Senator Syverson’s Week in Review: New laws taking effect in the New Year

When the clock strikes midnight on Jan. 1, 2019, 253 new laws will take effect in the state of Illinois. New laws run the gamut from fighting the opioid crisis and promoting car-seat safety to allowing blaze pink hunting gear.

Controversial gun-control measures take effect

Several controversial gun-control measures will take effect as the New Year begins. Senate Bill 3256/PA 100-0606 creates a 72-hour waiting period on all firearm purchases, not just on handguns. Family members and law enforcement officials who suspect that someone poses a significant danger of causing harm to themselves or others will be able to petition the court for a firearms restraining order under House Bill 2354/PA 100-0607.

Fighting back against human trafficking

A number of new laws for the 2019 take aim at human trafficking. House Bill 4340/PA 100-0671 expands the list of locations at which information about hotline numbers to call for help or to report unlawful activity must be posted for the public and victims of human trafficking.

Human trafficking survivors will be allowed to bring a civil suit against traffickers under Senate Bill 3108/PA 100-0939, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. Recognizing the trauma inflicted on trafficking victims, and the barriers that trauma may create to seeking justice, the law also allows others, like family members and victims’ advocates, to bring an action on behalf of a victim.

House Bill 2063/PA 100-1037 changes the Crime Victims Compensation Act to make it easier for victims of human trafficking to meet requirements for compensation. Among the changes is a provision that allows for a longer time frame for reporting.

Get your kicks on the Route 66 Centennial Commission

Route 66, one of the original highways within the National Highway System, will mark its centennial in 2026. House Bill 66/PA 100-0649 creates the 20-member Route 66 Centennial Commission to plan and coordinate commemorative events throughout Illinois to celebrate 100 years on Route 66, and to highlight the history of how local communities grew and changed thanks to the construction of this historic highway.

New laws support, protect military personnel

New laws to support and protect our military personnel and veterans are among those that will be implemented in 2019. Military personnel believed to have a physical or mental condition related to their service will now be included in the state’s definition of “high-risk missing person,” providing additional resources to help locate and safeguard these heroes under Senate Bill 2278/PA 100-0835.

Homeless veterans will be provided a free copy of medical records by health-care facilities and practitioners to help support claims for veterans’ disability benefits under House Bill 4848/PA 100-0814.

Greater dual credit access for high school students

In the New Year, high school students will have greater access to dual credit coursework thanks to two new state laws. Senate Bill 2527/PA 100-0792, allows qualified students to enroll in an unlimited amount of dual credit courses and earn an unlimited amount of academic credits from dual credit courses taught by a qualified instructor. Another measure, Senate Bill 2838/PA 100-1049, improves access by requiring community colleges to enter into a dual credit agreement if a high school district within their boundaries requests it.

River Edge Development Zone Program revamp

With a focus on redevelopment and economic growth, the River Edge Redevelopment Zone Program gets a facelift in the New Year. This important program helps revive and redevelop environmentally-challenged properties adjacent to rivers in Illinois.  Senate Bill 3527/PA 100-0629, in addition to a few other changes, also creates the Historic Preservation Tax Credit Act to help protect and rehabilitate historic structures.

Golden Parachutes

A new law targeting overly generous severance packages, also known as “golden parachutes,” is set to take effect on Jan. 1. Golden parachutes have made headlines in recent years when the College of DuPage president was awarded $762,000 at taxpayers’ expense. Senate Bill 3604/PA 100-0895 sets severance pay conditions for government employees to prevent situations like this from happening in the future.

Battling opioids

As the opioid crisis continues to impact lives throughout the nation, two new laws in Illinois that could have an impact are set to go into effect. Licensed prescribers of controlled substances will be required to complete three hours of continuing education on safe opioid-prescribing practices before renewing their prescription license under Senate Bill 2777/PA 100-1106.

Senate Bill 682/PA 100-1023 will provide greater access to emergency opioid and addiction treatment by specifying that insurance companies cannot require prior notification for inpatient and outpatient substance-use-disorder treatment.

House Bill 4795/PA 100-0759 provides a firm foundation to enhance and support efforts to combat the opioid epidemic and other substance use disorders. By clarifying and streamlining current state law, managed care organizations and primary care providers are given clear guidance that will help ensure a standardized approach to intervention and treatment of substance abuse.

Transportation safety

As of Jan. 1, children younger than two must be secured in a rear-facing child-restraint system unless they weigh more than 40 pounds, or are 40 inches or taller, under House Bill 4377/PA 100-0672. 

And check your backup lights! Senate Bill 2511/PA 100-0707 states that a backup lamp on a motor vehicle must emit either a white or amber light without glare.

Pink is the new orange

Hunters take note! Among the hunting, fishing and trapping laws taking effect in the New Year, House Bill 4231/PA 100-0949 will allow hunters to wear blaze pink, instead of the traditional blaze orange. Proponents of the change claim that blaze pink could be brighter to the human eye than orange, and also less visible to deer.

The full list

There’s a lot more to know as we kick off 2019! To view the full list of all 253 new laws coming in the New Year, visit:

Dave Syverson

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