Prairie Advocate News


Nearly 200 new laws are scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1, 2011, among them pension reforms for most new public employees, limits on campaign contributions, joint nomination of candidates for the offices of Governor and Lieutenant Governor in primary elections, and changes to laws regarding the use of red-light cameras, according to State Sen. Tim Bivins (R-Dixon).

Also of note is legislation requiring mandatory imprisonment for aggravated weapons convictions, a measure targeting “sexting” and a number of new measures to stiffen penalties for sex offenders.

One of the most important new laws to pass the General Assembly in 2010 is bipartisan pension reform. Senate Bill (SB) 1946/PA 96-0889 will not change benefits for existing public employees, but new employees will be subject to a higher retirement age, limits on cost-of-living adjustments when they retire and an imposed ceiling on the maximum earnings that can be counted toward their pensions. No additional benefits will accrue for salaries above the current Social Security maximum level of $106,800 (inflation adjusted).

Illinois will impose campaign contribution limits beginning in January. SB 1466/PA 96-0832 limits political contributions for individual candidates to $5,000 from individuals and $10,000 from corporations, labor unions and trade associations. While applauding the intent of the legislation, Republicans said the measure allows unlimited campaign contributions from political party leaders in the general election. A related measure, House Bill (HB) 4821/PA 96-1263, corrects errors in the original bill affecting the duties of the State Board of Elections.

HB 5820/PA 96-1018 requires the Governor and Lieutenant Governor to run as a team in the general primary election.

Also beginning Jan. 1, SB 935/PA 96-1016 mandates all red-light violations be reviewed by a police officer, retired police officer, or technician not employed by the same company that runs the cameras, and prohibits the ticketing of a vehicle that comes to a complete stop without entering the intersection. It also directs that an image of the violation must be made available on the Internet and any municipality or county that uses red light cameras must provide notice to the public by posting the locations of the cameras on the official Web site. Finally, a safety impact study must be undertaken to assess the number of accidents at the intersection.

A new law targeting gun violence will increase penalties for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. HB 5832/PA 96-1107 requires mandatory imprisonment of one to three years for an individual who was 18 years or older, who did not have a valid FOID card, and who possessed a loaded and uncased firearm. The penalties would also apply to those who are caught in possession of an unloaded, uncased firearm with ammunition accessible, if they do not have a valid FOID card. Currently, individuals could see one to three years in prison and a $25,000 fine. The new law will make imprisonment mandatory.

HB 4583/PA 96-1087 targets the growing social issue of “sexting,” a trend where explicit photos or video are sent via cell phone or e-mail to someone else. The bill is aimed at people younger than 18, as sexting has become increasingly problematic in that age group in recent years.

Currently, little could be done to address sexting aside from pursuing felony child pornography charges, which prosecutors are reluctant to do. HB 4583 seeks to create a middle ground by stipulating that a minor who electronically sends an indecent image of another minor can be brought into juvenile court for a proceeding to determine if they are a minor in need of supervision. If the young person is found to be in need of supervision, he or she could be ordered into counseling or other supportive services. They may also be ordered to complete community service.

At least eight new laws focus on sexual predators and sex crimes. Most are clarifications designed to close loopholes, increase restrictions on known sex offenders or impose additional penalties, such as SB 1020/PA 96-1390, which gives judges discretion to impose longer terms on offenders who prey on victims younger than 18 who are under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crime.

Other bills that will become law Jan. 1 include:

Adoption Form (HB 6080/PA 96-1461): Requires forms for consent to adoption to be signed to acknowledge that the birth parent received and had time to read the Birth Parent Rights and Responsibilities – Private Form before signing the consent.

Administration Certification (SB 2537/PA 96-0982): Makes changes to how prospective school administrators can earn necessary endorsements/certification by adding “chief school business official” to the list of types of experience which makes a prospective administrator eligible to earn the superintendant endorsement, and for the “chief school business official” endorsement, adds an internship of six semester hours to the requirements of the MBA path.

AED (HB 5838/PA 96-1268): Eliminates the requirement that a supervisor of an outdoor physical fitness facility be responsible for ensuring that an automated external defibrillator (AED) is available during the time that an event or activity at the facility is being conducted.

Affordability Index (SB 374/PA 96-1255): Requires the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the Department of Transportation and the Housing Development Authority to adopt the Housing and Transportation Affordability Index as a tool for the development of plans in Metropolitan Planning Organization areas.

ALL Kids Eligibility (HB 5927/PA 96-1272): Deletes the All Kids mandate that states non-payment of the required monthly premiums will result in the child’s ineligibility for re-enrollment for a minimum period of three months.

Animal Disclosure (HB 5772/PA 96-1470): Requires animal shelters, animal control facilities, and pet shops to disclose certain information regarding dogs and cats that are being adopted or purchased.

Bilingual Education Funding (SB 3635/PA 96-1170): States that at least 60% of transitional bilingual education funding received from the state must be used for the instructional costs of transitional bilingual education.

Bilingual Information (HB 5044/PA 96-1166): Requires the state to publish a Web page that contains information about predatory lending written in Spanish.

Brian’s Law (HB 5152/PA 96-1235): Creates a system of independent review teams to hold inquiries into the deaths of residents of state-operated facilities for people with developmental disabilities and/or mental illness.

Burglary Tools (HB 4715/PA 96-1307): Prohibits knowingly selling any key, lock bumping key, or lock pick specifically manufactured or altered for use in breaking into a building, motor vehicle, or depository designed for safekeeping or property.

Chicago Public Schools Violence Hot-line (HB 4647/PA 96-1425): Requires the Chicago Board of Education to establish a telephone hot-line for anonymous calls that may prevent violence in Chicago Public Schools.

