ILLINOIS (WEHT) — The new year is only a few days away and new laws are getting ready to go into effect. A big one for Illinois is the legalization of marijuana, but that’s only one of the many that will start on January first. There are still many more you might not know about.
More than 200 laws go into effect at the first of the year. Among those, a law that doubles the fine for people who drive around a stopped school bus. The first offense will go from $150 up to $300. If you get caught a second time, you’ll pay $1,000.
That’s not the only school-related law. Middle and high school students will learn more in sex education than they have in the past. Next year they will start receiving information on the meaning of consent to sexual activity. The law still says if a parent doesn’t want their child taking sex education they don’t have to.
When filling out an application for an ID or license, there’ll be a third option on the form along with male and female. A nonbinary box will be available to check.
A couple of new laws will address the state’s move over policy. When approaching an emergency vehicle pulled over on the side of the road the law says you need to slow down and move over to the next lane. With the new laws, improvements will be made that will better inform people of the law including fine and penalty increases. There will also be at least one question about it on the written driver’s test.
At the beginning of the year, restrooms that are intended for single-use or family use will now be gender-neutral.
The Department of Children and Family Services was in the spotlight this year after the death of some Illinois children. Because of this, new laws were written to make sure everyone is held accountable. DCFS will now have to refer any report of abuse or neglect to local law enforcement if the reporter has no relation to the child.
It will be law enforcement’s responsibility to determine if there is a need for criminal investigation or other actions.
The list of all laws going into effect on January first can be found here.
(This story was originally published on December 29, 2019)