New Laws for 2016
12/29/2015, 8:11 a.m. | Updated on 12/30/2015, 8:20 a.m.
New laws taking effect Jan. 1, 2016
On Jan. 1, 2016, 237 new laws go into effect in Illinois, including measures that impact fighting crime, government transparency, business, hunting, health, and family.
Crime and Safety
When it comes to fighting crime, several new laws are making public safety a top priority.
• Individuals who continue to endanger citizens on Illinois roadways by repeatedly driving under the influence of alcohol will have another barrier that can prevent them from getting back behind the wheel. Sen. Jason Barickman’s Senate Bill (SB) 627/PA 99-0467 requires individuals convicted of two or more DUIs or reckless homicide convictions to install a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device as a condition of a restricted driving permit.
• Another new law taking effect Jan. 1, spearheaded by Sen. Kyle McCarter, goes after designer drug manufacturers. SB 1129/PA 99-0371 combats dangerous synthetic or designer street drugs by targeting how they are made and allowing prosecutors to not have to wait as long for lab tests to show if the synthetic drug involved was illegal.
• In addition, the sale of powdered caffeine to anyone younger than 18 and the sale of products consisting of or containing powdered alcohol will be prohibited under two new laws (SB 9/PA 99-0050 and SB 67/PA 99-0051).
• Those who call 9-1-1 in 2016 better be sure it’s a legitimate emergency. Individuals convicted of making false or prank calls to 9-1-1 call centers or making other false reports to emergency responders could be held responsible for reimbursing the costs incurred by the responding emergency agency under HB 3988/PA 99-0160.
• As more police officers start to use body cameras, SB 1304/PA 99-0352 establishes new rules and regulations for officers who use the technology. The new law requires police officers who wear a body camera, to keep it on when conducting any law enforcement activities, among other rules.
• Keeping people healthy and avoiding terrible diseases are the goals of a new law sponsored by Sen. Christine Radogno. Any child-care facility that takes care of children ages 6 and younger, must show proof their employees received the Tdap vaccine and have received two doses of the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine or provide proof of immunity under a new law (SB 986/PA 99-0267) that goes into effect Jan. 1.
• Major airports in Illinois will have one year to establish a private breast-feeding area set up behind the security screening process in 2016. SB 344/PA 99-0228 also requires this area to include a chair and an electrical outlet and be outside the confines of a public restroom.
• Illinois joins several other states Jan. 1 with a new law that can help save or prolong people’s lives. Terminally-ill patients in Illinois will have access to clinical-trial, experimental medical treatments and medications, thanks to the Right to Try law (HB 1335/ PA 99-0270) sponsored by Sen. Michael Connelly.
• In keeping with the late Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka’s tradition of government transparency, SB 903/PA 99-0393 ensures that the Online Ledger and The Warehouse will continue to provide state financial records, official reports, and local government finances to taxpayers. Sen. Karen McConnaughay sponsored this legislation in honor of Judy Baar Topinka.