Chicago School Council Membership (HB 6017/PA 96-1412): Adds one member to the Local School Council’s membership, who will be a non-teacher employee of the attendance center.

Child Abuse Terminology (SB 2605/PA 96-1196): Changes the definition of the term “subject of report” to mean any child reported to the central register of child abuse and neglect as an alleged victim of child abuse or neglect and the parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the alleged victim.

Child Protection (HB 4691/PA 96-0914): Increases penalties for drivers transporting a child passenger who fail to properly secure the child in the appropriate child restraint system.

Child Sex Offenders (HB 6464/PA 96-1094): Makes it unlawful for a parent or guardian to leave their child in the custody of a convicted child sex offender, and also requires registered child sex offenders to report to law enforcement whether they reside in a household with a child younger than 18 who is not their own child.

Child Support (SB 2570/PA 96-1072): Establishes that following the entry of a judgment for dissolution of marriage, a child support order cannot be suspended or stayed due to the filing of post-judgment motions.

Civil Commitment (SB 3467/PA 96-1128): Allows the state to seek the civil commitment of certain sex offenders who are about to complete a sentence of imprisonment on their sex offense, if the state proves the person has a mental disorder that predisposes engagement in acts of sexual violence.

Commercial Vehicles (HB 4673/PA 96-1179): Increases the minimum fine to $500 for commercial trucks that fail to display the name of the company on the side of the vehicle.

Construction School Grant Index – Cooperative/Consolidated Schools (HB 5633/PA 96-1381): Allows the average of both school districts’ grant index to be used as the grant index for school districts that have consolidated or have approved a cooperative high school within a prior fiscal year and are seeking a school construction grant.

Continuing Education for Psychologists (HB 5691/PA 96-1050): Mandates that the state create and set continuing education requirements for clinical psychologists.

Cook County Treasurer (HB 6235/PA 96-1159): Requires the Cook County Treasurer to post information related to un-cashed checks on its official Web site.

Cooperative Income (SB 1826/PA 96-0932): Allows Illinois to treat farm cooperatives differently than the federal government, to eliminate a conflict between state and federal law that could result in double taxation for cooperatives.

Corporate Accountability (HB 5230/PA 96-1429): Provides that a recipient of multiple development assistance agreements in the same award year, and for a single project site, may file a consolidated progress report if the applicant’s base number of employees and number of jobs to be created and retained as stated in the multiple development assistance agreements or applications are the same.

Corporate Document Recording (SB 3211/PA 96-1121): Eliminates the requirement of recording certain corporate documents with the county recorder.

Court Video Conferencing (HB 5351/PA 96-1321): Provides that the Illinois Supreme Court or any circuit court may adopt rules allowing the use of video conferencing in involuntary admission hearings under certain conditions.

Credit History Discrimination (HB 4658/PA 96-1426): Prevents an employer from inquiring about an applicant’s or employee’s credit history; refusing to hire or otherwise discriminating against an individual in employment, compensation, or condition because of the individual’s credit history or credit report; or ordering or obtaining an applicant or employee’s credit report from a consumer credit agency.

Criminal Justice Information Authority (SB 3628/PA 96-1343): Increases the membership of the Criminal Justice Information Authority by two with the addition of the Cook County Public Defender and a Public Defender from some county other than Cook to be appointed by the Governor.

Crime Victim Notification (HB 5791/PA 96-1092): Allows the Attorney General to establish a crime victim and witness notification system to assist public officials in carrying out their duties to notify and inform crime victims and witnesses.

Critical Care Transport (HB 5183/PA 96-1469): Provides for the creation of minimum standards by the Department of Public Health for “Critical Care Transport,” or advanced specialized care while transporting patients to or between healthcare facilities; establishes additional fees to be collected for additional specialized emergency licensees; and designates equipment certification to be used for the licensure and inspection process.

Dangerous Animals – Primates (HB 4801/PA 96-1219): Prohibits a person from having in his or her possession any primate, except at a properly designated facility.

DCEO Audit Compliance (SB 3422/PA 96-0995): Makes changes in response to a Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) audit that identified mandates and other requirements that are outdated, duplicative, or obsolete including allowing the Motor Sports Promotion Council Task Force to meet at the call of the Chair or any four members; makes the creation of the Center for Business Ownership Succession and Employee Ownership permissive; makes the appointment of an Illinois Emergency Development Coordinator permissive; makes a feasibility study for future development of Parks College permissive; repeals the Gang Control Grants Act and the related DCEO authorizing statutory authority.

Death Concealment (SB 2590/PA 96-1361): Creates the offense of concealment of a non-homicidal death, similar to the current concealment of a homicidal death. The penalty is a Class 4 felony.

Debt Collections (HB 5781/PA 96-1383): Allows Illinois to enter into agreements with other states to collect debts owed to that state if the debtor resides in Illinois; provides that collection agency fees charged to the state will constitute an additional liability of the taxpayer; caps the amount of collection fees at no more than 25% of the tax liability; replaces the Department of Revenue’s 20% debt collection fee with administrative cost reimbursement; and allows the Secretary of State to furnish Social Security numbers to the Department of Revenue.

Deer Archery Permits (HB 5307/PA 96-1042): Requires the Department of Natural Resources to provide for the issuance of single, either-sex, resident archery deer permits.

Defendant Failure to Appear (HB 5494/PA 96-1431): Requires a $75 fee to be assessed against a defendant who fails to appear on an offense charge as required by the court when an arrest warrant was issued for the defendant, with $70 of the assessment going to the law enforcement agency that arrests the defendant on the arrest warrant and $5 to the Circuit Clerk.

