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New Laws in 2020

  • Posted by Barrington Hills
  • On December 31, 2019

25 New Illinois Laws in 2020 That Could Impact Your Life
Expressway safety, feral cats, pot, bathrooms, revenge porn, tips and DNA are all subject to new laws taking effect Jan. 1, 2020.
By Lorraine Swanson | Dec 30, 2019 | Patch.com

ILLINOIS — When you wake up in the new year, more 255 new laws will be taking effect in Illinois. Here are 25 of the most significant and interesting changes to laws applying to police, public safety, pets, veterans, schools, drunken drivers, intoxicants, health, breastfeeding, the elderly, driving and more. See what’s coming your way on Jan. 1, 2020.

Traffic Fines
The fines for illegally passing school buses will double, from $150 to $300 for an initial violation and from $500 to $1,000 for a subsequent violation. Vehicles need to slow down, change lanes and proceed with caution when approaching disabled vehicles or emergency vehicles on the side of the highway. Starting Jan. 1, the fines for violating Scott’s Law increase to $10,000. The maximum penalty for hitting a construction worker in a marked work zone increases from $10,000 to $25,000.

Public Safety
The Tamara Clayton Act allows the Illinois State Police, IDOT and Illinois Tollway Authority to increase cameras along Cook County expressways to enhance expressway safety. Any law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over Cook County expressways may use images to investigate firearm offenses and detect expressway hazards, but not petty offenses. That rerun of “Friends” can wait: People are prohibited from streaming videos on a cell phone while they are driving.

All election authorities are required to coordinate vote-by-mail opportunities and/or polling locations for detainees who are incarcerated but not yet convicted in Cook County and other county jails.

A new law delineates the 21 rights of women during pregnancy and childbirth, including the right to receive care consistent with current scientific evidence about benefits and risks, choosing a birth setting, access to certain information, and the right to be treated with respect regardless of ethnicity, sexual orientation or religion.

Dog and cat kennels are now required to be equipped with a sprinkler or fire alarm system if staff are not on duty 24/7, in accordance with the Illinois Animal Welfare Act. Cats are required to receive a rabies vaccination with a tag and certification. The requirement does not apply to feral cats, unless the feral cat is taken to the vet for spaying or neutering. Landlords may request documentation when allowing a service animal on premises where pets are generally not allowed.

Adults 21 and over may legally purchase recreational marijuana from a state-regulated recreational dispensary.

Starting Jan. 1, insurers will be required to cover medically necessary epinephrine injectors, “epi pens,” diagnostic mammograms and skin cancer screenings.

Single-occupancy restrooms in public locations are required to be identified as all-gender and designated for use by no more than one person at a time or for family or assisted use. Signs posted outside the restroom must not indicate any specific gender.  After Jan. 1, all public restrooms in public buildings must be equipped with a baby-changing station.

Revenge Porn
Victims of revenge porn now have civil remedies to recover economic, emotion and punitive damages from tormentors who disseminate nonconsensual private sexual images.  A private right of action may be taken against individuals for intentionally posting a compromising image of another online or the owners or operators of a website hosting the images.

Those earning minimum wage will get a raise on Jan. 1 when Illinois increases the state’s minimum wage for the first time in over a decade, from $8.25 to $9.25 per hour. The minimum wage will increase to $15 per hour by Jan. 1, 2025. Servers may now keep all the tips and gratuities they earn for great service, and employers are required to keep their hands off of it under a new law that takes effect Jan. 1.  Employers must obtain consent from potential employees being interviewed for openings if the interview uses artificial intelligence analysis.

First Responder Wellness
Police officers will have greater access to mental health resources, including suicide prevention, to deal with job-related PTSD.  Burial benefits for a firefighter or state police or local law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty will double from $10,000 to $20,000.

High school seniors in the top 10 percent of their class by GPA are guaranteed acceptance to NIU, SIU, WIU and EIU, provided they meet other criteria for admissions.

DNA Privacy
Companies such as Ancestry.com and 23andMe are prohibited from sharing consumers’ genetic testing results and other personal identifiable information with any health or life insurance company without the consumer’s written consent.

Non-Binary Gender
Applicants may now choose between “male,” “female” or “non-binary” when designating the applicant’s sex on their driver’s license or ID card.

Review ALL 255 new laws that take effect on Jan. 1:

Source: Illinois Senate Democrats