New state laws to take effect Jan. 1

Jan. 1 is the default date for a new law to become effective in Illinois if there is no language specifying when it will become effective.

Notable laws taking effect in the state on Jan. 1 include several that will affect Illinois motorists.

Legislation reinstating “sign and drive” will take effect on Jan. 1. House Bill 2583 prohibits law enforcement from taking a driver’s license as bail following a traffic law or ordinance violation. Currently, Illinois is one of only six states that confiscates a driver’s license for a minor traffic offense.

New technologies, like surveillance drones and online communication platforms, continue to develop, inspiring a number of new laws taking effect on Jan. 1. House Bill 4594 allows for electronic search warrants to utilize services like Skype, which provide simultaneous audio and video transmission, as a way to request search warrants.

A number of laws have been introduced in recent years to regulate the use of drones and mitigate any potential violations of privacy that may result.

One such law taking effect Jan. 1 is Senate Bill 2937, which prohibits a law enforcement agency from using a drone owned by a third party to acquire information.

House Bill 5623 requires that a unit of local government or a school district that maintains a website (other than a social media or networking website), to post an email address that members of the public can use to communicate with elected officials of that unit of local government or school district.

 In recent years, social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, have become increasingly popular. Unfortunately, so has the practice of “cyber bullying.” In what some argued was an overreach of a school’s authority, House Bill 4207 requires schools to address electronic bullying under certain circumstances — even if the bullying occurred off-campus and was conducted by using private computers, cell phones, etc.

House Bill 5868, which requires e-cigarettes to be sold from behind the counter in an age-restricted area, or in a sealed display case, will also take effect on Jan. 1.

Last winter, Illinois experienced propane shortages that drove up the cost of propane to historic highs. Understanding that many in Illinois rely on this fuel to heat their homes, Senate Bill 3139 allows propane trucks to weigh up to 90,000 pounds during a declaration of an emergency propane supply disaster by the Governor under the Illinois Emergency Agency Act. This legislation is intended to increase the supply of propane and therefore decrease the price.

To view the entire list of new laws to take effect Jan. 1, visit online at and view the “Media” portion.

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