Dental Reimbursement Fund (SB 3290/PA 96-1123): Creates the Medical Assistance Dental Reimbursement Revolving Fund to contain all funds to pay for dental services provided by enrolled dental service providers for services to participants in the medical programs administered by the Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

DHFS Identification (HB 5204/PA 96-1316): Authorizes the Department of Healthcare and Family Services Inspector General to issue identification shields to employees to distinguish the detectives from the employees and increase the detective’s credibility.

DHS Office Applications (HB 1801/PA 96-0867): Provides that aid applicants may apply at any local Department of Human Services, not just the county office in which the applicant resides.

Disability Parking (SB 3309/PA 96-1125): States that 24 hours following a storm or other severe weather incident, property owners can be held responsible for any unreasonable obstruction of a parking place specifically reserved for disabled persons. Also prohibits the accumulation of debris or large objects without providing equivalent alternative parking on-site.

Disabled Veteran Homestead Exemption (SB 3666/PA 96-1298): Allows a disabled veteran to keep the disabled veterans homestead exemption if he or she goes to a nursing home or Veterans Affairs facility, as long as the house is either unoccupied or used by the spouse.

DNA Testing (SB 2606/PA 96-1074): Modernizes archaic language included in the provisions regarding DNA testing.

DNR Reinstatement Fee (HB 6317/PA 96-1160): Allows Department of Natural Resources to assess a fee of up to $1,000 for the reinstatement of revoked licenses, permits, registrations, and other privileges that it administers in the exercise of its powers and duties under Illinois law.

Documentation Fraud (HB 5749/PA 96-1432): Raises the penalty from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class 4 felony for a deceptive practice when a person with an intent to defraud causes another, by deception or threat, to execute a document disposing of property, or a document by which a monetary obligation is incurred, when the property in a single transaction exceeds $150 or separate transactions over 90 days exceeds $150.

Dog Fighting (HB 5790/PA 96-1091): Increases the penalties for dog fighting offenses occurring on property within 100 feet of a school, public park, playground, child care institution, or day care center.

Driving Permits (HB 6450/PA 96-1284): Authorizes issuance of a family financial responsibility driving permit to allow a person who has lost his or her driver’s license for non-payment of child support to drive to and from a job, to receive alcohol treatment, drug treatment or medical care, or for the purpose of seeking employment.

Driving Privilege Revocation (HB 4580/PA 96-1305): Requires the Secretary of State to immediately revoke the driving privileges of any person who has been convicted of the unlawful operation of a motor vehicle, if the accident caused the death of any person.

DUI Fee Increase (SB 3616/PA 96-1342): Provides for an administrative fee increase for DUI violations from $500 to $750 and gives the law enforcement agency that made the arrest a bigger percentage of the fine than current/previous law provides.

DUI Vehicle Seizure (SB 3029/PA 96-1289): Cleans up current cross-references to the DUI statute in the Criminal Code seizure and forfeiture of vehicles used in the commission of an offense.

Early Education Transportation Reimbursement (HB 4879/PA 96-1264): Allows pre-K students to be counted towards the total number of students transported by a school district when the State Board of Education calculates transportation reimbursements.

Economic Interests (SB 3183/PA 96-1336): Permits the county clerk’s office to send electronic notices of a statement of economic interest, but only applies to people appointed to the governing board of a local government, zoning boards, planning commissions, etc. Also gives county clerks the authorization at their discretion to institute an Internet-based system for the filing of statements of economic interests in his or her office.

Education Homeless Grant Program (HB 4755/PA 96-1229): Creates the Education of Homeless Children and Youth State Grant Program, to aid school districts in facilitating the enrollment and success of homeless children in Illinois schools.

Electronic Citation Fee (SB 3508/PA 96-1210): Creates a $5 fee charged to the defendant found guilty in any traffic, misdemeanor, municipal ordinance, or conservation case supervision, to offset the costs of establishing and maintaining electronic citations.

Emancipation Proclamation Week (HB 5463/PA 96-1238): Designates the first full week in January as Emancipation Proclamation Week.

Emergency Special Needs Alert (HB 5669/PA 96-1168): Provides that any person holding a state ID card or driver’s license can designate if they have a disability or special needs. The information can be entered into the state’s emergency contact database.

Emergency Vehicles (SB 2794/PA 96-0986): Designates emergency services and disaster agency vehicles as authorized emergency vehicles.

Emergency Volunteers (SB 2541/PA 96-0983): Allows Illinois’ emergency management agency to coordinate health or veterinary services while an emergency declaration is in effect.

Energy Technology Grant Program (HB 6153/PA 96-1279): Allows the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to create financial incentives and grant programs to encourage private companies to share their new energy technologies with public institutions of higher education, public utilities, electric cooperatives, state agencies, and federal agencies.

Experimental Treatment (HB 5079/PA 96-0967): Clarifies the role of the physician in external reviews involving experimental treatment, by providing that before a determination is made on an appeal relating to an experimental or investigational treatment, a licensed physician who ordered care must certify that certain situations are applicable.

Explosives Act (HB 6416/PA 96-1194): Updates technical definitions which have changed since the current Illinois Explosives Act was amended in the early 1990s.

False 9-1-1 Call (HB 6101/PA 96-1261): Increases the penalty for making a false 9-1-1 call to make equal the penalty for transmitting a false 9-1-1 call with the penalty for making a false police report.

False Identification (SB 3169/PA 96-1120): Provides that information concerning a non-existent address or altered photo used on a state identification card or driver’s license is false information for the purposes of prosecuting a fictitious or altered card or license.

