An ongoing look at laws set to take effect Jan. 1
Friday, December 21, 2012
Tougher penalties are in store for a variety of offenses beginning in January, while victims of crime may find it easier to receive compensation for financial losses. And new information on driver's licenses could also make it easier for service providers to identify veterans and steer them toward available services under another new law that begins January 1.
Below are a few of the dozens of new laws set to go into effect January 1 that were sponsored or co-sponsored by Republican lawmakers:
Underage Drinking (HB 1554/PA 97-1049)
This measure, co-sponsored by Republican State Sen. Pam Althoff is designed to crack down on parents or other adults who allow underage drinking parties on property they own or control. While parents can already be prosecuted for allowing underage drinking parties in their homes, this measure extends the ban to other property, such as barns, cabins, boathouses and vacation homes.
Child Support Payments (SB 3549/PA 97-1029)
Co-sponsored by GOP Senators Kirk Dillard and Sue Rezin, this clarifies the law to address cases involving persons who are self-employed or own their own businesses and who are found in contempt of court for failing to pay child support. The new law will make it easier to discover the true income of those who own or operate businesses and owe child support and impose penalties on those who refuse to pay.
Aiding a Fugitive (SB 2520/PA 97-741)
Also co-sponsored by Senator Dillard, this allows the state to prosecute family members who help a fugitive flee the state in order to avoid prosecution. Family members who help their relatives skip the country could face felony charges. Previously, immediate family members could not be prosecuted for concealing or aiding a fugitive.
Victim Compensation (SB 3693/PA 97-817)
Adjusts the crime victim compensation procedures, by providing for broader forms of compensation while increasing the amounts of certain types of financial loss. This law also requires more transparency between claimants and compensatory government entities. Family members who pay expenses that a victim incurs as a result of the crime could be reimbursed for those costs.
Veteran ID Designation (SB 2837/PA 97-739)
Co-sponsored by Republican Senators Pam Althoff, Christine Johnson, Bill Brady and Sam McCann, this new law allows for Illinois Drivers Licenses, Identification cards and Disabled Person Identification Cards to clearly designate that the individual is a Veteran. One goal of the law is to make it easier for social service agencies to assure that Veterans receive all services and benefits to which they are legally entitled, such as healthcare, education assistance, and job placement.
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