Each New Year brings a slew of changes to laws and regulations at the state and local level. For Illinois residents, 2016 is no exception. With 230+ new laws on the books as of January 1st, knowing where you stand isn’t always easy. Working with an Illinois personal injury lawyer is a great way to navigate the new legislation. Some highlights of new laws for 2016 include:
- Parking tickets can now be issued to drivers of non-electric vehicles who park in designated charging spots.
- Conversion therapy is now banned. This means referrals for therapy to alter the sexual orientation of a minor are no longer allowed.
- Bobcat hunting is now legal, with an appropriate permit during the Illinois open season.
- Financially exploited elderly and disabled people have new recourse through House Bill 1588. Under the new law, victims may pursue abusers for up to three times the amount lost plus attorney’s fees.
- Childcare workers must provide records verifying appropriate doses of the MMR and the Tdap vaccines. This change covers workers in facilities caring for children from birth to age six.
- Slides operated by amusement vendors are now classified as amusement rides. Amusement vendors must operate their slides under the same regulations as all other rides. This reclassification follows a series of injuries at Maggie Daley Park in recent years.
- Residents of long-term care facilities can install surveillance equipment to prevent abuse and or neglect by staff.
- Schools must have CO2 detectors or alarms installed.
- Student athletes receive better protection against concussion or other head injury this year. The Youth Sports Concussion Act mandates better staff training in identifying and managing concussions. Students now need a medical release for return to both the classroom and sports arenas.
- Powdered caffeine sales are now restricted to people 18 and older, this change is significant because the substance is dangerous. One teaspoon of powdered caffeine purportedly has as much caffeine as 28 cups of coffee.
- Two-time DUI offenders must now install breathalyzers on their personal and work vehicles for at least five years. Restricted permit holders guilty of causing death or injury while intoxicated are also bound by this stricture.
The general themes for this year’s new laws are public safety and equality. A complete list of laws that took effect as of January 1st can be found on the Illinois Legislature homepage.