When a House Bill or Senate Bill is signed into law (enacted), it becomes a numbered Public Act. The number of the Public Act refers to the General Assembly that enacted it. The Illinois General Assembly website – ilga.gov – is searchable but requires some persistence on the part of the researcher . Use Congress.gov to search for federal laws.
Listed below are recent Illinois laws that may be considered controversial. Each law is listed by Public Act number with a brief description and is linked to its record on the Illinois General Assembly website.
Suggested search terminology is provided for each law that may be helpful when using research databases or other online sources. Terms may be combined in Advanced Search interfaces or linked by the Boolean search operator AND to provide fewer, more focused results.
Funded by public charities, presents controversial issues in a straightforward, nonpartisan, primarily pro-con format. Find your topic on the home page or use the search box provided.
Additional suggested resources are listed under some topics.
Laws from the 99th General Assembly
(SB 0210) Bath Salts Prohibition Act
Bans the sale of "bath salts" and allows local gov'ts to revoke a retailer's license if a violation occurs.
"bath salts" - "bath salts drug" - "synthetic cathinone" - Molly
National Institute on Drug Abuse (National Institutes of Health)
Synthetic Cathinones ("Bath Salts")
(HB 5576) Insurance Contraceptive Coverage
Mandates insurance companies provide coverage for all contraceptive drugs approved by the FDA.
contraceptives -"contraceptive drugs" - contraception - insurance - "health insurance" - law
PubMed Central (National Institutes of Health)
Retrospective analysis of the impact of increasing access to long acting reversible contraceptives in a commercially insured population
Public Act 099-690
(SB 1564) Health Care Right of Conscience
Ensures patients receive information about treatment options, regardless of medical provider's religious beliefs.
"conscientious refusal" - "conscience clause" - "conscience-based limitations" - "physician religious beliefs" - "patient care"
(HB 1288) Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights Act
Creates a Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights.
"employee rights" - "household employees" - workers - "labor & employment law"
Fact Sheet #79 (United States Department of Labor
Private Homes and Domestic Service Employment Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
(HB 4264) Cosmetology – Domestic Violence Reporting
Imposes domestic violence education requirements on those seeking barber/hair stylist/cosmetologist licensure.
"domestic violence" - "physical abuse" - "child abuse" - "sexual abuse" - "elder abuse" - reporting - "abuse reporting"
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan
Advocating for Women
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Intimate Partner Violence: Prevention Strategies
Chicago Says No More
Listen, Support, Connect
Public Act 99-0772 (click PDF inside link)
(HB 4554) Insurance – Preventative HIV Drugs
Requires insurance companies to cover certain HIV drugs upon federal approval.
"health insurance" - HIV - drugs
Adds to list of adoption disclosures: reasons the birth parents stated for placing the child for adoption; how and why the adoptive parents were selected and who selected them; and whether the birth parents requested or agreed to post-adoption contact with the child at the time of placement, and, if so, the frequency and type of contact.
"adoptions of children" - nondisclosure - disclosures - confidentiality
Illinois Department of Child and Family Services
Lutheran Social Services
(HB 5771) Sentencing for Underage Sexual Assault Offenders
Certain mandatory natural life sentencing provisions for criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, and predatory criminal sexual assault of a child apply only to a person who has attained the age of 18 years at the time of the commission of the offense.
"juvenile sex offender" - sentencing - "teenage sex offender"
(HB 0352) Wildlife - Bobcat Hunting
Legalizes Bobcat hunting
bobcat(s) - hunting - habitat - "Lynx Rufus"
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Chicago Tribune ("con" argument)
Bobcat lovers seeking hunting permits in bid to thwart Illinois' first cull since '72
Public Act 99-0267 (Click on PDF inside link)
(SB 0986) Child Care Act-Employ-Vaccine
No person may be employed in a child care facility that cares for children under 6 unless he or she has received the Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) and MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccines.
"MMR vaccine" - "side effects" - "Tdap vaccine" - "measles-mumps-rubella vaccine" - "pertussis vaccination - benefits"
BYU Scholars Archive
Promoting Adult Pertussis Vaccine in the Workplaces
(SB 1228) Grade A Pasteurized milk label
Clarifies that raw milk does not fall under federal labeling requirements, allowing it to be sold in certain circumstances
"raw milk" - health - bacteria - labeling
Food Safety News
Illinois switch: On-the-farm raw milk sales now legal
Milk, Cheese, and Dairy Products: Myths About Raw Milk
(HB 1665) Transportation tech
Removes the legal liability from private school bus operators when their employees intentionally commit criminal acts
"school bus drivers" - liability - "independent contractor" - outsourcing - employer - employee
(HB 2462) Facility electronic monitoring
Allows residents of nursing homes or their representatives to use surveillance systems in their rooms at their own expense
“surveillance cameras” - "long term care facilities" - "nursing homes"
(HB 3667) Fleet vehicle fuel requirements
Reduces the mandate that 25 percent of new state vehicles run on alternative fuels to 15 percent
"alternative fuels" - "vehicles - cost" - "hybrid vehicles" - "natural gas" - propane - "state vehicles" - biofuels - "bio-synthetic paraffinic kerosene"
National Renewable Energy Lab – Transportation Research
Alternative Fuels Data Center from U.S. Department of Energy
Alternative Fuels Data Center – Case Studies
Public Act 99-0258 (Click on PDF inside link)
(HB 3718) Juvenile court corrections
Juvenile Justice reform, including raising from 15 to 16 the age at which juveniles charged with the most serious crimes must be tried as adults
Suggested terminology: "juvenile offender(s)" - "adult courts" - “juvenile delinquent(s)” - “tried as adults” - "Juvenile justice system" - "juvenile delinquency"
HB 3533 : Vehicle cd-ignition interlock dev
Requires individuals convicted of a second DUI to use a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) for at least five years.
