Several laws take effect July 1

Not only will a new fiscal year begin on July 1, but many news laws will also take effect starting Monday. From increasing the age to purchase tobacco products to changing what is considered a full day of school, these new laws cover a wide range of topics.

Tobacco 21

What is possibly the most high-profile new law to take effect on July 1 is what is being referred to as the Tobacco 21 law. The new law increases the age to purchase tobacco, electronic cigarettes, or alternative nicotine products from 18 to 21.

Furthermore, it eliminates penalties for underage possession; however, retailers will still be fined for selling restricted products to underage customers.

A number of communities in Illinois already have Tobacco 21 rules, but beginning July 1, this will be the statewide standard.

Texting While Driving Penalties

On July 1, stiffer penalties will be implemented as Illinois’ law regarding the use of hand-held devices behind the wheel takes effect. Passed by the General Assembly last year, House Bill 4846 will count first-time incidences of driving while operating a handheld mobile device as a “moving violation.” Prior to HB 4846, first offenses of distracted driving would be considered a “non-moving violation.”

An operator using a hand-held device while the car is in drive could face a $75 fine. Exceptions to the rule are made for situations such as a driver using an cell phone to report an emergency, using a device in hands-free or voice-operated modes, or a driver using a communication device while parked on the shoulder of a roadway.

Three moving violations in a year can result in a suspended license in Illinois.

Additional Laws Taking Effect July 1:

State Hospital Residents ID (SB 2903/PA 100-0717): Requires the Secretary of State to issue a standard Illinois ID card to a person upon conditional release or absolute discharge from the custody of the Illinois Department of Human Services.
Chronic Absence Data Collection (HB 5771/PA 100-0819): Requires any preschool that receives funding via the Preschool for All program to collect and review its chronic absence data and determine what systems of support and resources are needed to positively engage chronically absent students and their families to encourage the habit of daily attendance and promote success.
Diversion from Institutionalization Homes Program (SB 2424/PA 100-0924): Requires the Illinois Department of Human Services to create the Diversion from Facility Based Care Program consisting of at least six homes in various locations to serve individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities who are at risk of institutionalization.
Government Entity Billing (SB 544/PA 100-0994): Amends the Criminal and Traffic Assessment Act to allow for billing of certain government entities by circuit clerk for civil filing fees and to clarify civil case debt collection fees.
Illinois Liquor Control Commission Reorganization (SB 3022/PA 100-1050): Removes the ILCC from its reorganization under the Department of Revenue (DOR).
School Report Card Attendance (SB 1532/PA 100-0448): Provides that the State Report Card for schools must contain data on average daily attendance.
Instructional Day Definition (SB 28/PA 101-0012):  Defines a school instructional day as a minimum of five clock hours of seat time.  Provides that the following participation in dual credit enrollment, in a supervised career development experience, in a youth apprenticeship or in a blended learning program will be counted towards the calculation of clock hours of school work per day. Also, expands the e-learning pilot program to all school districts and provides that the regional offices of education or intermediate service centers have the responsibility to verify e-learning programs prior to their use in a school district.
Meat Products for Personal Use (SB 1364/PA 100-1185): Expands the options a Type I establishment may pursue to process or slaughter meat for his or her own personal use.
Criminal Fines (Senate Bill 1328/PA 100-1161): Increases the minimum felony fine from $25 to $75.

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