has implemented an aluminum can recycling program

λ HB 0538 Designates the pirogue — a long narrow canoe made from a single tree trunk — as the official state artifact

λ HB 4562 Amends the Illinois Human Rights Act to increase the amount of civil penalties for civil rights violations related to real estate transactions

λ HB 5593 Substance abuse programs licensed by DHS must provide educational info on opioid treatment options, including use of medication for opioid addiction and overdose, how to administer naloxone.

λ HB 5607 Allows US savings bonds to be declared abandoned after being unclaimed and unredeemed 5 years after final maturity and allows the treasurer to obtain a judicial determination that the bond has been reverted to the state

λ SB 2354 Expands the topics the board of managers may discuss in closed executive meetings related to condominiums

λ SB 2358 Requires that any assignment of a developer’s interest be received in writing and recorded before it is effective

λ SB 2601 Extends the time frame for the filing of a motion to vacate to 60 days after the discharge of probation once alcohol or drug treatment as a condition of probation has been completed

λ SB 2783 Considers unclaimed property abandoned after 5 years

λ SB 2900 Expands the role of Physician Assistants (“PAs”) and Advance Practice Nurses (“APNs”) throughout various Acts, by allowing them to perform many duties, or hold positions normally reserved only for physicians or those similarly situated.

λ SB 2956 Requires buildings to be more accessible to individuals with disabilities

λ SB 3104 Makes the failure of reporting apprenticeship reports a violation for entities subject to the State Construction Minority and Female Building Trades Act

λ SB 0210 Bans the sale of “bath salts” and allows local governments to revoke a retailer’s license if a violation occurs

λ HB 4715 Allows courts to fine public bodies between $2,500 and $10,000 if they wilfully and intentionally failed to comply with FOIA and also allows for a $1,000 daily fine if the public body fails to comply with the court’s order after 30 days; if public body fails to act within 30 days to address FOIA, presumed to have willfully failed to comply;

λ HB 6181 “States that, if a teacher earns more than the required number of professional development hours during a renewal cycle, the teacher may carry over any hours earned from April 1 to June 30 of the last year of the renewal cycle”

λ HB 2262 Creates options for satisfying the $2,000,000 liability insurance for school bus drivers

λ HB 3239 Amends the Chicago School District Article of the School Code by allowing 17 year olds to run for election as a community resident of a Local School Council (LSC)

λ HB 4105 Allows motorcycles rear lights to be blue

λ HB 4327 Requires DCFS to provide information on respite care, etc. when an investigation of alleged child abuse does not result in the placement of a child outside the home

λ HB 4330 Requires state higher education institutions to accept the State Seal of Bilteracy as the equivalent of two years of foreign language taken during high school; also requires state higher education institutions to establish criteria to translate a seal into course credit

λ HB 4379 Requires non-home run units of local government, school districts and community college districts to regulate travel expenses

λ HB 4387 Changes the Illinois Aeronautics Act to require pilots to register their federal flying credentials with the state for a one time $20 fee

λ HB 4999 Prohibits an employer or prospective employer to request or require an employee or applicant to authenticate or access a personal online account in the presence of the employer

λ HB 5723 Provides that a person convicted of operating a vehicle without an insurance policy shall be guilty of a petty offense instead of a business offense

λ SB 2343 Limits police use of stingray devices to track cell phones; use only to track location of or identify communications devices, not listen in; need detailed court order and non-target data must be deleted within 24 hours

λ SB 2512 Ensures the parent, guardian or responsible relative of abused minors relay contact information for the minor’s living relatives to DCFS

λ SB 2777 Prohibits minors from being committed to DJJ facilities for committing crimes that are not felonies or for certain non-violent felonies

λ SB 2876 Adds criminal offense of money laundering to list of offenses that can be joined into one count of an indictment, rather than prosecuted separately

λ SB 2880 Allows for remote CCTV testimony for minors, persons w/ disabilities in criminal sex assault cases

λ SB 2907 Increases the threshold amount for property damage for a misdemeanor or felony from $300 to $500

λ HB 5527 Requires tax preparers to provide their PTIN on any return they prepared and filed with the Department of Revenue

λ HB 5651 Allows vehicle owner’s to select their birthday as the vehicle’s registration expiration date

λ HB 5781 Allows police officers and coroners to dispose unused meds found at the scene of death after consulting law enforcement investigating the death; medication shall be retained in the event an autopsy is performed for toxicological analysis purposes

λ HB 5930 Requires IDES to monitor the employment progress of minorities and women in the workforce; Requires nursing agencies to perform background checks on nurse aides through the Health Care Worker Registry; shall issue biennial report rather than annual

λ HB 5933 Removes provisions giving the Local Food, Farms, and Jobs Council responsibility to develop, in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, a label and certification program.

