Rep. Meier Announces New Laws Taking Effect January 1

State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) wants to make the public aware of several new laws scheduled to take effect January 1, 2015.  220 new laws will take effect this New Year.

Of the 220 new laws taking effect, Rep. Meier highlighted five new laws which may be of  interest to constituents in the 108th district.  Laws such as banning police ticket quotas, mandatory storm shelters for new schools, Gold Star license plates, allowing driver’s to keep their license when ticketed for minor offenses, and improving rural emergency medical services.

“A number of laws scheduled to take effect in 2014 vary from minor tweaks to the law, new laws which are unnecessary, a few that will make some heads turn, and some new laws that make sense,” said Rep. Meier.”

Ban on police ticket quotas

One of the most popular of the new laws which will affect drivers on the road this New Year would be the ban on police ticket quotas (P.A. 98-0650, SB 3411).  The new law prohibits county, municipal, conservation, and state police agencies from implementing ticket quotas.  Officers may still be evaluated on “points of contact,” including the number of traffic stops completed, arrests, written warnings and crime prevention measures.  The ban on ticket quotas is an initiative enacted to refocus law enforcement on public safety instead of revenue generation.

Storm shelters for new schools

“In 2012 and 2013 our state and region was hit by tornadoes and severe storms resulting in several deaths, including damage to farms, homes, churches and businesses,” said Rep. Meier. “Many people were displaced from their homes and had no place to go.  This new law will help our communities help those seeking shelter in times of natural disaster.”

The new law (P.A. 98-0883, HB 2513) requires all new school construction in Illinois to include a storm shelter which meets the minimum requirements of the International Code Council and National Storm Shelter Association.

Gold Star specialty license plates

“Any time we can honor those who have served in the Armed Services I am happy to help make this happen.” said Rep. Meier.

Surviving sons and daughters of military Gold Star recipients are now included among those who may be issued Gold Star specialty license plates by the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office.  Those already eligible for the plates are surviving widows/widowers, siblings and parents (P.A. 98-0869, HB 5475).

Sign and drive in Illinois

This new law (P.A. 98-0870, SB 2583)institutes “sign and drive” in Illinois by prohibiting the confiscation of a motorist’s driver’s license as bail when stopped and cited for a minor (no jail time) traffic offense.  Since 9/11, the need for appropriate, state-issued photo identification has become a necessity in order to travel, obtain health-care, renting vehicles, etc.  The driver’s license is still the standard, accepted form of photo identification.

Improving rural emergency medical services

“Access to an emergency room in parts of Southern Illinois is not as convenient as populated regions of the state,” said Rep. Meier.  “Allowing rural EMS providers the option to offer more medical services by licensed professionals will help save lives.”

In communities smaller than 7,500, (P.A. 98-0880, HB 4523) an ambulance crew may provide services up to the highest level for which he or she is licensed, regardless of the level of the ambulance itself. The new law gives rural EMS providers more options for staffing their ambulances by allowing Pre-Hospital Registered Nurses to staff the ambulance and offer those services they are licensed to provide.

To view the full list of all new laws scheduled to take effect click here.