As 2019 gets underway, more than 200 new laws have gone into effect in Illinois, intended to address issues ranging from school districts to sexual assault. Legislators representing portions of Kendall County served as chief sponsors on 18 of those new laws.
State Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora, sponsored almost half of the bills from local legislators, including: adding six new statements to the oath of office taken by all school board members in Illinois; allowing crime victims to have support persons present and eligible to testify at a trial, and prohibiting substantive issues from being decided at status hearings; creating the Broadband Advisory Council to expand access to broadband services and technology; allowing a law enforcement officer to take temporary custody of a dog or cat if the animal is exposed in a manner that is life-threatening or could cause injury; allowing a political subdivision to waive the public hearing, evaluation procedure and selection process for projects expected to cost less than $150,000; requiring animal control facilities and animal shelters to report intake and outcome statistics to the Department of Agriculture; and allowing out-of-state students and students who have completed the eighth grade to enroll in the Illinois Math and Science Academy in Aurora while charging tuition for out-of-state students.
State Rep. Stephanie Kifowit, D-Oswego, followed Holmes with three sponsorships of new laws. Those laws include: requiring that severance pay from a local government contract does not exceed more than 20 weeks of compensation and prohibits severance pay when the employee has been fired for misconduct; requiring the Illinois Department of Public Health, subject to appropriation, to publish and disseminate a brochure educating the general public on the effects and warning signs of concussions in children; and a bill creating the Healthcare Violence Prevention Act, which amends the Nurse Practice Act to create provisions for workplace violence against nurses in specified medical facilities regarding notice, contacting law enforcement and mental health services.
State Rep. Mark Batinick, R-Plainfield, served as the House sponsor for two bills going into effect in 2019. Those laws require any state-owned vehicle in need of an oil change be subject to the recommendations of the vehicle’s manufacturer, allowing Central Management Services to use that information to consider policy adjustments; and allowing school districts and regional offices of education to file mandate waiver requests electronically.
State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, D-Shorewood, and State Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia, D-Aurora, were each also responsible for helping get two laws through the House and Senate.
Chapa LaVia served as the house sponsor on the Senate bill sponsored by Holmes that allowed for out-of-state students and students who have completed the eighth grade to enroll in the Illinois Math and Science Academy and charged tuition to out-of-state students. She also served as the House sponsor of the Illinois Service Member Employment Rights & Reemployment Act, which covers the employment rights of service members, including employment protections, additional benefits for public employee members of a reserve group, rules against discrimination, notice of rights and duties, violations, enforcement, remedies, and rulemaking.
Bertino-Tarrant served as the Senate sponsor of a bill that requires public universities and community colleges to work with local high schools to grant dual credit to students who complete accredited courses; and a bill that requires the Secretary of State to issue distinctive registration plates for all covered farm vehicles.
State Sen. Jim Oberweis, R-Sugar Grove, served as the Senate sponsor of a House bill requiring that when power of attorney exists, the agent of the individual must provide records to a representative of the Office of the State Long Term Care Ombudsman within 21 days of a request to be assessed costs and attorney fees by the court.
State Rep. Keith Wheeler, R-Oswego, stood as the House sponsor of a Senate bill that allows service by email in administrative proceedings.