When the clock strikes midnight on January 1, 2017, nearly 200 new laws will take effect in the state of Illinois. These laws, many of which were sponsored by members of the Senate Republican Caucus, cover everything from veterans’ affairs to families and children, hunting and trapping, and public safety.
The Annie LeGere Law
Prompted by the tragic death of 13-year-old Annie LeGere, who suffered a fatal anaphylactic reaction while at a sleepover party, House Bill 4462, also known as the Annie LeGere Law, will take effect as 2017 begins.
Annie’s Law provides better access to live-saving treatment for allergic reactions by expanding training for law enforcement on how to recognize and respond to anaphylaxis, including the administration of an epinephrine auto-injector.
Veterans and military families aided by new laws
Student musicians may now be excused from school in the case of a military funeral procession under a new law that takes effect on January 1. House Bill 4432 ensures that any Illinois public student, grades six through twelve, is permitted to attend a funeral of a deceased veteran during school hours for the purpose of playing “Taps,” a bugle call traditionally performed during flag ceremonies and military funerals.
To honor fallen soldiers, House Bill 4344 creates the Heroes Way Designation Program Act. The law allows for the families of veterans who were killed in action while on active duty to apply for a designation to honor the departed with a personal sign on designated roadways under the jurisdiction of the Illinois Department of Transportation.
This new law was inspired by a similar law in Missouri that allowed interstate interchanges to be designated for Missouri residents who were killed in action on or after September 11, 2001, in either Afghanistan or Iraq.
New laws focus on children
Children under the care of the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) will now have access to a greater family support system. House Bill 5656 requires that DCFS provide visitation privileges and accommodations to the grandparents and great-grandparents of a child under the department’s supervision—as long as it’s in the best interest of the child.
Amending Childhood Hunger Relief Act, Senate Bill 2393 is a new law this year that requires all school districts in Illinois to implement and operate a "breakfast after the bell" program. The legislation asserts that schools must provide breakfast for their students after the instructional day has begun—and may also begin serving before the day has begun.
New laws provide new ways to hunt and trap
In order to trap wild game in past years, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) required that all individuals must complete a hunting training course. Senate Bill 2410 has lifted that requirement and now permits that individuals ages 18 and under can trap wild game without certification as long as they are accompanied by an adult age 21 years or older.
Lastly, thanks to House Bill 5788, a new fishing law states that fishermen can now add catfish to the list of species that may be caught with a pitchfork, underwater spear gun, bow and arrow, or a bow and arrow device. Under the new measure, the DNR will authorize the selling of species taken by the above methods.
Being able to sell these fish not only benefits fishermen, but is also crucial to the state’s overall environmental health. The current overpopulation of Asian Carp throughout the state is causing irreparable damage to Illinois’ waterways and ecosystems. The DNR’s authorization will allow fisherman to sell the carp carcasses, which are often taken by non-traditional methods and can be used to make fertilizer—providing incentives to catch them in greater numbers.
VIDEO: 17 in 17
While nearly 200 new laws will take effect as the New Year begins, click here to see a video highlighting 17 of these new laws.
More details on these laws, and a full listing of all the new laws taking effect on January 1 can be found at www.senategop.state.il.us.