SPRINGFIELD – Cracking down on the illegal manufacture of the dangerous street drug methamphetamine, better protecting consumers from the devastating financial effects of identity theft, and strengthening registration laws for convicted sex offenders are among the hundreds of new laws that take effect in January, according to State Sen. Frank Watson (R-Greenville).

Senate Bill 273 limits the purchase of cold medicines containing the powder form of pseudoephedrine, the main ingredient used to make methamphetamine, and requires individuals to show identification and sign a log when purchasing these medicines. Senate Bill 273 further prohibits anyone younger than 18 from buying medicines that contain pseudoephedrine.

The new Illinois law is based on a similar law in Oklahoma. Watson says only two months after pseudoephedrine controls were enacted in Oklahoma, the number of meth laboratories in that state dropped by 50 percent, and by 80 percent eight months later. Other states – including Missouri, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa and Kentucky – have had similar results. The new law takes effect Jan. 15.

Other meth-related laws take effect Jan. 1. House Bill 3507 provides that meth restitution be made to cover costs incurred by local law enforcement agencies and public agencies in securing a meth site. House Bill 3504 provides for an additional $100 fine if a person is found guilty of a meth-related offense.

Several new laws taking effect Jan. 1 seek to protect consumers from identity theft and make it easier to prosecute those who steal personal information.

Senate Bill 445 prohibits state universities and community colleges from printing an individual’s Social Security number on any document that is required to access services. House Bill 1565 makes it illegal to use hardware or software that can decipher encrypted information from bar codes on driver’s licenses or identification cards. House Bill 457 eliminates the statute of limitations for prosecuting identity theft. House Bill 2700 allows people on trial for identity theft to be tried in any county where the offense occurred or the victim resides. House Bill 1058 allows a victim of identity theft to place a security freeze on his/her credit report.

Making sure more sex offenders register with local police is the purpose of a new law that tightens the regulations of the Illinois Sex Offender Registry and increases penalties for those offenders who do not comply with registration requirements. Senate Bill 1234 also requires the registering local law enforcement agency to provide a copy of the completed sex offender registrationform to the principal of the school in which the juvenile sex offender is enrolled. Under the previous law, juvenile sex offenders were registered with local police, but their information was not disclosed on the Sex Offender Registry and the law had not provided for any direct notification to schools.

Other bills that become law Jan. 1 include:

Abandoned infants (HB 175/P.A. 94-0207) – Makes permanent the law that allows parents to give their newborns to designated organizations without fear of prosecution.

Alzheimer’s Awareness (HB 20/P.A. 94-0443) – Designates the month of November of each year as Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.

Amber Alert (HB 181/P.A. 94-0481) – Allows State Police to retain the fingerprints of a child fingerprinted at a data collection location and use them if the child is later missing or abducted.

Assault (HB 1432/P.A. 94-0482) – Sets felony penalties for player or fan violence at sporting events at indoor facilities.

Child safety (SB 526/P.A. 94-0011) – Sets higher safety standards and imposes a fine for companies that knowingly sell unsafe products designed for children younger than nine.

Contractors (HB 2594/P.A. 94-0490) – Requires home repair companies to advise consumers if a contract requires consumers to submit contract disputes to binding arbitration.

Contract fraud (HB 3874/P.A. 94-0338 ) – Creates the Class 3 felony offense of public contractor misconduct, punishable by two to five years in prison. (HB 381/P.A. 94-0126) – Increases penalties for minority business owners who obtain state contracts under false pretenses.

Disabled parking spaces (HB 1316/P.A. 94-0619) – Increases the fine for the unauthorized use of parking spaces reserved for persons with disabilities. Increases the fine and allows for the suspension of driving privileges for misusing vehicles with disabled plates or placards.

Drivers (HB 960/P.A. 94-0185) – Mandates that a vehicle equipped with visual media technology cannot be operated if the technology is on and the screen is visible from the driver’s seat.

Drug-induced homicide (HB 1109/P.A. 94-0560) – Provides that a person who unlawfully delivers a controlled substance and causes another person’s death as a result of the use of the drug commits the offense of drug-induced homicide.

DUI (SB 1495/P.A. 94-0609 and HB 1081/P.A. 94-0113) – Imposes prison sentences on DUI offenders if the DUI violation was the cause of the death of one or more persons, unless the court determines that extraordinary circumstances exist and require probation. (HB 1471/P.A. 94-0329) – Provides that a person who drives while under the influence is guilty of aggravated DUI if they have no valid driver’s license or were not covered by liability insurance. (HB 657/P.A. 94-0110) – Increases the penalties for DUI while transporting a child. (HB 3816/P.A. 94-0116) – Increases penalties for people found guilty of DUI three or more times. (HB 1351/P.A. 94-0115) – Subjects to chemical testing any person arrested for leaving the scene of an accident involving death or personal injury.

Elections (HB 715/P.A. 94-0492) – Requires public colleges and universities to provide voter registration forms to students.

Electric vehicle (SB 25/P.A. 94-0298) – Prohibits a person from operating an electric vehicle upon a street, and states they must have a driver’s license.

