Heyl Royster

 

New Laws for the New Year

In addition to those laws already discussed, there are a number of other laws effective January 1, 2013, that may affect you. The following serves as a summary of many of those laws, although it does not cover every law effective January 1, 2013. We are available to answer any specific questions you may have as to how these laws will impact you.

Open Meetings Act – P.A. 097-0827 amends the Open Meetings Act by requiring any agenda to set forth the general subject matter of any resolution or ordinance that will be the subject of final action at the meeting. Additionally, the notice and agenda must be continuously available for public viewing for at least 48 hours preceding the meeting, which can be accomplished by posting the agenda and notice on a website maintained by a public body. Failure of the public body to post the agenda and notice for the 48 hours due to reasons outside of the public body’s control will not invalidate any action taken at the meeting.

Dept of Central Management Services Law of the Civil Administrative Code – P.A. 097-0744 requires townships, municipalities, and counties to submit their employees’ job titles, current pay rate, and year-to-date pay to the Department of Central Management Services. The information will then be displayed on the Illinois Transparency and Accountability Portal (ITAP).

Prevailing Wage Act – P.A. 097-0964 amends the Prevailing Wage Act to require that public bodies notify contractors of revisions to the prevailing rate of hourly wages by inserting a written stipulation in all contracts which states the prevailing rate of hourly wages is revised by the Department of Labor and revisions are available on the Department’s official website.

Illinois Police Training Act – P.A. 097-0815 amends the Police Training Act by requiring any law enforcement agency that investigates a crime committed in Illinois to provide written statements (content to be provided by the Attorney General) to crime victims explaining their rights within 48 hours of initial contact with the victims. The law enforcement officer must then get the victims’ signatures with dates as acknowledgement that they have been furnished with the information. Additionally, court clerks are to post information on the constitutional and statutory rights of crime victims within 3 feet of the door of each courtroom where criminal proceedings are held. Furthermore, victims may ask to be notified in the event of any type of release of their perpetrators, including supervised and unsupervised off-grounds passes, transfers to other facilities, escape, and death.

P.A. 097-1009 amends the Police Training Act to state that only coroners who successfully complete a training program approved or provided by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board in death and homicide investigation may be assigned as lead in coroner’s investigations. Coroners may apply for a waiver of this requirement based on prior training and experience.

Illinois Vehicle Code – P.A. 097-1023 amends the Illinois Vehicle Code to allow pedestrians who are 18 or older wearing in-line speed skates to travel on roads with speed limits of less than 45mph during daylight hours, including travel in bicycle lanes, and be subject to the Vehicle Code.

Swimming Facility Act – P.A. 097-0957 amends the Swimming Facility Act in several ways and should be consulted if your locality has or is considering a “swimming facility,” which is broadly defined under the Act and only expressly excludes a pool for family and guest use at a single-family residence. The amended Act now requires that a prequalified professional engineer designs, plans, or makes specifications for swimming facilities. Additionally, where a local health department is certified by the Illinois Department of Public Health for enforcing the Swimming Facility Act, the respective locality may choose by ordinance to have the health department enforce the Act, including licensing swimming facilities. Another change requires licensees under the Act to allow patrons the use of service animals provided the use of the animal does not pose a direct threat to the health and safety of other patrons, the functioning of the facility, or the sanitary conditions of the facility.

State Universities’ Acts – P.A. 097-0814 amends each state university’s respective Act to prohibit the state university from paying for search firms, unless it is for the purpose of hiring a president or when the university’s board demonstrates a need for expertise in the field in which a hiring is planned.

Fire Sprinkler Dormitory Act – P.A. 097-0899 extends the deadline by which all college dormitories must have fire sprinkler systems installed from January 1, 2013, to September 1, 2014, if a college submits a compliance plan and the Office of the State Fire Marshal approves that compliance plan by January 1, 2013.

School Code – P.A. 097-1104 provides that law enforcement agencies may share their records relating to minors arrested before their 17th birthday with the appropriate school official only if the agency believes there is an imminent threat of physical harm to students, school personnel, or others on school grounds. Information provided by a law enforcement agency must not be a public record and must be kept separate from the minor’s official school record. Additionally, any information provided by a law enforcement agency related to a current police investigation shall consist of oral information only.

P.A. 097-1025 also amends the School Code to include new notice requirements. For example, school districts petitioning the State Board of Education for waiver or modification of School Code obligations must post on school district’s website the time, date, place, and general subject matter of public hearing at least 14 days before the hearing on the petition. The School Code has been amended substantially as well with regard to drivers’ education courses.

Health Care Services Lien Act – P.A. 097-1042 provides that any subrogation claim arising out of medical expense payments due to personal injury or death shall be reduced in the same proportion as the injured person’s (or his estate’s) recovery is reduced due to comparative fault or limited liability insurance coverage. This will not apply, however, to claims under the Workers’ Compensation Act, the Workers’ Occupational Diseases Act, the Health Care Services Lien Act, or uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.

Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act – P.A. 097-0875 amends the Act by making it unlawful for any employer to request or require any employee or prospective employee to provide any social networking password or other related account information in order to gain access.

Election Code – P.A. 097-1044 amends the Code to provide that “two or more petitions [for candidacy] filed within the last hour of the filing deadline shall be deemed filed simultaneously.”

Elder Abuse and Neglect Act – P.A. 097-0864 amends the Act by allowing “Provider Agencies” (as defined in the Act) to provide a list of all eligible adults who may be at imminent risk of elder abuse, neglect, financial exploitation, or self-neglect to a law enforcement or fire department agency, or fire protection district with jurisdiction pursuant to a written agreement with the Provider Agency.