New Year Brings 220 New Laws Effective January 1, 2015

Many new laws passed by State Representative Dwight Kay (R-Glen Carbon) and the Illinois General Assembly will take effect on January 1, 2015.

“I believe it is important to keep the constituents of the 112th District informed of upcoming changes in our laws,” said Rep. Dwight Kay.  “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 January 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 January 1st.  “Many people throughout Illinois feel that ticket quotas place unnecessary pressure on officers and forces them to write citations they would not regularly issue,” said Rep. Kay.  “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.”

Rep. Kay co-sponsored P.A. 098-650 (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 P.A 098-0980 (House Bill 4093). This law, co-sponsored by Rep. 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 6-60 years in prison.

“One of my top priorities as State Representative is keeping our young people safe,” said Rep. Dwight Kay.  “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 in Illinois

A new bill prohibiting police confiscation of driver’s licenses for certain traffic tickets will take effect on January 1, 2015.  P.A. 098-870 (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,” said Rep. Kay.  “With that being the case it is sensible to allow motorists to keep their drivers licenses for minor traffic offenses.”

Gold Star Specialty License Plates

Sons and daughters of Gold Star recipients will now be able to obtain honorary license plates to remember their loved ones.  P.A. 098-869 (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/widowers, siblings and parents of those who gave their life while serving in the US Armed Forces.

“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,” said Rep. Kay.  “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, please visit www.ilga.gov or http://www.ilga.gov/reports/static/Public%20Acts%20by%20Effective%20Date.pdf to view all new laws effective throughout 2015.

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