Family Military Leave (SB 3818/PA 96-1417): Adds children and grandparents to the list of people eligible for Family Military Leave, if a loved one is on active military duty for more than 30 days.

Farm-School Database (SB 615/PA 96-1095): Requires that the Department of Agriculture establish a farm-school Web database to facilitate the purchase of fresh produce and food products by schools.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Awareness (HB 5448/PA 96-1323): Requires each county board to annually submit a report to Department of Public Health establishing the county clerk’s compliance with the requirement that the county clerk provides a pamphlet on fetal alcohol syndrome with each marriage license.

Firefighter Death Claim (HB 5956/PA 96-0923): Extends the time limit for families of a firefighter killed in the line of duty to file a claim following the death of a firefighter.

FOID Revocation (HB 5489/PA 96-1239): Provides for mandatory surrender of a FOID card in the remedies for emergency orders of protection and for civil orders of protection, if the court is satisfied that there is danger of the illegal use of firearms, thus making the criminal orders of protection consistent with civil orders of protection.

Fund Transfer (SB 2976/PA 96-1100): Removes the requirement that excess dollars in the Public Aid Recoveries Trust Fund be transferred to the General Revenue Fund, and instead moves those dollars to the Health Care Provider Relief Fund; utilizes the Juvenile Rehabilitation Service Medicaid Matching Fund to deposit matching dollars related to Medical Assistance service provided by counties; codifies the current practice of appropriating to CHIP, ALL Kids, Senior Care, and Circuit Breaker from the Drug Rebate Fund; codifies the current practice of depositing federal receipts into the Child Support Administrative Fund as opposed to the Child Support Enforcement Trust Fund.

Funeral Directors and Embalmers Licensing (HB 6420/PA 96-1463): Requires that only a licensed funeral director can have direct contact with consumers when making funeral or burial arrangements, and negotiating, developing or finalizing contracts with consumers; provides that a licensed funeral director or his or her designee must remain at the cemetery and personally witness the burial.

Gaming Board (SB 1937/PA 96-1392): Separates the Illinois Gaming Board from the Department of Revenue, making a separate board under the jurisdiction of the Governor, and makes administrative changes to the Riverboat Gambling Act.

Governor’s Portrait (HB 5109/PA 96-1017): Bans the financing of a governor’s portrait if the Governor was removed from office by impeachment and conviction.

Greek Sprinklers (HB 5664/PA 96-1303): Requires fraternity and sorority houses built after Jan. 1, 2011, to install fire sprinklers during construction, and all houses already built to install sprinklers prior to Jan. 1, 2019.

Green Manufacturing Grant (HB 6030/PA 96-1413): Creates a grant program for manufacturers with 500 or fewer employees for the cost of capital equipment that will reduce environmental impact and achieve cost savings.

Guardianship Termination (SB 3386/PA 96-1338): Clarifies jurisdictional issues surrounding Probate Court proceedings on a petition for the appointment of a guardian. Provides that when a minor has a parent, whose parental rights have not been terminated, whose whereabouts are known, and who is willing and able to make and carry out day-to-day child care decisions concerning the minor, the court does not have jurisdiction to proceed unless the parent or parents voluntarily relinquished custody of the child; agreed or did not object to the appointment of a guardian; or there is already a guardian for the minor appointed by a court. Also modifies the provisions regarding revocation of the guardianship of a minor to establish the process and standards by which a parent can seek to have the guardianship revoked.

H-2A Unemployment (SB 3494/PA 96-1208): Exempts employers from paying into unemployment insurance for H-2A workers.

Hair Braider License (HB 5783/PA 96-1246): Allows a licensed cosmetologist to provide hair braiding services without being licensed as a hair braider, and provides lesser education requirements for hair braiders as compared to licensed cosmetologists.

Hispanic and Bilingual Employment Plan Report (SB 387/PA 96-1286): Requires constitutional offices, state universities, community colleges and the Toll Highway Authority to provide an annual report describing the implementation and progress of the State Hispanic Employment Plan and the bilingual employment plan.

Holocaust Commission (HB 6059/PA 96-1063): Authorizes the members of the Illinois Holocaust and Genocide Commission to provide advice concerning education, memorials, events, and other matters regarding the Holocaust and genocide.

Homeowners’ Solar Rights Act (HB 5429/PA 96-1436): Prevents homeowners and condominium associations from prohibiting solar energy systems on homes. The groups can adopt reasonable restrictions on solar energy systems, provided they do not have the practical effect of banning the systems.

Honey Regulation (SB 2959/PA 96-1028): Provides that the Department of Public Health (DPH) may not regulate honey that is left in the comb or that is removed from the comb and in an unadulterated condition, and prevents DPH from regulating or inspecting a producer’s honey house if the producer is engaged in the sale of honey at a local market and packs or sells less than 500 gallons of honey produced in Illinois per year.

Information Sharing/Fees (SB 3540/PA 96-1414): Increases the monthly fee from $25 to $50 that a juvenile who is placed on supervision, probation or conditional discharge must pay; provides that in cases where a defendant is granted probation, conditional discharge or supervision, the circuit court may not impose a probation fee in excess of $25 per month; provides that the court may waive probation fees based on an offender’s ability to pay; states that if a minor is a victim of aggravated battery, battery, attempted first degree murder, or other non-sexual violent offense, the identity of the victim may be disclosed to appropriate school officials, in order to prevent future violence involving minors.

Inspector General (SB 3118/PA 96-1347): Creates an Inspector General for the Toll Highway Authority to detect and deter fraud and corruption.

Insurance Policies (HB 4782/PA 96-1034): States that the provisions of the Insurance Code concerning dependent coverage do not apply to short-term travel, disability income, long-term care, accident only, or limited or specified disease policies.