λ SB 2806 Raises the fine for violating railroad crossing laws

λ HB 4606 Creates an appeal process for students found in violation of residency requirements

λ HB 5576 Mandates insurance companies provide coverage for all contraceptive drugs approved by the FDA

λ HB 5948 Lowers the number of required coursework hours for a Public Health Dental Hygienist; allows dental assistants to perform certain procedures on specific patients

λ HB 6006 Requires vehicles to change lanes when coming up on a car with its hazard lights on.

λ SB 0211 Allows a photocopy of currency used in an undercover investigation to be used as evidence in court instead of the currency itself

λ SB 0384 Allows public bodies to have closed meetings when discussing subjects protected by patient privacy laws

λ SB 0629 A video recorder may be operated in a contract carrier vehicle

λ SB 2159 Limits contract lengths for college and university presidents and chancellors to four years and limits severance packages to one year salary plus benefits

λ SB 2174 Requires board members of public universities to complete professional development leadership training

λ HB 6109 Establishes a pilot program for the Supreme Court to begin accepting petitions for temporary orders of protection electronically

λ HB 6131 Requires driver education teachers instruct students on proper actions to take during a traffic stop

λ HB 6285 Requires mobile home park owners to accept rent payments even if a violation fine has been issued

λ SB 2835 Requires vehicles to stop before passing or driving past a stopped school bus on a public school highway; Removes highways on public school property from the classification of non-designated highways

λ SB 2840 Allows regional superintendents to waive fees for homeless students wishing to take the High School Equivalency Test

λ HB 1288 Creates a Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights

λ HB 4036 Mandates employers provide unpaid work weeks of leave to any employee who is a victim of domestic or sexual violence or has a family member who is a victim; amount of allowed time off is determined based on the size of the business

λ HB 4264 Imposes domestic violence education requirements on those seeking barber/hair stylist/cosmetologist licensure

λ HB 4554 Requires insurance companies to cover certain HIV drugs upon federal approval

λ HB 5912 Clarifies that a person riding a bicycle has all the rights applicable to a driver of a vehicle, including those regarding a vehicle’s right-of-way

λ SB 2300 Requires landlords to notify potential tenants of lead hazards and reduce the hazard before leasing apartment

λ SB 2823 Allows a school board to hire a real estate broker to sell a structure renovated or built by students as part of a school project

λ SB 2861 Creates a national guard military justice system

λ SB 2875 A court may grant law enforcement’s request for location surveillance information through testimony made through electronic means between requestor and judge if there is clear and present danger from imminent use of force, kidnapping, or occupation of any premises or hijacking of a vehicle. Police may seek location info in case of an escapee.

λ SB 3096 Requires AG, IL LETS and ISP to develop guidelines on reporting sexual assault and sexual abuse to law enforcement agencies

λ HB 4344 Allows a relative of a deceased military member to request an honorary sign around designated roads

λ HB 4432 Allows students an excused absence from school to play “Taps” at a military funeral

λ HB 4433 Allows spouses of deceased military members to continue using military oriented special license plates

λ HB 5018 Designates the second full week of April as National Public Safety Telecommunicators’ Week, honoring 911 operators

λ SB 3129 K-9 dogs can be more easily adopted by their human officer

λ HB 4259 prohibits members of certain organizations from being considered an employee for purposes of collecting a pension benefit through IMRF, SURS or TRS.

λ HB 4590 Adds to list of adoption disclosures: reasons the birth parents stated for placing the child for adoption; how and why the adoptive parents were selected and who selected them; and whether the birth parents requested or agreed to post-adoption contact with the child at the time of placement, and, if so, the frequency and type of contact.

λ HB 4641 Makes it easier for birth parents surrendering children for adoption to voluntarily provide medical information and other background information for the benefit of the adoptee and his or her adoptive parents; requires adoptive parents to be given a statement of their rights and responsibilities, including the right to voluntarily connect and exchange information with birth parents; creates background check and other requirements for private adoptions

λ HB 5017 Allows people with juvenile records to petition for their expungement at any time and requires the court to grant the request automatically if the person was never charged, if the charges were dismissed, if the person was found not delinquent, if the person was given supervision and completed it successfully or if the offense (if committed by an adult) would have been a Class B or C misdemeanor or a petty or business offense

λ HB 6162 Allows employees to use personal sick leave benefits for absences due to an illness, injury, or medical appointment of an employees direct family members.

λ SB 3163 Prohibits employers from requiring non-compete clauses for low-wage employees

λ HB 5788 Adds catfish to the list of aquatic life that may be taken by pitchfork, spear gun or bow and arrow

λ SB 3003 Allows only one application to be submitted for hunters hunting on their own land of over 40 acres

λ HB 6328 Allows people with past convictions to petition for the expungement of arrest records and charges that didn’t result in conviction

λ SB 0805 Requires license plates to be clearly visible

λ SB 2156 Overtime, living allowances and other types of extra payments to employees of colleges or universities do not count as part of base compensation for purpose of calculating pension.