2016 has arrived, triggering the enactment of scores of new laws in Illinois. You can check out our blog post from last week with some of the more practical laws, but here at LauraLaw, we thought it would be fun to give you a comprised list of some of the more interesting – and sometimes bizarre – laws that went into effect:
Pumpkin pie is now the official State Pie of Illinois. Apparently, Illinois leads the nation in not only pumpkin farms, but pumpkin sales, too. In fact, Illinois is responsible for 85% of all pumpkins consumed in the U.S. Pumpkin pie joins the ranks of sweet corn (state vegetable), popcorn (state snack), and several other icons to be named as Illinois State Symbols. Will this change oust apple pie as the all-American dessert? Tim‘s Grandma says no, but stay tuned.
Illinois caught up to this century and banned the use of conversion therapy to change the sexual orientation of minors. Conversion therapy has a long history of controversy and is generally deemed ineffective. The American Psychiatric Association denounced the practice in the 1990’s. Thanks to this new Illinois law, therapists are formally prohibited from using such tactics in practice.
Grab your bobcat hunting gear! Illinois residents can now hunt bobcats during an open season from November 1 to February 15. Each hunter is limited to one bobcat per permit, so the bobcat quilt you planned on making for Uncle Al next Christmas may have to wait for a few bobcat seasons. Remember, though, if you are a convicted felon, it is illegal in Illinois for you to carry or otherwise possess a firearm.
For all breastfeeding mothers: Senate Bill 0344 (or the Lactation Accommodation in Airports Act, as it is commonly called) requires O’Hare, Midway, and any other current or future airport in Illinois to create breastfeeding rooms. The airports have a January 1, 2017 deadline to create this space, which requires, among other things, the inclusion of a chair and electronic outlet, and must be located outside of a public restroom.
Do you have a regular, gas-guzzling car? Well keep it out of parking spaces designated for electronic cars! As of January 1, 2016, anyone found guilty of hogging those plugs shall be fined $75 and will be responsible for removal and/or storage costs.
Let us know if you find any other interesting laws out there, but in the meantime, we here at LauraLaw hope you had a happy and safe holiday, and that you continue that happiness into the New Year. As always, if you should find yourself under arrest for any of the laws in this blog that carry criminal penalties, or any other Illinois law, make sure to contact us, and one of our experienced attorneys will be happy to help guide you through the legal process. Until then, Happy New Year!