Friday, December 27, 2013

Sims outlines new laws taking effect January 1, 2014

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From the Illinois House of Representatives
December 26, 2013
State Representative Elgie Sims
(773) 783-8800
Sims Outlines New Laws Taking Effect in 2014
CHICAGO, IL - State Representative Elgie Sims (D - Chicago) is informing residents of the more than 200 new laws scheduled to take effect January 1, 2014.
"It is important that residents are informed about new laws taking effect and the impact they will have on our lives," Sims said. "The New Year will see new laws covering a wide range of issues, laws focusing on better educating and protecting our children, increasing public health and safety and moving Illinois forward."
Below are the highlights of the new laws, including those sponsored by Sims, taking effect January 1st. To see a complete list of all new laws effective January 1, 2014 please
Vehicle Safety
  • Ban on Cell Phone Usage while Driving - Drivers caught holding cell phones up to their ears could be subject to a $75 fine. Certain exemptions apply, including the use of hands-free devices and two-way radios. (HB 1247, PA 98-506)
  • Speed Limit increase to 70 MPH - Illinois will join 34 other states, including surrounding states in raising the speed limit on rural Illinois interstates to 70 miles per hour. The bill excludes the urban and suburban counties of Cook, DuPage, Lake, McHenry, Will, Madison and St. Clair from the higher speed limit. (SB 2356*, PA 98-511)
  • Boating while Intoxicated - A person's driver's license can be suspended for operating a boat while under the influence. The bill also states that the operator of any motorboat involved in a boating accident shall be deemed to have given their consent to testing for alcohol or other intoxicants. (SB 1479, PA 98-103)
Parental engagement
  • Bring your parents to school day - Permits local school boards to designate the first Monday in October of each year as "Bring Your Parents to School Day." (HB 129*, PA 98-304)
Familial relations
  • Parental relations - In situations where parents share joint custody of minor children, this law requires that the other party be given the opportunity to care for the child before someone else is hired or engaged. (HB 2992*, PA 98-462)
Health and Human Services
  • Medical Marijuana - This law authorizes the use of medical cannabis for patients suffering from certain specific conditions ONLY with physician authorization. (HB 1, PA 98-122)
  • Tanning Bed Ban for Minors under 18 - Bans tanning facilities from permitting any person under the age of 18 from using tanning booths or beds. Specifies that parental permission does not exempt the person under 18 from the ban. (HB 188*, PA 98-349)
  • Ban of E-Cigarettes to Minors - Prohibits the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. The bill requires sellers to verify that a buyer is over 18. (SB 1756, PA 98-350)
Youth civic engagement
  • Voting Rights - Allows a person who is 17 on the date of the primary election to vote if that person will be 18 on the date of the general election. (HB 226*, PA 98-360)
Public Safety
  • Domestic Battery Penalties - Enhances penalties for domestic battery when the offender has prior convictions for that offense. (HB 958*, PA 98-187)
  • Childhood Sexual Abuse - Removes the statute of limitations on civil actions for damages based on childhood sexual abuse. (SB 1399, PA 98-276)
  • Victim Notification- Require State's Attorneys to notify crime victims' immediate family members of their rights to present an impact statement at the sentencing hearing about the effect of the crime on the victim. (HB 827, PA 98-372)
  • Vandalism of Veterans' Grave Sites - Enhances penalties for vandalism of graves or memorials honoring an individual or group of police officers, firefighters, members of the U.S. armed forces, National Guard, or veterans. (SB 2231, PA 98-315)
  • Kelsey's Law - Prohibits the issuance of a graduated driver's license to a person under 18 if that person has a traffic citation that has not been dealt with. (HB 1009, PA 98-168)
Veterans' Affairs
  • Priority Enrollment for Service Members - Requires state colleges and universities to give the earliest possible enrollment opportunity to service members and veterans who are Illinois residents. (SB 2245*, PA 98-316)
Fiscal transparency
  • State Budget -Requires the Governor's office to place the entire state budget online within 60 days of its enactment. (HB 2955, PA 98-461)
Consumer protection - Housing
  • Housing Cooperative - Law requires that Not For Profit Corporations hold an open meeting and vote of the members before dissolution of the cooperative is authorized. (HB 2527*, PA 98-302)
Animal Rights
  • Puppy Lemon Law - Provides certain remedies to a customer who purchased a dog or cat that possesses or has died from certain diseases or illness, if within 21 days of the date of sale, a licensed veterinarian states in writing that at the time of sale the animal was unfit for purchase due to illness or disease. (SB 1639, PA 98-509)
*Law sponsored by State Representative Elgie Sims
Sims represents the 34th Illinois House District, which includes portions of the South Side of Chicago, Chicago's south suburbs, Will and Kankakee counties.

State Representative Elgie Sims

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