Emergency officials (SB 190/P.A. 94-0243) – Enhances penalties for harming emergency management officials engaged in their official duties.

False representation (HB 596/P.A. 94-0323) – Makes it a Class 4 felony to knowingly and falsely represent oneself as an emergency management worker or American Red Cross employee.

Fire Fighters (HB 577/P.A. 94-0322) – Protects the funds in the Fire Fighters Memorial Fund from being used for other budgetary purposes.

Human rights (HB 917/P.A. 94-0078) – Provides that it is a civil rights violation to coerce or threaten any person seeking to negotiate a real estate transaction.

Hunting (SB 123/P.A. 94-0040) – Provides that an individual’s Social Security number will not appear on his/her hunting license.

Immunity (HB 1318/P.A. 94-0290) – Provides limited immunity for businesses that provided infrastructure repairs to homes damaged by natural disasters.

Income tax checkoff (HB 2470/P.A. 94-0141) – Authorizes an income tax checkoff for donations into the Sarcoidosis Research Fund.

Juvenile court (SB 292/P.A. 94-0271) – Allows the parents of a crime victim to be present and give impact statements at juvenile proceedings.

Kidney disease (SB 1461/P.A. 94-0081) – Provides that the Department of Public Health conducts a program to promote awareness of chronic kidney disease.

Lending database (HB 4050/ P.A. 94- 280) – Requires the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to create a database with information on predatory lenders.

Official symbols (HB 847/P.A. 94-0257) – Designates the Eastern Tiger Salamander as the official State amphibian, and the Painted Turtle as the official State reptile.

Organ donor registry (HB 1077/P.A. 94-0075) – Authorizes the Secretary of State to establish a First Person Consent organ and tissue donor registry, essentially removing the power of a family member to veto another family member’s decision to be an organ donor.

Ovarian cancer (SB 521/P.A. 94-0112) – Requires insurers to cover surveillance tests for ovarian cancer for female customers who are at risk for ovarian cancer.

Paid leave (HB 324/P.A. 94-0033) – Extends paid leave benefits to employees for blood donation with the employer’s approval.

Radar jamming devices (SB 1221/P.A. 94-0594) – Prohibits the use of radar jamming devices.

Scholarships/Loans (HB 1343/P.A. 94-0497) – Establishes a program to provide loan assistance for students studying social work or human services.

Seat belts (SB 229/P.A. 94-0241) – Requires every person 18 and younger to wear a seat belt while riding as a passenger in a vehicle operated by a driver younger than 18.

Senior citizens (HB 2241/P.A. 94-0145) – Requires the Law Enforcement Agencies Data System to include information on missing endangered seniors. (HB 1106/P.A. 94-0327) – Designates aggravated battery if the individual harmed was 60 or older.

Sex offenders (HB 712/P.A. 94-0643) – Requires a parent, who knowingly marries or resides with a sex offender to notify the other parent.

Shaken Babies (SB 506/P.A. 94-0228) – Requires Illinois Department of Public Health to establish a statewide Shaken Baby Prevention Program to educate parents and caregivers about the dangers of shaking a baby.

Smoking (HB 672/P.A. 94-0517) – Authorizes home-rule units of local government or municipalities to regulate smoking in public places.

Statute of limitations (HB 885/P.A. 94-0487) – Removes the current statute of limitations for leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident that resulted in personal injury or death.

Steel industry (SB 1699/P.A. 94-0279) – Creates the Illinois Steel Development Board to market and promote the Illinois steel industry.

State facility closure (HB 2528/P.A. 94-0688) – Requires the Governor’s Office to make a public announcement and submit a written recommendation of its intention to close a state facility, such as a prison or mental health center. Requires the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability to hold at least one public hearing on the recommendation.

Steroid abuse education (SB 64/P.A. 94-0014) – Requires a school district to provide steroid abuse prevention education to athletes.

Tasers (SB 1962/P.A. 94-0006) – Requires that any person wishing to acquire a stun gun or taser must have a FOID card and receive one hour of training approved by the State Police.

Unions (HB 1480/P.A. 94-0321) – Declares the right of unions to picket in municipal rights of way.

Vehicle lights (HB 1550/ P.A. 94-0331) – Prohibits blue oscillating, rotating, or flashing lights whether lighted or unlighted except on specified vehicles.

Veterans fraud (SB 1491/P.A. 94-0486) – Increases penalties for people who knowingly misrepresent themselves as a veteran or dependent of a veteran to obtain benefits.

Veterans license plates (HB 544/P.A. 94-0311) – Exempts Gold Star recipients from paying the fee to apply for the Gold Star plate, aside from the registration fee. (SB 1666/P.A. 94-0343) – Allows the surviving spouse of a Purple Heart recipient to be issued Purple Heart license plates.

Vince Demuzio Memorial Fund (SB 133/P.A. 94-0142) – Creates an income tax checkoff for the Vince Demuzio Memorial Colon Cancer Fund.

Volunteer EMT (HB 594/P.A. 94-0599) – Provides volunteer emergency workers with job protections if they are late to or absent from work while responding to an emergency.

Voting (HB 1125/P.A. 94-0288) – Allows minors to enter the voting booth with their parents.

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