The Illinois State Capitol
Many new laws passed by State Rep. Dwight Kay (R-Glen Carbon) and the Illinois General Assembly will take effect on Jan. 1, according to a press release from Kay’s office.
“I believe it is important to keep the constituents of the 112th District informed of upcoming changes in our laws,” Kay said. “A wide variety of legislation was presented to the General Assembly over this last year but there is still much work to be done. I look forward to working with our new governor in 2015 to bring much-needed reforms to Illinois.”
Some of the more notable bills effective Jan. 1 are a ban on police ticket quotas, stricter penalties for methamphetamine production near schools, “sign and drive” in Illinois, and gold star specialty license plates for the sons and daughters of Gold Star recipients.
Ban police ticket quotas
Police departments throughout the state will no longer be able to issue ticket quotas for their officers come Jan. 1.
“Many people throughout Illinois feel that ticket quotas place unnecessary pressure on officers and forces them to write citations they would not regularly issue,” Kay said. “This law will help to eliminate these types of situations and help keep departments focused on keeping the public safe and not about bringing in extra revenue.”
Kay co-sponsored Senate Bill 3411, which prohibits state and local police departments from having any type of quota regarding tickets. This law would still permit officers to be evaluated on many other key attributes such as the number of traffic stops, completed arrests and crime prevention measures.
Stricter penalties for methamphetamine production near schools
Another important law taking effect in January is House Bill 4093. This law, co-sponsored by Kay, increases the penalties for anyone who manufacturers methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a school. Previously, an individual who produced meth within 1,000 feet of a school could not be found guilty of aggravated participation in methamphetamine manufacturing. With this new law, any such offense would be a Class X felony with penalties ranging from six to 60 years in prison.
“One of my top priorities as state representative is keeping our young people safe,” Kay said. “Any individual found guilty of producing methamphetamine near a school should face the consequences for potentially endangering the lives of children.”
“Sign and Drive” traffic tickets
A new bill prohibiting police confiscation of driver’s licenses for certain traffic tickets will take effect on Jan. 1, 2015. Senate Bill 2583 will allow Illinois drivers to simply sign the traffic citation for tickets not requiring a court appearance in lieu of relinquishing their license. Signing the citation will not be an admission of guilt.
“Identification is an integral part of our society in today’s world and many people use their driver’s licenses as their main form of identification daily,” Kay said. “With that being the case, it is sensible to allow motorists to keep their driver’s licenses for minor traffic offenses.”
Gold Star specialty license plates
Sons and daughters of Gold Star recipients will be able to obtain honorary license plates to remember their loved ones. House Bill 5475 will finally permit sons and daughters of Gold Star recipients to receive the license plates from the secretary of state. Prior to this legislation, these plates were only available to widows and widowers, siblings and parents of those who gave their life while serving in the U.S. military.
“I am quite pleased that the General Assembly was able to come together to allow the sons and daughters of Gold Star recipients to receive honorary license plates,” Kay said. “This is truly a fitting tribute to the men and women who have fallen protecting our great nation. They will always be remembered.”
For more information about the new laws which will take effect in 2015, visit www.ilga.gov or http://www.ilga.gov/reports/static/Public%20Acts%20by%20Effective%20Date.pdf.