New laws take effect on a regular basis, but a majority are introduced at the beginning of the year. On January 1, 2019, more than 200 laws were put into place in Illinois. Many of the changes were in relation to gun control, public safety, health care, and education. As a citizen and resident of Illinois, it’s important to be aware of any law changes that could affect you. We’ll discuss a small number of the new laws below.
72-Hour Waiting Period for Firearms
Previously in Illinois, assault weapons, including the AR-15, could be obtained after a 24-hour waiting period. Only handgun purchasers were required to wait 72 hours. Now, however, all gun purchases made in the state, including those made by out-of-state visitors at Illinois State Police-recognized gun shows, are subject to the 72-hour waiting period. Stun gun and taser purchases are still under the 24-hour waiting period. Anyone who breaks this new law could be charged with a Class 4 felony.
Background Checks for Carnival Workers
In the event a carnival, amusement attraction, or fair does not conduct background checks for every ride operator, the state has the right to revoke their permit if they have violated this legal requirement three or more times. The fine for violations has been raised. For a first offense, the fine went from $1,000 to $5,000. The second offense fine is now maxed at $10,000 instead of $5,000. The third offense results in the permit being taken away.
Ban on Ivory
From now on, the import and sale of most ivory and ivory products are illegal in Illinois. There are some exceptions, however. Antique guns and knives that are more than 100 years old and musical instruments containing ivory that were made prior to 1975 are exempt from the new law. The Department of Natural Resources is allowed to establish rules allowing the transfer or sale of ivory for scientific or educational purposes.
Employee Expense Reimbursement
Employees no longer have to pay for something they need for work without being reimbursed. Employers are now required to reimburse employees for expenses that have been authorized or required by the company. Written reimbursement policies can be established. Employers will not be liable for anything that’s not in the agreed-upon policy or for loss related to employee negligence.
Increased Access to Substance Abuse Treatments
Delays in substance abuse treatments have resulted in death. The Emergency Opioid and Addiction Treatment Act removes the administrative barrier that previously denied an individual treatment if their insurance company did not authorize the care. Now, people with substance abuse disorders will have access to outpatient treatment immediately. If their insurance company denies the treatment, the new law requires the company to cover 72 hours of outpatient treatment to give the patient the opportunity to challenge the denial.
Penalties for Reckless Dog Owners
There are new penalties for negligent dog owners. A dog is considered dangerous if it kills another dog and is found running at large twice within the course of 12 months. The owners of the animal will be deemed reckless. They can be fined per animal, and the courts have the right to confiscate the dog 12 to 36 months after the first violation.
Preventing Violence Against Medical Staff
This law was established after an inmate at the Kane County Jail took two nurses hostage in an hours-long standoff after receiving medical care at Geneva’s Delnor Hospital. Now, all licensed health care facilities are required to establish violence prevention programs. This is for the benefit and safety of the staff. The law also creates whistleblower protections for staff and lays out safety guidelines for when inmates receive medical treatment.
Using the “Dutch Reach” While Driving
New information is now required in the “Rules of the Road” publication. This is the book people study to get their license. The “Dutch Reach” is a method of opening a car door that Illinois drivers will need to learn. It involves the driver checking the rear-view mirror, checking each side mirror, and turning to open their door with their right hand. This is to prevent hitting a cyclist. The secretary of state will include questions on this new method on the written portion of the driver’s license exam.
New laws could impact a personal injury case without you realizing it. That’s why the lawyers at Prince Law Firm stay up-to-date on all law changes in our state. If you have questions about law changes and how they might impact you or your family, contact us today.
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