Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Illinois Laws

One hundred ninety-four new laws go into effect in Illinois on January 1, 2011. A partial list follows:

Credit History Discrimination: Employers will no longer be able to request credit reports as part of the hiring process nor can they ask about an applicant's credit history in the interview.

Red Light Cameras: All red-light violations will now be reviewed by a police officer, a retired police officer or technician not employed by the company that runs the cameras. 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 their official web site. Finally, a safety impact study must be undertaken to assess the number of accidents at the red light camera monitored intersections.

Unpaid wages: Workers are now allowed to go straight to court to collect their wages plus any legal fees when employers don't pay.

Adoption: Adopted adults no longer need a court order to obtain their birth certificates.

Pet disclosure: Pet stores must inform potential buyers about an animal's health history and the name of the breeder as well as other details.

Commercial Vehicles: Increases the fine to no less than $500 for commercial trucks that fail to display the name of the company on the side of the vehicle.

Fake dope: Outlaws the sale of "Spice" or "K2," a material similar to synthetic marijuana.

Sexting: Teens under 18 face stiffer penalties if they are caught distributing lewd photographs using their cell phones or computers.

Car seats: The fine increases to $75 from $50, for not properly strapping a child into a car seat.

Belt-in passenger: Drivers must adjust and fasten a passenger's safety belt if the passenger is unable to do it.

Bike safety: A new law makes it illegal to "crowd" or threaten a bicyclist by unnecessarily driving a car or truck too close to a bicyclist.

Presidential primary: The date of the presidential primary election moves to the third Tuesday in March in even-numbered years.