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Illinois Law Argumentative Essay


 When a House Bill (HB) or Senate Bill (SB) is signed into law (enacted), it becomes a numbered Public Act (PA). The number of the Public Act refers to the General Assembly that enacted it. The Illinois General Assembly website – – is searchable but requires some persistence on the part of the researcher.

  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.

 Searching Tips

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.

 Suggested Resources

Academic Search Complete

Use Advanced Search to search for an author/title (as Subject or Title) and "criticism" (as Subject)
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 100th General Assembly

Public Act 100-0105

(HB2663) No Expulsion for Preschoolers      

Rather than simply kick out preschool-aged children, early childhood programs that receive state funding must help young students who exhibit challenging behaviors. Specifically requires the Department of Children and Family Services to develop rules to prevent day cares and preschools from expelling preschool children and requires those institutions to refrain from expulsion in favor of intervention and community resources. If attempts to address behavior are unsuccessful, programs can transition the child to another with the parents’ permission. Schools can temporarily remove a child for safety concerns, and can rely on state agencies to give teachers and staff the tools, training and support they need to address any problematic situations.

Suggested terminology:

"preschoolers" - "expulsion" - "suspensions" - "preschool" - "problem"


Out of School Suspension and Expulsion from the American Academy of Pediatrics

Public Act 100-0360

(HB1785) Changing Gender on Birth Certificates

Transgender and intersex individuals will be able to change the gender marker on their birth certificates without undergoing gender reassignment surgery thanks to House Bill 1785. Illinois joins 14 other states and the federal government in passing legislation of this nature.

Suggested terminology:

"sexual orientation" - "birth certificate" - "self-identification model" - "medical model" - "gender identification documents" - "nonbinary gender"


Sex Files: The Legal Recogniton of Sex in Documents and Government Records from the Australian Human Rights Commission

Public Act 100-0198

(HB3712) Access to tablets for inmates

As a reward for good behavior, House Bill 3712 allows the Illinois Department of Corrections to provide inmates with temporary access to content-controlled tablets for educational and visitation opportunities.

Suggested terminology:

"tablets" - "inmates" - "correctional facitlities" 


Corrections One The CorrectionsOne network provides a complete range of industry information covering everything from state, private and Federal facilities to county sheriffs, local jails and probation and parole.

Public Act 100 -0029

(HB2369) Breastfeeding accommodations in schools

Public schools will have to provide accommodations for nursing mothers on campus.

Suggested terminology:

"breastfeeding" - "campus" - "breastfeeding laws" - "school" - "accommodations" - 

Laws from the 99th General Assembly

Public Act 099-0585

(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.

Suggested terminolog:

"bath salts" - "bath salts drug" - "synthetic cathinone" - Molly


National Institute on Drug Abuse (National Institutes of Health)

Synthetic Cathinones ("Bath Salts")

Public Act 99-0672

(HB 5576) Insurance Contraceptive Coverage
Mandates insurance companies provide coverage for all contraceptive drugs approved by the FDA.

Suggested terminology

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.

Suggested terminology

"conscientious refusal" - "conscience clause" - "conscience-based limitations" - "physician religious beliefs" - "patient care"


American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

The Limits of Conscientious Refusal in Reproductive Medicine

Public Act 99-0758

(HB 1288) Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights Act
Creates a Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights.

Suggested terminology

"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)

Public Act 99-0766

(HB 4264) Cosmetology – Domestic Violence Reporting
Imposes domestic violence education requirements on those seeking barber/hair stylist/cosmetologist licensure.

Suggested terminology

"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.

Suggested terminology

"health insurance" - HIV - drugs

Public Act 99-0832

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.

Suggested terminology

"adoptions of children" - nondisclosure - disclosures - confidentiality


Illinois Department of Child and Family Services  Adoption Page

Lutheran Social Services  Adoption Page

Public Act 99-0875

(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.

Suggested terminology

"juvenile sex offender" - sentencing - "teenage sex offender"

Public Act  99-0033

(HB 0352) Wildlife - Bobcat Hunting
Legalizes Bobcat hunting

Suggested terminology

bobcat(s) - hunting - habitat -  "Lynx Rufus"


Illinois Department of Natural Resources  Bobcat Hunting and Trapping in Illinois

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.

