Rep. Bennett: New Year Ushers in 237 New Laws

January 1st ushers in the New Year and also 237 new state laws in Illinois, State Representative Tom Bennett said today.  Bennett (R-Gibson City) said local families should be aware of the wide-ranging changes.

Among the new laws about to take effect is the Right to Try Act (PA 99-0270) which may provide new hope to some battling a terminal illness. It will allow them, once they have considered all FDA-approved treatment options, to try new drugs or treatments in testing that have not yet been fully approved.

Also effective January 1st is a new law that creates a new state website to assist those wishing to start a new business or relocate their business to Illinois (PA 99-0134), and new guidelines that allow private employers in Illinois to support our veterans by adopting a voluntary veterans preference policy for hiring (PA 99-0152).

A measure winning unanimous approval in both House and Senate provides for creation of a new “Silver Alert” system to help notify the public when an adult with Alzheimer’s or dementia is missing (PA 99-0322). “Silver Alert” will work much the same way as an “Amber Alert” issued when a child is reported missing.

In light of the fact that Illinois has more units of local government than any other state in the nation lawmakers also adopted a four year ban on the creation of any new local government entities effective January 1 (PA 99-0353).

“These are good examples of the good things we can accomplish when we work together across party lines,” Representative Bennett said. “Every New Year affords us a fresh start. With renewed effort, I’m hopeful we can come together very soon on a responsible budget plan as well.”

Representative Bennett was the chief House sponsor of several new laws ready to take effect, including a measure ensuring school boards are permitted to discuss preventive security planning in closed meeting to help ensure the safety of students and staff (PA 99-0235), and enhanced protections for elderly or disabled victims of financial exploitation allowing the victims to recoup treble their losses in civil court proceedings (PA 99-0272).