New Illinois laws going into effect in 2018

CHICAGO -- On January 1, 2018, more than 200 new laws will go into effect in Illinois.

You can view the full list of new Illinois laws here, but here are some of the highlights:

Animal Rights

Pets treated more like children in custody cases - SB 1261

When pets are considered marital assets, who gets custody can become part of the proceedings. For more information, visit this link.

Funds to Manage Feral Cat Colonies - SB641

Under the new law, counties in the state will be able to tap into animal population control funds to support programs aimed at reducing feral cat populations. Counties can choose to use a portion of their funds to pay for the four-step program known as trap, neuter, vaccinate and return or TNVR. For more information, visit this link.

Ending elephant abuse in circuses - SB1342

Confinement and brutal training practices mean elephants are often abused while in circuses or traveling animal acts. African and Asian elephants can no longer be used in these settings in Illinois. Illinois will become the first state to ban the use of elephants in circuses and other traveling exhibits.


Dry Cleaners, Hair Salons Need to List Prices - SB 298

Women often end up paying more than men for dry cleaning, haircuts and other services. A new state law requires price lists for standard services so customers can make more informed decisions

New Training for Restaurant Managers - HB2510

Managers of Category 1 restaurants must undergo accredited food allergen awareness and safety training under a new law within 30 days of being hired. Recertification will be required every three years.

Consumers’ Online Reviews, Complaints Protected - SB 1898

Protects consumers from unknowingly giving freedom to speak freely about their online experiences, and prevents consumers from being intimidated or penalized for doing so.

Boosting Commerce and Economic Development - SB 2012/HB 736

Helps stimulate economic development and job creation by extending the state's Angel Investment Credit to encourage entrepreneurs and start-up businesses, while another law allows for a small-business grant program for public aid recipients interested in developing a start-up business.

Child Safety

Child Safety Database - HB 2388

Gives parents peace of mind by creating a searchable database of day care homes and centers that have had licenses revoked and the status of application for renewal.

Targeting Child Abuse - HB2708

Assists in the investigation of child abuse and neglect by authorizing certain Department of Children and Family Services employees' access to the Prescription Monitoring Program database.

Foster Children Rights - HB 3542

Ensures that a foster child be placed in the most family-like setting available and in close proximity to his or her parents' home, which will ensure consistency with his or her health, safety, best interests and special needs.


Targeting Drug Crime - SB 639

Allows someone to be charged with a drug-induced homicide, even if the drug delivery that led to the death took place outside of Illinois.

Personal Security Online - hate crimes - HB3711 + HB 3251

Intimidation, stalking, cyber-stalking or transmission of obscene messages could be considered hate crimes.

A related measure expands cyberstalking penalties to cover tracking software and threats.

Law Enforcement Education - HB 270

Requires each law enforcement agency to have a written policy regarding the investigation of an officer involved in sexual assault.

Helping Domestic Violence Survivors - SB 57

Allows domestic violence survivors to petition to keep their current cell phone number without approval  of the primary account holder.

Driving/On the Roads

No More Driving with ‘For Sale’ Signs - HB 733

All signs -- including 'For Sale' signs -- decals or paperwork must be removed from a car's front windshield or windows before a test drive. This law stems from the death of Brendan Burke, who was killed in a car accident by a driver whose vision was obstructed by decals and paperwork.

Cracking Down on DUI - HB 3084

Establishes that for sentencing purposes, driving on a suspended or revoked license based on an aggravated DUI that causes a death, will be treated the same way as based on a reckless homicide.

Cyclists Can Ride on the Shoulder - HB1784

A new law will permit bicycling on road shoulders and will allow motorists to pass cyclists in no-passing zones. Driver will be allowed to cross into the oncoming lane in a no-passing zone to safely pass a cyclist who is riding at less than half the posted speed zones.


Organ Donor Registry - HB1805

Gift of Life Hundreds of Illinoisans are waiting for life-saving organ transplants. A new state law gives 16 and 17 year olds the option of signing up to be organ and tissue donors when they apply for a driver’s license or identification card.

Breast Cancer Detection - SB 314

Requires insurers to provide coverage for a breast MRI if a mammogram demonstrates heterogeneous or dense breast tissue (when medically necessary).

Mental Health Awareness - HB 375 AND HB 3502

Requires education of all law enforcement officers on mental health systems and illnesses.

Another new law establishes a council that will look into ways to implement statewide early identification and treatment of mental health conditions.

Resident Home Safety - HB 223

Protects those nursing home residents with a history of memory loss and wandering with an ID bracelet, as a means to ensure their safety.

LGBTQ Issues

Changing Gender on Birth Certificates - HB 1785

Transgender and intersex individuals will be allowed to change the gender on their birth certificates without going through gender reassignment--or gender confirmation--surgery. The change on the paperwork can be made as long as the person is under a doctor's care.


Helping our veterans - SB 1238/SB 866/SB 838/HB 3701

Provides our returning veterans with the tools they need to be successful in civilian life by: expanding the number of veterans courts in the state; informing veterans about service animals; raising cancer awareness through the creation of a cancer screening program; and awarding academic credits for corresponding military training.


Barack Obama Day is Aug. 4 - SB 55

August 4 is our 44th President’s birthday. It’s also now Barack Obama Day in Illinois to honor the Chicagoan’s historic election and two terms in the White House.


Pre-K kids can't be expelled from school - HB 2663

Expelled from preschool? Early childhood programs will need to find services to help young children resolve problems rather than simply kicking them out.

School Asthma Response - SB 1846

Requires the Department of Public Health to develop rules and procedures to include asthma in the standard school health examination.

Women's Issues

Abortion Expansion - HB 40

Expands taxpayer funding for abortions and ensures that abortion remains legal in Illinois. Allows for the use of tax dollars to fund abortions for any reason, including purely elective procedures, mandating state insurance and Medicaid coverage of abortion, induced miscarriage or premature birth.

Schools Must Accommodate Nursing Mothers - HB2369

Public and charter schools must provide space for nursing mothers. The space needs to be a private room with an electrical outlet and cannot be a bathroom. Students will be permitted under the law to bring any equipment needed to pump breast milk. Students must also have access to a refrigerator to store their milk and can not be penalized for time spent pumping for breast feeding their child.