From the "tampon tax" being retired to marijuana being further decriminalized, a host of new laws are set to take effect in Illinois on Jan. 1. Here's some of the nearly 200 laws that are set to kick in at the start of the new year.
Gov. Bruce Rauner signed legislation in August that eliminates sales tax on feminine hygeine products. The measure elimates a 6.25 percent tax on tampons and menstrual pads.
In July, Rauner signed legislation making marijuana possession in small amounts punishable by fines but not jail times. Under the new law, possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana will be a civil offense, punishable with a fine of up to $200.
Starting next year, bikers will have the same rights as drivers, including right-of-way rights.
Selling Lead Hazards
Owners of properties with known lead hazards must notify prospective lessees or buyers prior to entering into a new contract. If lead is found, the owner must remove the hazard and receive certification before entering into a new lease or sales contract.
The sale of bath salts, a group of synthetic designer drugs, will now be considered a Class 3 felony with a maximum fine of $150.
The state's new sexual assault incident procedure will go into effect in the new year. The protocol requires officers to complete written reports of every sexual assault complaint, gives victims a longer period to request a rape kit, and speeds up forensic testing.
Juvenile Criminal Justice
The state took a series of steps to reform the juvenile criminal justice system this year. The Juvenile Court Act of 1987 was amended so that minors can't be remanded to the Department of Juvenile Justice for a list of Class 4 felonies, including criminal trespass to a residence, criminal damage to property, and criminal defacement of property.
A separate measure automatically expunges records for juveniles who weren't charged, had charges dismissed, or completed court supervision.
Additionally, a new law requires that minors under the age of 15 be represented by legal counsel throughout interrogations for homicide and certain sexual offenses.
At the start of the new year, employers are required to extend sick leave policies to the immediate family of employees. Workers will be allowed to use half of their allotted sick days to care for family members.
Another new measure prohibits companies from asking employees making less than $13.50 an hour to enter into a non-compete agreement.
Next year, domestic workers will be allowed certain protections enabling them to sue for harassment and discrimination, collect minimum wage and overtime pay, and receive at least one full day to rest every calendar week.
Additionally, yoga training will no longer be regulated by the state.