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August 6, 2014

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Top 20 New Laws in 2014 in Illinois



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Lots of new laws are coming on the Illinois books in 2014.  It was a history-making year at the Springfield Capitol, with lawmakers legalizing gay marriage, allowing medical marijuana new laws 2014 illinoisfor those with chronic illnesses, permitting concealed handguns and approving major changes to the government worker pension system.   Here is a free summary of some of the new laws:

 

  1. Legislators voted to raise the state speed limit on rural roads from 65 miles per hour to 70 miles per hour. One piece of good news is that the state speed limit has been raised to a maximum of 70 mph outside of urban areas, generally on interstate highways, bringing Illinois closer in line with other states across the country. Unfortunately, the law excludes Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, Madison, McHenry, St. Clair and Will counties from the new maximum by reserving them the right to set lower speeds.
  2. Smokers who flick their cigarette butts out the window of a moving vehicle can be charged with littering. Fines could go as high as $1,500 and carry a maximum jail sentence of 180 days.
  3. Wait until you’re parked before you pick up your cell phone. The use of hand-held cell phone devices behind the wheel will be prohibited. Bluetooth headsets, earpieces and voice-activated commands are permitted. The only exemptions from this law apply to law enforcement officers or first responders; drivers reporting emergencies and drivers using electronic devices while parked on the shoulder of a roadway.
  4.  Illinois became the last state in the union to allow its citizens to carry concealed firearms. The measure was approved in July 2013, but residents will be able to start packing in 2014.
  5. Other new laws include a ban on motorists from having any form of video device applications operating that are visible to the driver while driving.
  6. New legislation provides free parking to motorists who are physically unable to access a meter or pay box because they use a wheelchair or have a severe disability. Eligible motorists will now display a yellow-and-gray colored placard to park for free at metered spaces in Chicago and throughout the state.
  7. Illinois wineries will be allowed to let customers take home an open and partially consumed bottle of wine.
  8. The land of Lincoln will allow for Medical Marijuana use starting in 2014. The Illinois laws for using the substance as a medicine, however, are among the toughest in the country.
  9. Gay couples in Illinois will be able to marry one another starting in 2014. In fact, some already have been granted permission to jump the gun.
  10. Voting in Illinois will get a little easier starting next summer. On July 27, Gov. Pat Quinn signed off on a law that made Illinois the 18th state to allow online voter registration.
  11. One new measure would crack down on boating under the influence by requiring boat operators to undergo drug and alcohol testing if they are involved in an accident in which someone is hurt or killed. Those who refuse testing, test positive for drugs or have a blood alcohol content limit of .08 or higher could have their driver’s license suspended.
  12.  Teenagers in Illinois are no longer allowed to bake in a tanning bed until they turn 18. Salons that cater to youngsters could face up to a $250 fine. Previously, children 14 and younger were banned, while those 14 to 17 could use the tanning beds with parental permission. Some cities, including Chicago and Springfield, have policies that ban minors from using tanning beds. 
  13. Illinois is also home to tough new laws prohibiting unmanned aerial drones. Come Wednesday, it’ll be illegal to use a drone to interfere with hunters or fishermen — and police must get a warrant to use a drone for surveillance, except in cases of terrorism or if a suspect is fleeing a crime scene. Even with the warrant, police must destroy information gathered within 30 days unless it’s linked to a crime.
  14. If you buy a sick puppy from a pet store, you can now demand a refund or money to cover your vet bills. Gov. Pat Quinn signed the Puppy Lemon Law which gives pet consumers some protections.
  15. Starting in 2014, students’ schools cannot check the Facebook pages or email accounts of its kids without gaining permission from parents.
  16. Students in Illinois public schools that teach sex education will now be taught about birth control and sexually transmitted diseases – not just abstinence.
  17. People who use social media and other forms of electronic communication to organize mob attacks could face tougher penalties under a new law brought about by high-profile incidents in which large groups of teenagers organized on sites like Twitter and Facebook to cause disturbances along Michigan Avenue.
  18. Missing too many tolls? Motorists with more than $1,000 in Illinois Tollway fines may have their names and the amount that they owe posted on its web site.
  19. Owners of mobile homes who are selling their units must now disclose if the location was ever used to cook meth.
  20. 17 Year Olds can now vote in Illinois – at least in primaries — as long as they’ll turn 18 before the general election comes around.


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