As 2017 comes to a close, we usher in 2018 with a new set of laws that go into effect January 1st. This year there are more than 200 new laws that Illinois has put in place. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most important laws you should know (and we included some of our favorites). You can check out a full list of all the new laws here.
Of course we’re all probably users of some aspect of social media and therefore familiar with the dangers of cyber stalking and online harassment. Now, users who make online threats can be prosecuted for hate crimes if their posts are considered obscene or forms of intimidation.
There are 2 different laws that include mental health training/ classification. The first law will require police officer training on the types of mental health issues and their signs and symptoms. Also, police officers in counties of 3 million people or more must complete crisis intervention training. The second law establishes a council that will look into implementing early identification and classification of mental illnesses.
You can now be charged with “drug- induced- homicide” if you provide drugs to someone and they die as a result of the drugs. This is a Class X felony and carries a sentence of up to 30 years in prison. With Illinois currently facing an opioid crisis, lawmakers are attempting to stop providers of these dangerous drugs.
If you drive on a suspended license from an aggravated DUI and it results in a death, the sentencing will be treated the same way as reckless homicide. The sentencing for reckless homicide is a Class 3 Felony and carries a sentence of 2-5 years in prison.
Under this new law drivers will not be allowed to display “for sale signs” or price tags on windows in order to prevent distractions. Before you drive off the lot with your new car, the price tag must be taken off.
Couples who are divorcing can now have a judge decide who gets custody of their pets if they can’t come to an agreement. Before this law, pets were usually treated like property that could be divided between the couples. Judges will look at factors like who typically spends more money on the pet’s food and vet bills and who spends the most time with the pet.
Sorry Ringling Brothers- elephants will no longer be allowed in circuses in Illinois. Illinois becomes the first state to ban elephants in circuses and travelling animal acts. This law will protect elephants which are usually abused in these types of big top settings.
This law creates a childcare database for parents where they can search for childcare providers and see which facilitates have had their licenses revoked or those with other infractions.
Veterans will now have access to better tools in order to ease their transition back into civilian life. These tools include more veteran courts, providing veterans with service animal information, and awarding academic credits for military training.
Insurers are now required to provide coverage for a breast MRI if a mammogram shows dense breast tissue. Mammograms alone cannot always detect breast cancer in patients that have dense or heterogeneous breast tissue and in many cases an MRI or an ultrasound may be required. Illinois is one of the only states that will now require insurers to provide these tests for patients.
In 2017, we saw many women and men come forward to say they were victims of sexual assault and harassment. Now, all law enforcement agencies must now have a written policy for any officer that is involved in a sexual assault in order to ensure that everything is handled properly.
In an attempt to ensure that men and women are charged equal prices for equal services salons and dry cleaners must have their prices listed. Senator Melinda Bush believes that these service providers unfairly charge women a higher price than men and therefore service prices must be listed in advance.
If you have any questions on these law or any others, don’t hesitate to contact us and one of our skilled attorneys will be happy to assist you. We here at Lauralaw wish you a Happy and Healthy new year!