PA 98-0981 (HB 5526) Kratom Control Act
Creates the Kratom Control Act, providing that a minor under 18 years of age shall not knowingly purchase or possess any product containing any quantity of Kratom, nor knowingly purchase or possess product containing Kratom. Persons caught distributing Kratom to minors are guilty of a Class B misdemeanor for which the fine will be no less than $500.

PA 98-0983 (HB 5868) Electronic Cigarettes
Amends the Display of Tobacco Products Act, providing that alternative nicotine products (electronic cigarettes) must be sold from behind the counter or in an age restricted area or in a sealed display case.

PA 98-1021 (HB 5689) Special packaging for e-cigarettes
The new law provides that electronic cigarette liquids sold and marketed for the refilling of e-cigarettes may be sold only in special packaging. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) shall adopt rules establishing the standards for special packaging to be used for e-cigarette liquids.

PA 98-1014 (HB 802) Reforms to lineup procedures
This law is meant to reform the lineup procedures in Illinois to prevent false identifications ultimately leading to wrongful convictions. Among its requirements are procedures to prevent a lineup administrator from knowing the identity of a suspect and requires law enforcement agencies to adopt written guidelines for using simultaneous lineups and sequential lineups.

PA 98-1017 (HB 4745) Keeping alcohol out of the hands of minors  

HB 4745 makes changes in provisions that prohibit the sale or furnishing of alcohol to, and the possession of alcohol by, persons under the age of 21. It is unlawful for any person to knowingly permit his or her residence, any other private property under his or her control, or any vehicle, watercraft, or conveyance to be used by an invitee under the age of 21 in a manner that violates the prohibition. It also makes provisions in the case of rental property.
PA 98-0869 (HB 5475) Gold Star specialty license plates
Surviving sons and daughters of military Gold Star recipients are now included among those who may be issued Gold Star specialty license plates by the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office. Those already eligible for the plates are surviving widows/widowers, siblings and parents.

PA 98-0879 (SB 3255) Eases requirements for disabled veteran parking placards
This law removes a requirement that a disabled parking placard or decal which has been issued to a veteran must be renewed every four years. The new law states that once a disabled parking placard or decal has been issued to a veteran who has been permanently disabled, that veteran does not have to keep coming back to the Secretary of State’s office for a renewal every four years.

PA 98-0902 (HB 4491) Purple Heart License Plate Fee Waiver
To honor those who have served in the military and earned the Purple Heart, Illinois will now waive the payment of any registration or registration renewal fee for an individual issued a Purple Heart license plate. The law will also allow individuals who have been issued the Purple Heart license plate and qualify under the Senior Citizens and Disabled Persons Property Tax Relief Act to obtain a plate for an additional vehicle for a $24 registration fee.

PA 98-0870 (SB 2583) “Sign and drive” in Illinois
This new law institutes “sign and drive” in Illinois by prohibiting the confiscation of a motorist’s driver’s license as bail when stopped and cited for a minor (no jail time) traffic offense. Since 9/11, the need for appropriate, state-issued photo identification has become a necessity in order to travel, obtain health-care, renting vehicles, etc. The driver’s license is still the standard, accepted form of photo identification.

PA 98-1103 (SB 2802) Proof of online license plate renewal
Allows a printed receipt of online license plate renewal to serve as proof of renewal until the sticker is received in the mail.

PA 98-0743 (HB 5688) Police bulletproof vest requirement
Requires law enforcement agencies to provide a bulletproof vest for every new law enforcement officer, and to replace each vest before the warranty expires. Requires that each government agency covered under this law will be required to apply to the United States Department of Justice under the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant of 1998 to help pay for the purchase. Federal reimbursement is available for up to half the cost of the bulletproof vests and the state will be responsible for the remaining half that will otherwise be covered by the law enforcement agency.

PA 98-0883 (HB 2513) Building storm shelters in new schools
This law requires all new school construction in Illinois to include a storm shelter which meets the minimum requirements of the International Code Council and National Storm Shelter Association. The legislation was inspired by the devastation left by deadly tornadoes which ripped through Illinois in 2012 and 2013.

PA 98-1001 (HB 5742) EMS – Stroke Center Designations Established
Amends the Emergency Medical Services Act and adds an “Acute Stroke-Ready Hospital” and “Comprehensive Stroke Center” designations and that require a certification using evidence-based standards from a nationally-recognized certifying body approved by the Department of Public Health; Defines the membership of the “Regional Stroke Advisory Subcommittee” and creates annual fees for these stroke center designations between $100 - $500 to be deposited into the Stroke Data Collection Fund to be used to collect data on stroke victims, treatments, and outcomes.

