How Does Illinois Usher in 2013? Add More Than 150 New Laws to the Books

Print

Published on December 30 2012 5:59 am
Written by Wayne Moran

With the new year on our doorstep, the State of Illinois is set to ring in 2013 by adding more than 150 new laws to the books.

While most of these may go unnoticed, there are some that deserve a look. Here's some of the more interesting new laws for Illinois in 2013...
 
Get ready to pay more at the DMV: Illinois will see a $2 dollar increase in license plate fees. Half the $20-22 million in increased revenue generated from this will go to the Department of Natural Resources and the other half to state park maintenance. This probably won't be seen until March of 2013, as notices for January and February have already been mailed out by the state with 2012 costs on them.
 
A law with sensitive timing in the wake of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in Connecticut, takes effect Tuesday as well. This new law requires that the Illinois State Police (which issues Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) cards) be notified when the court determines that a person has a mental disability that might make them unsuitable for gun ownership.
 
Illinois will also see several new laws go into effect that are targeted at protecting children, including tougher penalties for child-sex crimes, and barring convicted sex offenders from participating in holiday events that involve children, such as giving candy to trick-or-treaters and dressing up as Santa Claus. Another new law increases the age of a victim of child luring to 17 and makes it a felony if the victim is traveling to or from school. Also, anyone convicted of luring a minor will be categorized as a sexual predator. Those engaged in any facet of child pornography will be met with a new law that enhances penalties if the child is younger than 13.
 
If you're not handicapped, and you get caught using a handicapped parking space, you'll be paying more. A first offense will result in the suspension of your drivers license for up to 60 days and a second offense allows for a one year suspension and a $1000 fine.
 
Caylee's Law goes into effect: It will now be a Class 4 felony in Illinois if a parent or guardian fails to report a child age 13 and under missing within 24 hours. Children 2 and under must be reported missing within an hour.
 
Judges will now have the ability to freeze the assets of someone charged with the financial exploitation of a senior or a person with a disability, in cases where restitution is ordered.
 
Law enforcement officers will now be able to use wiretaps or other eavesdropping measures during a felony drug investigations, if approved by a State's Attorney, instead of a judge.
 
Another new law for 2013 prohibits the use of cell phones and other mobile devices while driving in any construction or maintenance zone, not just those with speed restrictions.
 
Drivers of commercial vehicles will now be completely banned from using mobile devices while driving. This new law contains an exception for emergencies, but you may be required to prove that emergency.
 
While we're on the subject of cell phones, House Bill 5099 prohibits motorists from using mobile devices when driving within 500 feet of an emergency scene. The new law aims to reduce distracted driving by banning talking, texting and taking photos on a mobile device near an emergency scene.
 
Illinois' businesses will no longer be allowed to request or collect information that gives them access to employee or prospective employees' social networking accounts like Facebook or Twitter.
 
Julie's Law goes into effect: This new law prohibits courts from granting supervision to any defendant charged with speeding greater than 30 mph over the posted limit, or in excess of 25 mph in an urban district.
 
It will no longer be legal in Illinois to own, sell, trade or distribute shark fins (we're not making this up). Shark fins are a delicacy used in making soup, and a real problem in Illinois. Animal rights activists say it's cruel an inhumane to harvest shark fins.