Intoxicating Compounds (HB 3869/PA 96-1440): Increases the penalty on a second or subsequent conviction for use of a certain drugs defined in state law as intoxicating compounds. Gives first-time offenders the opportunity to defer prosecution if addiction treatment is undergone.

Intoxicated Vehicle Instructors (HB 5341/PA 96-1237): Makes it a moving violation for a person who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs to accompany or provide instruction to a driver who is a minor operating the motor vehicle with an instruction permit.

Juvenile Criminal Program (HB 5913/PA 96-1022): Provides that when possible the Department of Juvenile Justice is allowed to share or assign services, powers, or duties with the Department of Children and Family Services.
Juvenile Criminal Protection (HB 6129/PA 96-1251): Provides that a statement or incriminating information offered by a minor or parent/guardian as part of any behavioral health screening evaluation is not admissible as evidence against the minor on the issue of whether the minor committed a delinquent act in a juvenile court proceeding, or on the issue of guilt in a criminal proceeding.

Juvenile Justice Commission (SB 3085/PA 96-1199): Charges the existing Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission with studying the impact of developing timelines, and proposing a funding structure to accommodate the expansion of the jurisdiction of the Illinois Juvenile Court to include youth who are age 17 under the jurisdiction of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987.

Juvenile Parole (HB 5914/PA 96-1271): Directs the Juvenile Justice Commission to develop recommendations for due process protections for youth during release decision-making processes including, but not limited to, parole revocation proceedings and release on parole.

Limited Liability Company (SB 2553/PA 96-0984): Requires all fees collected by the state for limited liability companies be deposited into the General Professions Dedicated Fund.

Lupus Education and Awareness Program (HB 4587/PA 96-1108): Creates a program to promote public and health professional awareness of lupus, and increase knowledge concerning the causes and consequences of lupus.

Marital Trusts (HB 5282/PA 96-1145): Allows a married couple who holds their family residence in revocable trust(s) for estate planning purposes to do so as tenants by the entirety, which would protect the home from being sold to satisfy the debts of one of the spouses.

Mass Transit Application (HB 5732/PA 96-1458): Requires the Illinois Department of Transportation to develop an application process for funding in new mass transit service areas.

Medicaid Dental Services (HB 5859/PA 96-0926): Authorizes Healthcare and Family Services to develop a system to allow dental payments to be made to a clinic so that a volunteering dentist does not have to personally enroll as a participating provider in the medical assistance program.

Medicaid Fraud (SB 3815/PA 96-1346): Creates a 17-member Public Benefits Fraud Protection Task Force to conduct a thorough review of the nature of public assistance fraud to determine if more stringent penalties are necessary.

Medicaid Health Cards (HB 5054/PA 96-0940): Requires the Department of Healthcare and Family Services to quit issuing monthly MediPlan cards and instead issue permanent or semi-permanent member cards to individuals enrolled in Medicaid.

Meter Malfunction (SB 2476/PA 96-1256): Provides that if a meter is malfunctioning due to accumulation of snow and ice, violators can use that as an affirmative defense.

Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (HB 4802/PA 96-1308): Extends the non-voted bonding authority of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District to Dec. 31, 2024.

Military Foreclosure (HB 3762/PA 96-0901): Requires the court to stay mortgage foreclosure proceedings for a period of 90 days upon application to the court by a mortgager who was deployed on active military duty within the previous 12 months.

Military Hunting/Fishing (HB 4721/PA 96-1226): Allows Illinois residents who are on emergency leave from active duty in the United States Armed Forces to fish and hunt without a license.

Military License Plates (HB 4778/PA 96-1409): Eliminates only the additional fee for Korean War Veteran, United States Veteran, Vietnam Veteran, World War II Veteran, Army Combat Veteran, and United States Army Veteran special license plates.

Military Voting (HB 6077/PA 96-1004): Permits members of the armed forces to vote by fax or e-mail.

Minor Exploitation (HB 5321/PA 96-1090): Provides sexual exploitation of a child includes committing a sexual act or exposing oneself in front of a child via the Internet or Web cam for sexual gratification.

Minor Tattoos/Piercing (HB 4895/PA 96-1311): Makes it unlawful for a person to falsely represent that he or she is the parent or legal guardian of a minor younger than 18 at a tattoo parlor or a body piercing business.

Misrepresentation Penalties (SB 3684/PA 96-1113): Adds to existing home invasion and burglary offenses: gaining entry to the home by misrepresenting oneself to be a representative of government, a construction company, a telecommunication company, or a utility company.

Mortgage Licensing (SB 3781/PA 96-1216): Makes technical changes to address the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act, the SAFE Act of 2008, to make Illinois law consistent with SAFE Act requirements.

Motor Vehicle Driving Privileges (HB 4859/PA 96-1180): Allows the Secretary of State to grant a restricted driving permit for individuals convicted of certain offenses to transport elderly or disabled persons to and from daycare if the elderly person cannot drive and the is living in the offender’s house.

New Employee Portal (HB 6271/PA 96-1387): Requires the Department of Central Management Services to establish and maintain a searchable, public database of information about new employees entering state employment.

Open Meetings (HB 5329/PA 96-1043): Provides that members of a municipal transit district who participate by teleconference can be counted as part of a quorum if the transit district covers 4,500 square miles. (HB 5483/PA 96-1473): Requires that a public body approve minutes of its open meeting within 30 days after the meeting or at its next regularly scheduled meeting, and also requires that a public body make its approved open meeting minutes available for public inspection and, if the public body has a Web site, post those minutes within 10 days after approval of the minutes.