PA 98-0886 (HB 3765) Recommended follow-ups after a mammogram
When the Department of Public Health issues its written summary regarding early detection and treatment of breast cancer, it must now also inform individuals of recommended follow-up tests. The Department must use layman’s terms when making its summary.

PA 98-0911 (HB 4790) Hair Braiding Licensure Standards
Provides that an individual licensed as a hair braider teacher may practice hair braiding without being licensed as a hair braider. The purpose of this change is to bring the same standards to barber oversight as is done with cosmetology.
Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I hope you are enjoying this holiday season. With the New Year just around the corner, it is important to note that more than 200 new laws become effective in Illinois on January 1st. While many of the changes are relatively small and technical in nature, below are a few I think you should know about. Over the course of the upcoming days, we will roll-out short synopses of these new laws.

 PA 98-0704 (HB 5949) Access to Birth Certificates of Adopted Persons
Allows adult grandchildren to access birth certificates and other information regarding their deceased grandparents if the grandparent was adopted. Also allows a birth parent of an adopted child to receive a non-certified copy of an original birth certificate if certain conditions are met.

PA 98-0638 (SB 2727) Ban Synthetic Microbeads in Cosmetic Products
Prohibits the manufacture or sale of any cosmetic products that contains synthetic plastic microbeads, a pollutant composed of non-biodegradable solid plastic particle used to exfoliate or cleanse in a rinse-off product. Illinois is the first state to enact such legislation, aimed at protecting the Great Lakes and other bodies of water.
 
PA 98-1089 (SB 352) Internet sales tax collection
Will allow the State to use an Internet “click-through” relationship as a way to demand that the Internet retailer collect and remit sales taxes to the State of Illinois.

PA 98-0774 (HB 5701) ‘Ban the Box’ bill Prohibits employers from seeking information regarding a potential employee’s criminal history until after an invitation to interview or a conditional offer of employment has been extended. Intended to allow job seekers with criminal history to be considered on their merits and experience rather than being dismissed out of hand for an offense.

PA 98-0650 (SB 3411) Ban Police Ticket Quotas
The law prohibits county, municipal, conservation, and state police agencies from implementing ticket quotas. Officers may still be evaluated on “points of contact,” including the number of traffic stops completed, arrests, written warnings and crime prevention measures. Initiative enacted to refocus law enforcement on public safety instead of revenue generation.

PA 98-0738 (HB 5503) Local audit reports
In response to the ex-treasurer/comptroller of the City of Dixon who was convicted for embezzling at least $30 million of the city’s funds, this law provides greater oversight and review of the financial activities, auditing practices, and financial status of municipalities and counties to help prevent such a theft of public funds in the future. Requires auditors of a local government to provide a copy of the reports to each member of the county board or city council, and to post this information on the local government’s website, if it maintains a website, within 60 days of the close of an audit.

PA 98-0775 (SB 2636) Use of medical cannabis for minors
Amends the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act to add the use of medical cannabis for seizures and epilepsy including for minors under the age of 18. Allows the Illinois Department of Public Health to create rules saying minors must have parental consent and/or minors may not smoke the cannabis (instead consume cannabis infused products); IDPH is not required to create these rules, but can if they so choose.

PA 98-0801 (HB 4207) Cyber Bullying into School Code
Requires all schools, public or private to add cyber bullying into the school code and policy to investigate an act of bullying.

PA 98-0824 (SB 2709) Disallows blood donation as a form of community service
Amends various criminal codes in relation to juveniles, primarily the Juvenile Court Act of 1987. States that donating blood or working at a blood bank no longer qualifies as court ordered public or community service. 

PA 98-0831 (SB 2937) Allows for the use of drones during disasters or public health emergencies Amends the Freedom from Drone Surveillance Act to prevent law enforcement from using information from private third party drones, unless the owner of the drone provides it freely. Allows for use of drones without a search warrant during a disaster or public health emergency. Allows drones to be used to monitor weather or emergency conditions and declare a disaster or public health emergency.
Illinois mourns the loss of one of our state's most honorable public servants today. Judy Baar Topinka was a great friend and dedicated leader who worked tirelessly to make a positive difference for the people of Illinois. She will be forever missed.