Publications

Articles on Legislation

New proposal to protect children who testify; S.B. 0027

March
2001
Illinois Law Update
Page 116
Under current Illinois law, courts may permit children under 18 who are witnesses in certain criminal prosecutions like sexual assault, predatory sexual assault of a child, and sexual abuse to testify via closed-circuit television outside the courtroom if the judge determines that in-court testimony would result in the child suffering serious emotional distress.

Protection from public hazards in litigation proposal ; H.B. 0075

March
2001
Illinois Law Update
Page 116
If approved by the General Assembly, a new legislative proposal would help protect Illinois citizens from agreements or judgments that attempt to conceal public hazards.

Damaging property gets more expensive for offenders - P.A. 91-931

February
2001
Illinois Law Update
Page 60
Persons who damage or deface property may now face stiffer penalties as a result of a new Illinois law.

“Eliminate the Digital Divide” Program

February
2001
Illinois Law Update
Page 60
On November 6, 2000, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs (DCCA) adopted emergency rules to section 546 of the Illinois Administrative Code.

Governor’s amendatory veto to Criminal Code legislation accepted; P.A. 91-928

February
2001
Illinois Law Update
Page 60
As one of its few acts during the fall veto session, the 91st Illinois General Assembly accepted Gov. George H. Ryan's amendatory veto of crime legislation.

Law requires expanded background checks for all potential employees of park and school districts; P. A. 91-885

February
2001
Illinois Law Update
Page 60
Gov. George H. Ryan approved legislation that mandates background checks of all applicants seeking employment at park districts or school districts.

Students can opt-out of classroom dissections under new law; P.A. 91-771

February
2001
Illinois Law Update
Page 60
Students who do not want to take part in classroom dissections no longer have to under the newly created Dissection Alternatives Act.

Law requires labeling of gasoline containing MTBE—P.A. 91-718

January
2001
Illinois Law Update
Page 14
In early June, Gov. George H. Ryan approved legislation that will let consumers know if they are buying gasoline containing the methanol derivative methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE).

Legislation mandates legal representation for pre-teens suspected of murder or sex crimes — P.A. 91-915

January
2001
Illinois Law Update
Page 14
Gov. George H. Ryan approved legislation that ensures legal representation for young minors suspected of murder or sex offenses.

Legislation prohibits all sales of bidi cigarettes—P.A. 91-734

January
2001
Illinois Law Update
Page 14
Legislation approved this summer prohibits the sale of thin, marijuana look-alike cigarettes called bidis.

Tailgates on certain vehicles must be in good repair - P.A. 91-858

January
2001
Illinois Law Update
Page 14
A law requiring motorists on Illinois highways to use tarpaulins or covers in some instances will now require many of those same vehicles to have effective tailgates.

Vehicular noise statute constitutional once again; P.A. 91-919

January
2001
Illinois Law Update
Page 14
Drivers operating amplified stereo systems that can be heard for more than 75 feet outside the vehicle are once again subject to punishment by state law.

Law permits seizure and disposition of gang property - P.A. 91-876

December
2000
Illinois Law Update
Page 690
Beginning next year, Illinois law enforcement officials will have an additional incentive to identify members of streetgangs.

Legislation shifts burden of proof—P.A. 91-770

December
2000
Illinois Law Update
Page 690
Persons found not guilty by reason of insanity will bear the burden of proving that they are well enough to leave a secure mental hospital under an amendment to the Uniform Code of Corrections.

Local Government Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights created—P.A. 91-920

December
2000
Illinois Law Update
Page 690
Gov. George H. Ryan signed the Local Government Taxpayers' Bill of Rights Act on July 7, 2000.

New hearsay exception for “safe zone testimony” ; P.A. 91-899

December
2000
Illinois Law Update
Page 690
Under a recent change to the Illinois Code of Criminal Procedure, certain hearsay evidence will soon be admissible in some circumstances.

Criminal trespass to residence now felony in some circumstances; P.A. 91-895

November
2000
Illinois Law Update
Page 624
As a result of a new Illinois law, the Illinois State Police established a pilot program aimed at testing technology designed to measure driver impairment caused by alcohol or other drug use.

Harassing and Obscene Communications Act amended; P.A. 91-878

November
2000
Illinois Law Update
Page 624
First-time offenders that place harassing telephone calls are normally guilty of a Class B misdemeanor, and repeat offenders face a minimum of 14 days in jail or 240 hours of public service work.

Legislation gives courts resources to keep track of multiple offenders of traffic laws; P.A. 91-716

November
2000
Illinois Law Update
Page 624
Under newly enacted amendments to the Illinois Vehicle Code, courts will have the resources to crack down on motorists who repeatedly violate traffic laws and take advantage of court supervision.

Legislature mandates pilot of new DUI technology; P.A. 91-881

November
2000
Illinois Law Update
Page 624
As a result of a new Illinois law, the Illinois State Police established a pilot program aimed at testing technology designed to measure driver impairment caused by alcohol or other drug use.

Uniform Penalty and Interest Act amended to create new penalty structure; P.A. 91-803

November
2000
Illinois Law Update
Page 624
Illinois taxpayers will pay less in penalties and interest as a result of amendments to the Uniform Penalty and Interest Act.

Certain sex offenders prohibited from living near schools; P.A. 91-911

October
2000
Illinois Law Update
Page 563
Although no sex offender will be forced to move from his or her home, certain offenders will no longer be allowed to reside near certain protected areas under a new Illinois law signed by Gov. George H. Ryan.

Dissemination of secret videotapes or photographs now a Class 4 felony P.A. 91-910

October
2000
Illinois Law Update
Page 563
Knowingly videotaping or photographing persons in locker rooms, changing rooms, or hotel bedrooms will soon be a Class A misdemeanor under a new amendment to the Criminal Code.

Sexual assault evidence may be released by health officials in new circumstances; P.A. 91-888

October
2000
Illinois Law Update
Page 563
Under a new Illinois law, sexual assault evidence collection kits may be released in an increased number of situations to facilitate prosecutions of alleged offenders.

Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act amended; P.A. 91-875

October
2000
Illinois Law Update
Page 563
The number of persons considered "sexually violent" may increase as a result of recent changes to the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act.

Governor signs new law mandating the preservation of evidence, withholds authority to exercise amendatory veto P.A. 91-871

September
2000
Illinois Law Update
Page 500
The 91st General Assembly has taken a second major step toward ensuring criminal justice by requiring that physical evidence used to convict criminals be preserved for DNA and other testing in post-trial proceedings.

Public and appellate defenders once again granted immunity — P.A. 91-877

September
2000
Illinois Law Update
Page 500
Public and appellate defenders and those who contract for their services are once again immune from legal and professional malpractice claims under a new Illinois law.

Drug abusers may lose children; P.A. 91-802

August
2000
Illinois Law Update
Page 438
Beginning next year, more unfit parents may begin losing custody of their children.

DUI fine increase to raise revenue for police equipment ; P.A. 91-822

August
2000
Illinois Law Update
Page 438
Illinois law enforcement officials may soon get new equipment to aid in making the state's highways safer.

Procedures for determining “best interest” of child in custody proceedings clarified; P.A. 91-746

August
2000
Illinois Law Update
Page 438
In response to a recent appellate court decision, the General Assembly passed and the governor recently approved legislation clarifying the process for requesting court-ordered evaluations in child custody proceedings.

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