As a new year begins, Illinois residents may be interested to learn about several notable new laws that take effect January 1.
The new laws kicking off 2020 cover everything from recreational cannabis sales, to ensuring children are receiving adequate healthcare.
New DCFS requirements seek to better protect children
The Department of Children and Family Services spent much of 2019 under scrutiny following its mishandling of the abuse of a five-year-old child, who was later beaten to death by his parents.
This tragic event, along with other mishandled issues inside the Department, led the General Assembly to take a more in-depth look into the agency and pass several new requirements to better protect the children under DCFS care.
Beginning January 1, DCFS will have to meet the following requirements:
· House Bill 831/PA 101-0043: DCFS must notify the Department of Public Health and the Department of Healthcare and Family Services of all reports involving children alleged to have been abused or neglected while hospitalized.
· House Bill 3587/PA 101-0155: DCFS must establish and maintain a toll-free number to respond to requests from the public about its post-placement and post-adoption support services.
· Senate Bill 1743/PA 101-0166: DCFS must develop and conduct a standardized survey to gather feedback from children who are aging out or have transitioned out of the foster care system, and place a locked suggestion box in each group home and shelter.
· Senate Bill 1239/ PA 101-0583: DCFS must report alleged abuse or neglect of a child by a person who is not the child’s parent, a member of the child’s immediate family, a person responsible for the child’s welfare, an individual residing in the same home of the child or a paramour of the child’s parent to the appropriate local enforcement agency.
Senator Curran supported and voted "yes" to these important new protections for children.
New laws protect pets
Laws protecting pets are among those that will take effect January 1.
At the start of the new year, cat owners will be required to have their cats vaccinated for rabies. All cats four months or older, excluding feral cats, must receive a rabies vaccination and have a subsequent vaccination within a year of the first one occurring.
Senator Curran voted in favor of this new law to protect pets.
New laws ensure privacy, protect personal information
Protecting individuals’ personal information is the intent behind several new laws taking effect January 1.
House Bill 2189/PA 101-0132 prohibits direct-to-consumer commercial genetic testing companies from sharing any genetic test information or other personally identifiable information about a consumer with any health or life insurance company without written consent from the consumer.
Under Senate Bill 1624/PA 101-0343, data breaches impacting more than 500 Illinois residents as a result of a single breach must be reported in the most expedient time possible to the Attorney General.
House Bill 2408/PA 101-0385 prohibits a person from posting private compromising images of another person online. It also provides for a process for a person to obtain a “take-down” order to have the images removed.
Senator Curran voted for these important new privacy protections.
New laws ensure children receive proper healthcare
Ensuring children get the medical care they deserve is the goal of several new laws taking effect on January 1.
School-aged children who are registered as medical cannabis patients will be allowed to take their medication at school under Senate Bill 455/PA 101-0370. This new law requires all schools, under the supervision of a school nurse or administrator, to administer medical cannabis to qualifying patients while on school premises or at a school-sponsored activity. The product must be stored with the school nurse at all times and only accessible to themselves or an administrator.
Also, starting January 1, insurance companies will be required to provide coverage for EpiPen injectors for children. EpiPen is the brand name of a device that delivers the drug epinephrine, which is a life-saving medication used when someone is experiencing a severe allergic reaction. House Bill 3435/PA 101-0281 requires companies offering health insurance policies in Illinois to pay for these devices as long as they are deemed "medically necessary" for the child.
And in an effort to prevent infant deaths caused by Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), coroners will have to follow stricter requirements following an investigation. Often, infant deaths are attributed to SIDS, even when there are several unsafe factors present at the scene where the infant passed that could have contributed to the death. Senate Bill 1568/PA 101-0338 requires coroners to fill out a form listing any environmental factors pertinent to the infant's death. It requires the Department of Public Health to use that information to publish materials concerning SIDS.
Curran voted "yes" to these new protections for children's health.
New laws address sexual misconduct
Laws addressing sexual misconduct are among those that will take effect January 1.
House Bill 2135/PA 101-0130 removes the statute of limitations for criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, and aggravated criminal sexual abuse. This new law allows victims to press charges at any time after the incident occurred. Previously, victims had to come forward within 10 years of the offense.
Senator Curran voted in support of this new protection for victims of assault.
The full list of new laws taking effect on January 1
There’s more to know as 2020 kicks off! To view a full list of laws taking effect January 1, visit: https://ilsenaterepublicans.blob.core.windows.net/antilles/resources/7145c18d-a0c3-4591-ab49-c658f127be97/Jan1NewLawsCategorizedFINAL.pdf