Turn the seat around: New laws
Rear-facing infant car seats lead new state regulations
By Ted Cox
Now that Illinoisans are through kicking up their heels for the holidays, they can plan to turn the seat around to mark the new year.
New state laws going into effect for 2019 are led by a regulation calling for infants to be in rear-facing car seats until their second birthday.
The Associated Press reported that the law demands that children be placed in rear-facing car seats — considered more safe for infants — until they’re 40 inches tall or weigh 40 pounds. The first offense carries a possible fine of $75. As ever, parents are warned not to place a car seat in a passenger seat with an airbag.
A new state commission also begins work on plans to celebrate the centennial of Route 66 in 2026, as areas of Illinois have already found the beloved “Most Famous Road in America” is serving to boost tourism.
There is now a 72-hour waiting period to buy a gun in Illinois. And hunters can now legally wear blaze pink in addition to blaze orange to alert other hunters they’re in the area. The state law allowing family members or police to petition courts to take guns away from those considered dangerous to themselves or other has gone into effect. Called the “red flag” gun law, it was signed by Gov. Rauner in July.
But another law requiring the state to license gun dealers will have to wait for the next General Assembly and Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker to pass it and sign it into law after Rauner vetoed it last year.
In a discouraging move the General Assembly nonetheless found necessary, all schools are now required to conduct an active-shooter drill annually.
The state Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse in the Department of Human Services is being renamed the Division of Substance Abuse Prevention and Recovery, as Illinois attempts to expand care and treatment for opioid addiction. A new law also requires those prescribing opioids to take a three-hour refresher course on the issue.
The Chicago Sun-Times also reported that the state is expanding a crackdown on so-called synthetic marijuana, after four people died and hundreds were made ill last year from substances that attempt to mimic the effects of pot through the use of compounds including a common rat poison.
A 1981 state law requiring African-American history to be taught in public schools is being toughened to set up confirmation for compliance, and public colleges will have to offer courses in black history as well. The new Equal Pay Act bans African-Americans from being paid at a rate different from other employees for the same work.
Legislators put teeth in a law requiring carnival operators to conduct background checks on those operating rides, allowing permits to be pulled for failing to comply.
Stalking laws have specifically been amended to include harassment through social media, and businesses and places of worship can now also seek restraining orders against stalkers.
Nursing mothers will be exempt from jury duty.