Suggested termiinology

"MMR vaccine" - "side effects" - "Tdap vaccine"  - "measles-mumps-rubella vaccine" - "pertussis vaccination - benefits"


BYU Scholars Archive
Promoting Adult Pertussis Vaccine in the Workplaces

Centers for Disease Control – Vaccines & Immunizations – Side Effects

Public Act 99-0304

(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

Suggested terminology

"raw milk" - health - bacteria - labeling


Food Safety News Illinois switch: On-the-farm raw milk sales now legal 


Public Act 99-0148

(HB 1665) Transportation tech
Removes the legal liability from private school bus operators when their employees intentionally commit criminal acts

Suggested terminology

"school bus drivers" - liability - "independent contractor" - outsourcing - employer - employee


National School Bus Association

Public Act 99-0430  

(HB 2462) Facility electronic monitoring
Allows residents of nursing homes or their representatives to use surveillance systems in their rooms at their own expense

Suggested terminology

“surveillance cameras” - "long term care facilities" - "nursing homes"

Public Act 99-0406 

(HB 3667) Fleet vehicle fuel requirements
Reduces the mandate that 25 percent of new state vehicles run on alternative fuels to 15 percent

Suggested terminology

"alternative fuels" - "vehicles - cost" - "hybrid vehicles" - "natural gas" - propane - "state vehicles" -  biofuels - "bio-synthetic paraffinic kerosene"


National Renewable Energy Lab

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"

Public Act 99-0296  

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.

Suggested terminology

"ignition Interlock devices" - "vehicle alcohol interlocks" -  "breath alcohol ignition interlock device" - DUI


Impaired Driving: Get the Facts

Public Act 99-0050 

(SB 0009) Powdered caffeine control
Prohibits the selling of powdered caffeine to anyone under the age of 18

Suggested terminology

"powdered caffeine" - "health problems" - death


U.S. Food and Drug Administration Warning

Public Act 99-0307

(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)

Suggested terminology

"hunting accidents" - youth - crossbows - coyotes


EBSCO Discovery Services Research Starter
Hunting (hobby)

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.

Suggested terminology

lower/lowering – voter/voting – age – law(s) – youth – “young adults” – "civic engagement" – “voting rights” 

Public Act 98-0129

(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.

Suggested terminology

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

Public Act 98-0349

(HB 0188) Tanning (underage)
Persons under age 18 may not use tanning facilities regardless of parental permission.

Suggested terminology

tanning - youth -  adolescents - “young adults” - teenagers - DHA - health – law(s) – “sunless tanning” – dihydroxyacetone


American Academy of Pediatrics views about tanning

Teens and Tanning: What Parents Need to Know  from Harvard Health Publications within Credo Literati

Public Act 098-0774

(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

Suggested terminology

“criminal record” – “hiring process” - "criminal background checks" – employment - "criminal history" - applications - law(s)

Public Act 98-0775

(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

Suggested terminology

“medical marijuana” - law(s) – Illinois- epilepsy – minors - children


Marijuana from the Mayo Clinic

Medical Marijuana from

Public Act 98-0831

(SB 2937) Police and drones
Prohibits police from using privately owned drones for surveillance without a court order

Suggested terminology

police – “police drones” - “private drone surveillance” - “private drones” - drones - law(s)

Public Act 98-1063

(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.

Suggested terminology

emails – transparency – “elected officials” - “public records” - “personal devices” - “Freedom of Information” - “government business” - law(s) –“Sunshine Law”


Freedom of Information Act from Credo Literati

Public Act 98-1072

(HB 5085) Industrial hemp and research
Allows universities and the Department of Agriculture to research industrial hemp.

Suggested terminology

“industrial hemp” – regulations – "Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)" – research – farming – "Controlled Substances Act"


Drug Enforcement Administration

Controlled Substances ACT

Public Act 098-1128

(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.

Suggested terminology

“maximum speed limit” – law(s) – “speed limit” – safety – research – “traffic law”


Governor’s Highway Safety Association lists all state speed limits

Public Act 98-0506

(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.

Suggested terminology

“hands-free devices” - “distracted driving” -“Google Glass” – driving

Public Act 97-1023

(SB3336) Inline skating
Allows inline skaters to travel with traffic on public roads as long as they meet certain conditions.

Suggested terminology

“inline skating” – "inline skater(s)" - law – injuries – traffic

Public Act 97-1038

(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.

Suggested terminology

“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?

 Suggested terminology

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?

Suggested terminology

Narcan – "intranasal naloxone" - overdose