New laws in 2015

On New Year's Day, a number of new Illinois laws will go into effect. Some of those new laws are as follows:
Gray wolf, American black bear, cougar
Adds the gray wolf, American black bear and cougar to the list of protected species in Illinois, while spelling out conditions that allow landowners to kill the animals if they are causing an immediate threat of physical harm or death to a person, livestock, domestic animals, or harm to structures or other property.
Cyber bullying
Requires schools to address electronic bullying under certain circumstances, even when it occurs off-campus and uses private computers, cell phones, etc.
‘Ban the Box’ criminal records
Prohibits private employers with 15 or more employees from asking a job applicant about their criminal history until the applicant has been selected for an interview or, if there is not an interview, until after a conditional offer of employment is made.
Residential property disclosure
Requires that a seller or a firm disclose material defects of doors and windows in a residential unit to prospective buyers.
Ban police ticket quotas
The law prohibits county, municipal, conservation and state police agencies from implementing ticket quotas. Officers may still be evaluated on “points of contact,” including the number of traffic stops completed, arrests, written warnings and crime prevention measures. Initiative enacted to refocus law enforcement on public safety instead of revenue generation.
Allows for the use of drones during disasters or public health emergencies
Amends the Freedom from Drone Surveillance Act to prevent law enforcement from using information from private third party drones, unless the owner of the drone provides it freely. Allows for use of drones without a search warrant during a disaster or public health emergency. Allows drones to be used to monitor weather or emergency conditions and declare a disaster or public health emergency.
Local government email
Local officials will be required to each maintain an email address accessible to members of the public. The law does allow for the use of uniform single email addresses (for multiple officials) or individual email addresses. The addresses don’t have to be searchable but available through a hyperlink on the website.
“Sign and drive” in Illinois
This new law institutes “sign and drive” in Illinois by prohibiting the confiscation of a motorist’s driver’s license as bail when stopped and cited for a minor (no jail time) traffic offense. Since 9/11, the need for appropriate, state-issued photo identification has become a necessity in order to travel, obtain health-care, renting vehicles, etc. The driver’s license is still the standard, accepted form of photo identification.
Use of medical cannabis for minors
Amends the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act to add the use of medical cannabis for seizures and epilepsy including for minors under the age of 18. Allows the Illinois Department of Public Health to create rules saying minors must have parental consent and/or minors may not smoke the cannabis (instead consume cannabis infused products); IDPH is not required to create these rules, but can if they so choose.
Internet sales tax collection
Will allow the state to use an Internet “click-through” relationship as a way to demand that the Internet retailer collect and remit sales taxes to the state of Illinois.
School technology improvements
Allows local school districts to use impact fees for technological infrastructure, such as Wi-Fi, in addition to land or building improvements. Impact fees are collected by counties and municipalities from commercial and individual home builders to fund infrastructure improvements necessitated and attributed to new development.
Building storm shelters in new schools
This law requires all new school construction in Illinois to include a storm shelter that meets the minimum requirements of the International Code Council and National Storm Shelter Association. The legislation was inspired by the devastation left by deadly tornadoes which ripped through Illinois in 2012 and 2013.

Leave a Comment