Order of Protection (HB 5510/PA 96-1241): Requires a judge who issues a domestic violence emergency order of protection to promptly notify the Sheriff of the order, to facilitate entry of the order of protection into the Law Enforcement Agencies Data System.

Outdoor Veterans’ Licenses (SB 384/PA 96-1014): Allows veterans who are applying for a free camping pass, fishing license, or hunting license to provide acceptable verification of service or mobilization at one of the Department of Natural Resources regional offices.

Outpatient Medicaid Reimbursement (HB 5765/PA 96-1382): Requires the Department of Healthcare and Family Services to reimburse critical access hospitals for outpatient Medicaid services at an amount that is no less than the cost of providing such services, based on Medicare cost principles.

Penalty Increase (SB 2488/PA 96-1109): Raises the penalty on aggravated assault against a police officer, when the offender uses a deadly weapon.

Podiatric Act (HB 5991/PA 96-1158): Adds provisions concerning the prohibition against fee splitting with respect to podiatrists.

Police Officer Witness (SB 3304/PA 96-1206): Provides a procedure for a police officer who witnessed the commission of a misdemeanor to sign a complaint sufficient to charge the defendant with the misdemeanor offense, eliminating the need to fill out a long form complaint, track down a Notary and formalize the oath.

Political Signage (HB 3785/PA 96-0904): States that municipalities may not prohibit political signs on residential property.

Poppers (SB 3503/PA 96-1112): Prohibits “poppers,” or devices that can override, block or defeat a locking mechanism, from being possessed within a prison.

Prescription Drug Information Cards (HB 5527/PA 96-1326): Provides that a discounted health care services plan administrator providing discounts on prescription drugs or devices must issue a card containing certain information like its Web site, toll-free number, names of all provider networks, group, cardholder ID and BIN number, etc.

Primary Elections (SB 355/PA 96-0886): Moves the general primary election to the third Tuesday of March in even-numbered years.

Prompt Vendor Payment (SB 3587/PA 96-1085): Requires vendors to forward any interest derived from the Prompt Payment Act to a consumer if the vendor required the consumer to pay upfront for any services.

Propane Cargo Tank Vehicles (SB 3282/PA 96-1337): Allows certain propane cargo tank vehicles to continue operating for emergency heating purposes during imposed highway use restrictions.

Property Tax Title Search Redemption Fee (HB 5158/PA 96-1067): Limits tax sale redemption fees for title searches to $150.

Psychiatry Practice Incentive (HB 5053/PA 96-1411): Requires the Department of Public Health to establish a program under which programs of grants, loans, and loan forgiveness are established to recruit and retain psychiatric service providers in designated shortage areas of the state.

Public Adjusters (SB 660/PA 96-1332): Creates the Public Adjusters Law to set requirements and standards for acting as a public insurance adjuster in the State of Illinois, which contains licensure fees and outlines penalties if violated, and allows the Director of Insurance to place on probation, suspend, revoke, deny, or refuse to issue or renew a public adjuster’s license or levy a civil penalty or any combination of actions, for having been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor involving dishonesty or fraud.

Public Corruption (SB 2551/PA 96-1019): Creates a public corruption profit forfeiture provision requiring forfeitures of profits and proceeds derived from a criminal public corruption offense that resulted in a criminal conviction, including forfeiture of all political contributions held by a political committee or organization controlled by the convicted person.

Public Employee Disability Suits (HB 5458/PA 96-1430): Allows the state to commence or join in a suit against a third party that’s liable for injuries that trigger the payment for occupational disability benefits to an eligible public employee, concerning correctional workers and state employees working in penal institutions, or mental health or developmental disabilities facilities operated by the Department of Human Services.

Public Health Technical Material (HB 6034/PA 96-1433): Mandates DPH to provide technical assistance materials based on guidelines or standards such as the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission’s guidelines, the United States Access Board final guidelines, or the standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials by June 30, 2011.

Public Indecency (SB 2589/PA 96-1098): Increases the penalty for public indecency and sexual exploitation of a child when the offense is committed by a person older than 18, and on or within 500 feet of school grounds when children are present.

Public Land Pack (SB 2632/PA 96-0985): Provides that the Department of Natural Resources must facilitate the use of public land by pack and saddle animals, and must post a notice at the trailhead when there is a trail closure.

Purple Heart Motorcycle Plates (SB 3023/PA 96-1101): Provides that the Secretary of State must make a version of the special Purple Heart registration plate in a form appropriate for motorcycles.

Physician Murder Sentence (HB 5745/PA 96-1475): Allows the court to consider imposing natural life imprisonment on a person (18 or older) who knowingly murders a physician, physician assistant, psychologist, nurse, or advanced practice nurse while the victim was acting in their professional capacity.

Real Estate Closing Entities (HB 5677/PA 96-1457): Provides that with respect to the disbursement of settlement funds in a real estate closing, a “purchaser”, “seller” or “lender” are each considered a single party to the transaction, regardless of the number of people or entities making up the purchaser, seller or lender, and clarifies what types of funds can be aggregated to be “good funds.”

Real Estate Licensing (SB 3018/PA 96-0989): Allows for reinstatement of a managing broker, broker, or leasing agent license if that license has been expired for more than two years, but less than five years, if certain conditions are met.

Reckless Driving (SB 2951/PA 96-1007): Prohibits a driver from recklessly driving unnecessarily close to a bicyclist, pedestrian, person riding a horse, or person driving an animal-drawn vehicle.

Record Tampering Penalty (SB 3800/PA 96-1217): Increases the penalty for the altering, destroying, defacing, removing or concealing a public record by any judge, circuit clerk, clerk of any court, public official, public employee, court reporter or any other person.

