Dozens of new Illinois laws take effect in 2015 - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Dozens of new Illinois laws take effect in 2015

CARTERVILLE, IL (KFVS) - Nearly 200 new state laws take effect in Illinois on the first day of 2015.

According to Illinois Senate Democrats, the nearly 200 new laws will effect Illinoisan's in the following categories: Agriculture & Natural Resources, Business &Economic Development, Civil Law, Consumers, Criminal Law, Education, Environment & Energy, Ethics, Family, Health, Higher Education, Housing, Human Services, Labor, Local Government, Pensions, Public Safety, Revenue & Taxes, Seniors, State Government, Transportation, and Veterans.

Below are an example of some of the laws taking affect Jan. 1.  

CYBER-BULLYING

Students can now face punishment for “cyber-bullying” outside the classroom. The law requires that Illinois schools must have a policy in place to investigate incidents of bullying. It also requires the school's to provide victims with information to support services, counseling, and related programs within the district community. The new law also expanded the state's definition “cyber-bullying.”

POLICE TICKET QUOTA'S
It's now illegal for police departments to require ticket quota's for speeding violations. Officers can no longer take your driver's licensee The speed limit on all Illinois interstate highways and toll roads will be 70 miles per hour for passenger vehicles and 60 miles per hour for semis. The new law will have the most effect on roads in the greater Chicago area.

MARIJUANA TO TREAT CHILDREN
Doctors can now use marijuana to treat both children and adults suffering from epilepsy. The law includes a stipulation that the Illinois Department of Public Health may create rules for minors relating to the use of non-smokeable marijuana to treat other diseases with the consent of their parents.

E-CIGARETTES BEHIND THE COUNTER

E-cigarettes and all other “alternative nicotine” products are now required to be sold behind the counter.

POLICE AND DRONES
Law enforcement agencies are no longer allowed to use drones. Exceptions are made if the police obtain a court order or if a probable threat to national security is found by the United States Secretary of Homeland Security.

PARENTS & UNDERAGE PARTIES

It is now illegal for parents or guardians to knowingly permit their home, property, vehicle or watercraft to be used for underage drinking. Violating the new law could mean an up to $2,00 fine.

BEST CANDIDATE JOB ACT

Employers may no longer ask a person's criminal history on job applications. Employers are allowed to ask once a person has been deemed qualified for an interview. The law only applies to employers with more than 15 employees and excludes emergency medical services and security related employers.

HARD CIDER IS A BEER
Illinois is changing the definition of beer to include hard ciders. All beverages brewed or fermented wholly or in part of malt products are considered beer.

BOOBY TRAPS BANNED
It's no illegal to set up “booby traps” in Illinois homes. The Illinois definition of a booby trap now includes the meaning “fortified condition,”or something that prevents entry into a home through use of video, motion sensors, or booby traps. Booby traps are defined as devices that are triggered by an act of a person approaching, entering, or moving through a structure and is designed to cause destruction of the evidence.

GRAY WOLF, BLACK BEAR, AND COUGAR PROTECTED

The gray wolf, American black bear and cougar have been added to the list of protected species under the Wildlife Code. Persons in Illinois may only kill one of these animals if you or your property are in immanent danger. You may apply for a permit to kill the animal if it becomes a nuisance.

Click here for a full list of the Illinois laws taking effect in 2015.

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