Immediately upon ringing in the New Year, 253 new laws will become effective in 2019 that have wide ranging impact. Here are few of those laws families should know about:

  • Children under the age of 2 years old must be restrained in rear facing car seats unless they weigh 40 or more pounds or are 40 or more inches tall. (PA100-0672)
  • Every Illinois school will be required to conduct at least one law-enforcement led active shooter drill a year. School safety drills must be conducted within 90 days of the start of the school year. (PA100-0996)
  • Nursing mothers upon request will be exempt from jury duty. (PA100-0696)
  • Stalking laws expanded to include messages sent through social media. Additionally, businesses, places of worship and schools can seek restraining orders against stalkers.
  • The Lyme Disease Prevention and Protection Act was enacted opening the door in Illinois for new treatments for Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases. (PA100-1137)
  • All children in kindergarten and the second, sixth, and ninth grades of any public, private or parochial school shall have a dental examination. (PA100-829)


FAMILIES
·        Illinois State Police describe new guidance for families concerning child car seats.  For most families, the most important feature of the new guidance from Illinois law enforcement is the requirement that all children under the age of two, who are traveling in a child-restraint system in a moving motor vehicle, be placed so that the seat is facing backward.  The new requirement responds to crash-test-dummy research that shows that relative to the movement of a motor vehicle, being in a child-restraint system facing backward is the safest place to be.

The child-restraint requirements will become law on January 1, 2019, but the State Police urges that parents adopt this new practice immediately.  Children from their second birthday to their eighth birthday must be secured in an appropriate child restraint system in the same way as under current law, but in contrast to babies and very young children they may face forward.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY

·        General Assembly takes step to reduce administrative expenses, consolidate operations.  Under the setup in place in Springfield’s Capitol Complex heading into Fiscal Year 2019, the Illinois General Assembly had two separate nonpartisan research offices.  The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (CGFA), the General Assembly’s budget-monitoring and research arm, was in place to examine and oversee trends involving Illinois’ tax revenues, budgets, and spending.  As a nonpartisan oversight panel with jurisdiction over cash flow issues, CGFA was in close contact with the General Assembly’s appropriations and revenue committees.  

At the same time, another nonpartisan office – the General Assembly’s Legislative Research Unit (LRU) – was available to conduct research projects into issues of state policy other than appropriations and budget matters.  For example, if a legislator or a legislative committee wanted to study the current status of legislation among the 50 states in issues such as criminal law or financial regulation, they could go to LRU and get a research report. 
PRESIDENT GEORGE H.W. BUSH

·       Funeral services held, National Day of Mourning for President George H.W. Bush.  George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st President of the United States, passed away at his Houston home on Friday, November 30th at the age of 94.

President George H.W. Bush was the last veteran of World War II to serve as president. Bush spent decades in public service, as a congressman, ambassador, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Vice-President for two terms under Ronald Reagan, then President of the United States from 1989-1993. 

In addition to serving as president, George H.W. Bush was the father of George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States. They were the only other father-son duo to serve terms as president besides John Adams and John Quincy Adams in the nation’s infancy.