Retail Theft (SB 3797/PA 96-1301): Increases the property value thresholds generally used to make an offense a felony rather than a misdemeanor on some theft, retail theft, financial crime, online property, and telephone fraud offenses.

Retirement Board of Municipal Employees (HB 4788/PA 96-1427): Allows the Chicago Treasurer, with approval of the Retirement Board of Municipal Employees, to designate a city employee to act in the absence of the treasurer on all matters pertaining to administering the provisions of the pension Article.

Road Districts (SB 3430/PA 96-0996): Clarifies that all road districts have the same powers, whether or not the county where the road district is located is under township organization.

Roadside Memorial (SB 3803/PA 96-1371): Allows for placement of a fatal accident memorial marker for the victim or victims of a reckless homicide offense that was not related to a DUI offense.

Railroad Safety (HB 4987/PA 96-1132): Makes it a crime to willfully place upon an active railroad track any object that would adversely affect safe railroad operations. (HB 5712/PA 96-1244): Requires railroad track equipment to be treated with the same caution as approaching trains.

Rape Crisis Records (HB 5976/PA 96-1010): Expands the privacy rights that adults with guardians have over their rape crisis counseling records.

Sanitary District Annexation (SB 2520/PA 96-1070): Permits the board of commissioners of the Metro-East Sanitary District to annex property into the district, even if the property is within a home-rule unit of government, if the property is contiguous to the corporate limits of the district and currently “served” by the district.

Seat Belt Security (SB 3272/PA 96-0991): Requires the driver of a motor vehicle to properly adjust and fasten a seat safety belt if they are transporting a passenger who is unable to do it themselves, due to infirmity, illness, or age, but who is not exempted from wearing a seat safety belt.

Seth’s Law (HB 5764/PA 96-0925): Provides that hospitals must have policies and procedures for readily gaining access to a locked bathroom in a patient’s room.

Sex Offender Registration (SB 1702/PA 96-1096): Turns the responsibility for registering all sex offenders, outside of Chicago, over to the county sheriff where the offender resides, temporarily lives, works, or attends school, and the offender resides, temporarily lives, works, or attends school in Chicago, then registration remains with the Chicago Police Department at its headquarters. Also raises the initial registration fee for sex offenders to $100 and the annual registration fee is also raised to $100. (SB 2462/PA 96-1097): Requires a sex offender registering after release from prison, to provide the law enforcement agency where he or she is registering with a copy of the terms and conditions of. (SB 3293/PA 96-1104): Requires sex offenders to provide their phone number and cell phone number when registering with law enforcement his or her release from prison.

Sexual Predator (HB 5043/PA 96-1089): Requires lifetime registration as a sexual predator for a sexually motivated first degree murder of a person younger than 18 by a person who is least 17; kidnapping or unlawful restraint of a person under 18 by someone who is not the child’s parent; child abduction by luring a child younger than 16 without the consent of the child’s parent; and sexual misconduct with a person with a disability.

Sex Offender Restrictions (SB 2824/PA 96-1099): Prohibits sexual predators and child sex offenders from being in a public park or loitering within 500 feet of a public park.

Sex Offender Location Notification (SB 3176/PA 96-1102): Requires a sex offender or sexual predator to register with the appropriate law enforcement agency if the offender is residing or temporarily domiciled in that jurisdiction for a period of time of three or more days, and requires a sex offender or sexual predator who is temporarily absent from his or her current address of registration for three or more days to notify the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the current registration, including the itinerary for travel, in the same manner as the must notify a law enforcement agency of a change of address.

Sex Offense Sentencing (SB 1020/PA 96-1390): Gives the sentencing judge discretion to impose an extended term prison sentence on a major sex offense, if the victim was younger than 18 and the victim was known to be under the influence of alcohol at the time of the offense.

Sex Offense Victim Polygraph (HB 5931/PA 96-1273): Prohibits law enforcement from even asking a sex offense victim to submit to a lie detector test.

Shaken Baby Conviction Registration (HB 5762/PA 96-1115): Requires registration under the Child Murderer and Violent Offender Against Youth Registration Law for a person convicted of involuntary manslaughter or endangering the life/health of a child, where baby shaking was the proximate cause of the child’s death.

Share the Road Plates (SB 2798/PA 96-1006): Provides for the creation of a new Share the Road license plate.

Small Business Impact (HB 5191/PA 96-1448): Provides that prior to the filing of any proposed rule or amendment that may have an adverse impact on small businesses, an economic impact analysis that includes certain information must be prepared.

Smoke Detectors (SB 3097/PA 96-1292): Provides that smoke detectors permanently wired into the structure’s AC power line must also maintain an alternative back-up battery power source in the case of any dwelling unit or any unit of a nursing home, community care facility, community residential alternative, or child care facility that is newly constructed, reconstructed, or substantially remodeled on or after Jan. 1, 2011.

Smoking Exemption (SB 851/PA 96-1357): Removes the exception that allows private and semi-private rooms in nursing home and long-term care facilities to be smoking rooms; allows facilities licensed under the Nursing Home Care Act to establish a smoking room; establishes that a “qualified examiner” can be a licensed marriage and family therapist if certain qualifications are met; authorizes licensed marriage and family therapists to involuntarily commit a client for a mental health evaluation if they feel the person is at risk to themselves or another.

Specialty License Plates (HB 4966/PA 96-1377): Provides for the issuance of Soil and Water Conservation District license plates and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital license plates. (HB 5193/PA 96-1449): Provides for the issuance of 4-H license plates.