"ignition Interlock devices" - "vehicle alcohol interlocks" - "breath alcohol ignition interlock device" - DUI
(SB 0009) Powdered caffeine control
Prohibits the selling of powdered caffeine to anyone under the age of 18
"powdered caffeine" - "health problems" - death
(HB 3234) Crossbow hunting coyotes
Changes the age requirement for a youth hunting license from 16 and under to 19 and under (or until the youth wants to hunt by himself or herself)
"hunting accidents" - youth - crossbows - coyotes
EBSCO Discovery Services Research Starter
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Illinois Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations 2016-2017
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources - Bureau of Science Services
History of Hunting Accidents both fatal and nonfatal, 1944-2014
Laws from the 98th General Assembly
Public Act 98-0051 (Click on PDF inside link)
(HB0226) Voting age
Allows 17 year olds to vote in a primary if they will be 18 by the following general election.
lower/lowering – voter/voting – age – law(s) – youth – “young adults” – "civic engagement" – “voting rights”
(HB 0064) Social Networking password
Makes it illegal for schools to ask for /demand a student’s social networking password without cause; requires parental notification for elementary and secondary school students.
schools - “social networking” - password - students - cyberbullying - “inappropriate posting” - law(s)
Bullying from the American Psychological Association – then select “cyberbullying”
Cyberbullying Research Starter from Ebscohost Discovery Service
(HB 0188) Tanning (underage)
Persons under age 18 may not use tanning facilities regardless of parental permission.
tanning - youth - adolescents - “young adults” - teenagers - DHA - health – law(s) – “sunless tanning” – dihydroxyacetone
Teens and Tanning: What Parents Need to Know from Harvard Health Publications within Credo Literati
(HB 5701) Criminal record and applications
Provides that an employer may not inquire into or require disclosure of a job applicant's criminal record or criminal history before the candidate has been notified that the candidate has been selected for a job interview or has been offered a conditional offer of employment. Requires consideration of the nature and gravity of a candidate's conviction record, the time elapsed since the conviction, and whether the conviction has a direct bearing on the candidate's fitness before excluding a candidate
“criminal record” – “hiring process” - "criminal background checks" – employment - "criminal history" - applications - law(s)
(SB 2636) Epilepsy and medical marijuana
Adds a form of epilepsy to the list of conditions that can be treated using medical marijuana; allows minors to be included for epilepsy seizure treatments; allows DPH to create rules for minors to use non-smokeable medical marijuana to treat other diseases with parental permission
“medical marijuana” - law(s) – Illinois- epilepsy – minors - children
(SB 2937) Police and drones
Prohibits police from using privately owned drones for surveillance without a court order
police – “police drones” - “private drone surveillance” - “private drones” - drones - law(s)
(HB 4216) Hiding or destroying public records
Makes it a crime to intentionally and unlawfully hide or destroy public records
Should this apply to government officials who use personal devices for government business?
(HR 1152) Personal email accounts and IRS
To prohibit officers and employees of the Internal Revenue Service from using personal email accounts to conduct official business.
emails – transparency – “elected officials” - “public records” - “personal devices” - “Freedom of Information” - “government business” - law(s) –“Sunshine Law”
Freedom of Information Act from Credo Literati
(HB 5085) Industrial hemp and research
Allows universities and the Department of Agriculture to research industrial hemp.
“industrial hemp” – regulations – "Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)" – research – farming – "Controlled Substances Act"
(SB 2015) Increased Speed limit
Provides that, unless some other speed restriction is established under the Illinois Vehicle Code, the speed limit for any vehicle is 70 miles per hour on any interstate highway as defined in the Code which includes all highways under the jurisdiction of the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority.
“maximum speed limit” – law(s) – “speed limit” – safety – research – “traffic law”
Governor’s Highway Safety Association lists all state speed limits
(HB1247) Cell phones - not while driving – only “hands-free” devices
Prohibits using cell phones for any purpose while driving: exempts GPS systems and hands-free devices
Is this enough? Maybe devices such as “Google Glass” or “Samsung Smartwatch” or “Apple Watch” cause distracted driving as well.
“hands-free devices” - “distracted driving” -“Google Glass” – driving
(SB3336) Inline skating
Allows inline skaters to travel with traffic on public roads as long as they meet certain conditions.
“inline skating” – "inline skater(s)" - law – injuries – traffic
(SB 2949) Religious accommodations for students at non-religious universities
Non-religious universities must allow students to reschedule an exam or class if there is a religious reason.
“religious accommodations” – “academic accommodations” – students – universities- religion
Hot Topics that are not bills yet:
1. H.R.1680 - Police CAMERA Act
Should police wear body cameras?
Police – “body camera(s)” – law(s)
U.S. Department of Justice
Implementing a Body-Worn Camera Program: Recommendations and Lessons Learned
2. H.R.953 - Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2015
Should Narcan be sold at pharmacies to prevent heroin overdose?
Narcan – "intranasal naloxone" - overdose