Speeding Penalty (SB 3796/PA 96-1002): Raises the penalty for driving a vehicle at a speed that is 30 miles per hour (mph) or more, but less than 40 mph in excess of the posted speed limit, and prohibits a defendant from receiving supervision for a speeding violation of 40 mph per hour or more over the posted speed limit.

State Banking Board (SB 2581/PA 96-1163): Makes changes to the State’s Banking Board, including eliminating the Board of Trustees of the Illinois Bank Examiners’ Education Foundation and transferring those duties to the State Banking Board, reducing the number of members from 17 to 12, and changing the scope of its powers.

State Group Insurance (HB 4737/PA 96-1227): Requires that the program of group health benefits include coverage of medically necessary physical and occupational therapy ordered or referred by a licensed physician, physician’s assistant, or advanced practice nurse.

Statute of Limitations (HB 6124/PA 96-1093): Increases the statute of limitations for a civil action for childhood sexual abuse to 20 years from the date the person turns 18, or 20 years from the date the abused person discovers that the act of childhood sexual abuse occurred, and that the injury was caused by the childhood sexual abuse.

Stolen Weapons (SB 3546/PA 96-1133): Provides that whenever a shipment of firearms, explosives, or other weapons is reported as stolen or missing to the railroad police force, the railroad police force must report all information regarding the incident to state and local law enforcement.

Strict Criminal Liability (SB 3028/PA 96-1198): Raises the fine amount for strict criminal liability on a misdemeanor offense from $500 to $1,000.

Student Athlete Agent (SB 2542/PA 96-1030): Requires agents for student athletes to register and provides the student athlete with several protections, including contract requirements and “eligibility” safeguards.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (HB 5930/PA 96-1116): Requires hospitals to provide, free of charge, information and instructional materials on SIDS, which must be given and reviewed with parents or guardians of newborns upon hospital discharge.

Surety Bond Amounts (SB 3682/PA 96-1062): Increases the amount of the surety bond commercial driving schools are required to post.

Synthetic Marijuana (HB 6459/PA 96-1285): Outlaws two synthetic marijuana-like substitutes commonly known as K2 or Spice.

Title Insurance Agents (HB 5409/PA 96-1454): Regulates title insurance agents who act as escrow agents in closing residential property transactions by requiring an agency agreement with the title insurance company or a closing protection letter.

Tow Truck Misrepresentation (SB 3584/PA 96-1369): Provides that it is an unlawful practice for an owner or operator of a tow-truck or wrecker to misrepresent an affiliation with the state, a unit of local government, an insurance company, a private club, or any other entity for the purpose of securing business from a vehicle owner or operator.

Traffic Violation (HB 6151/PA 96-1462): Provides that if a traffic ticket is not paid over the counter and a court appearance results, then upon conviction or pleading guilty, a fine that cannot be waived must be imposed by the court so local police departments and municipalities can receive the fine penalty.

Transfer Fee Covenant (SB 3747/PA 96-1345): Provides that a transfer fee covenant must not run with the title to real property and is not binding on or enforceable at law or in equity against any subsequent owner, purchaser, or mortgagee of any interest in real property as an equitable servitude or otherwise; provides that any fee, charge, assessment or other amount payable to a charitable organization whose purpose includes the conservation of land or natural areas and all living organisms located within the same subdivision or planned unit development or within one-half mile of the property is not a transfer fee for purposes of this Act.

Truth-in-Sentencing (HB 4776/PA 96-1230): Requires a person to serve at least 85 percent of a sentence on an aggravated DUI, and eliminates the possibility for meritorious good conduct credit when the DUI was the cause of an accident that resulted in great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement of another person.

Unemployment Benefits (HB 5376/PA 96-0970): Provides that employees of non-profits that do not employ four or more individuals within each of 20 or more calendar weeks must be given written notice that they are ineligible for unemployment benefits.

Uniform Arbitration Act (HB 5888/PA 96-1476): Sets forth rules requiring arbitrators to decide the dispute in accordance with any rules of law that are chosen by the parties as applicable to the substance of the dispute; requires any designation of the law or legal system of a given jurisdiction be construed as directly referring to the substantive law of that jurisdiction and not to its conflict of law rules; states that if the parties do not make a designation as to the rule of law, the arbitrators must apply the law as determined by the conflict of laws rules that they consider applicable; and nothing in these new provisions can apply to an arbitration which is part of or pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement.

Unused County Roads (SB 3763/PA 96-1001): Provides that upon completion of a relocated highway, the county will have full authority over the relocated highway and that portion of the original location not incorporated into the new location, rather than requiring that the original location be considered abandoned.

Verbal Screenings (SB 2601/PA 96-1259): Requires all new nursing home admissions to be verbally screened for risk factors associated with hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV within 10 days of admission to a nursing facility.

Veterans EMS System (SB 3637/PA 96-1009): Authorizes the Department of Public Health to permit limited emergency medical services system participation by facilities operated by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration.

Veteran Criminal Act (HB 4738/PA 96-1228): Allows a judge to impose a sentence of imprisonment or a more severe sentence on a first-degree murder, assault, battery, or robbery committed against a person known by the defendant to be, or the defendant reasonably should have known was, a veteran, performing duties as a representative of a veterans’ organization.

Wage Payment Violations (SB 3568/PA 96-1407): States that employees are allowed to collect legal fees in a civil action suit to address abuses of poor workers who do not have the means to reclaim their lost wages.

Whistleblower Act (HB 6231/PA 96-1253): Adds a licensed physician practicing at a state-funded medical facility to the definition of an “employee” under the Whistleblower Protection Act, to ensure their protection.

Wind Farm Property Tax (HB 4797/PA 96-1036): Extends the sunset for the uniform assessment methodology on wind farms from 2011 to 2016.