New Laws Effective 1.1.2013


New Laws Effective 1.1.2013

Jan 2, 2013

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The following laws have an effective date of January 1, 2013.

School Districts

  • Public Act 970704 – Requires ISBE to coordinate, adapt and develop middle and high school mathematics curriculum models to aid school districts and teachers in implementing standards for all students.  ISBE must complete curriculum models by no later than March 1, 2013 and then make such models available to all school districts, which may choose to adopt or adapt the models in lieu of developing their own mathematics curricula.
  • Public Act 97-0910 – Requires that school immunization data, which is already submitted to the Illinois State Board of Education (“ISBE”) by November 15 of each year, also be made publicly available by December 1 of each year. The immunization data made public must be identical to the data submitted to ISBE. The legislation originally specified the method for publishing the data by posting the information on the school district website or mailing it to all parents/guardians); however, this language was removed in light of concerns expressed by the Illinois Statewide School Management Alliance. The final Act does not specify the methods by which the data may be made publicly available.
  • Public Act 97-1022 – Allows unit school districts formed through consolidation under Article 11E of the School Code to access a maximum tax rate for educational purposes of 6.40% for the first year following consolidation, with said rate declining over five years until reaching a statutory maximum of 4.00%.  Also allows such newly formed unit districts to access a maximum tax rate for operations and maintenance purposes of 1.03% for the first year following consolidation, with said rate declining over five years until reaching a statutory maximum of 0.75%.
  • Public Act 97-1025 – Makes several changes concerning driver education courses.
    • Requires additional safety tests and equipment for driver education vehicles used by public high schools including a safety test for vehicles over 5 model years of age or having an odometer reading of over 75,000 miles, whichever occurs first, at least every 12 months.
    • Requires the time, date, place, and general subject matter of public hearings on applications for mandate waivers or modifications to be posted on a school district’s website at least 14 days in advance and be published in a newspaper of general circulation at least seven days in advance. If the district is requesting an increase in the fee charged for driver education, the published information must include the proposed amount of the fee.
    • Requires school districts applying for a mandate waiver or modification in order to contract with a commercial driver school for provision of driver education courses to submit evidence that the commercial driver training school is certified by the State and each instructor holds a valid teaching certificate. If waiver or modification is granted, 1) additional ongoing notice requirements to ISBE apply, and 2) school districts maintaining websites must post a copy of the final contract with the commercial driver training school.  If no website exists, school district must make the contract available upon request.
    • Requires ISBE to adopt course content standards for driver education and to annually report the approximate per capita drivers’ education cost for each school district.
  • Public Act 97-1104 –Amends Section 22-20 of the School Code and Sections 1-7 and 5-905 of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 to permit the sharing of law enforcement records with appropriate school officials or officials whom the school has determined to have a legitimate educational or safety interest (as opposed to just the principal, counselors or teachers of the school) if law enforcement believes that there is an imminent threat of physical harm to students, school personnel, or others who are present in the school or on school grounds. Additionally allows for the oral sharing of information when a minor is the subject of a current police investigation that is directly related to school safety. Specifies that information derived from law enforcement records or oral reports must be kept separately from and not become a part of the student’s school records, and that such information is not a public record.

Higher Education

  • Public Act 970899 – While the Fire Sprinkler Dormitory Act of 2004 required all dormitories to have sprinkler systems installed by Jan. 1, 2013, planning and financing complications have prevented some public and private universities from meeting this deadline. P.A. 97-899 requires institutions with approved compliance plans (which were submitted by Nov. 1, 2012) to install sprinklers in their dormitories by no later than Sep. 1, 2014, or face a $1,000 a day fine.
  • Public Act 97-0913 – Expands privileges provided to military service members (U.S. Armed Forces or National Guard) attending a public institution of higher education who are engaged in military service (full-time training or duty).  Broadens the Illinois Military Code’s provisions regarding tuition refunds and makes a violation of the Code a civil rights violation under the Illinois Human Rights Act.  Specifically, a service member has the right to: (1) receive a full monetary credit or refund for funds paid to a public institution of higher education if the service member is unable to attend the university or college for a period of 7 or more days because of military service; (2) withdraw from a course because of military service with no impact on his/her final GPA; and (3) relief from any and all late penalties or charges for late enrollment if the service member was previously enrolled with the institution and is unable to process his/her enrollment for an upcoming term due to military service.  The Act further requires institutions of higher education to excuse service members from class and course examinations due to military service, and to provide the service member an equivalent opportunity to make up any examination.
  • Public Act 097-1038 – Amends the Illinois’ University Religious Observances Act (the “Act”) to further recognize religious accommodations for college and university students in Illinois.  Effective August 20, 2012, institutions of higher education must excuse students who need to be absent from class, examinations, study or work requirements because of their religious beliefs, and provide students with make-up opportunity, unless to do so would unreasonably burden the institution. In order to benefit from these accommodations, students must notify their instructor “well in advance” of any absence for religious reasons.  While the Act does not specifically define the quoted phrase, legislative comments make clear that institutions of higher education may require reasonable notice from any student requesting such an accommodation.  The Act prohibits charging students a fee for the make-up, and taking any adverse action for requesting such accommodation.  It also requires that a copy of the statutory text be published in the college or university course catalog.  Although not required by statute, amending the existing Religious Observances’ Board policy is advisable.


  • Public Act 97-743 – Provides that items seized by police during a traffic stop must be returned to the Secretary of State.  The law defines “registration plate cover” and prohibits the operation of any motor vehicle that is equipped with registration plate covers and prohibits the sale and advertising for sale of registration plate covers. The law prohibits the modification of the manufacturer’s mounting location of the rear registration plate, and addresses the use of handlebar grips and stop lights on motorcycles and mopeds, as well as the offense of riding a motorcycle or moped on one wheel.
  • Public Act 970744 – Requires employment and salary information from counties, townships, and municipalities to be included in the Illinois Transparency and Accountability Portal database.
  • Public Act 970782 – Amends the definition of “local governmental agency” in the Illinois Fire Protection Training Act to include the Office of the State Fire Marshal so as to allow employees of the Office to receive training certifications if they meet the minimum standards.
  • Public Act 970794 – Allows municipal police vehicles’ registration to be transferred from one vehicle to another without a fee beginning in 2013.
  • Public Act 97-0829 –Makes it a serious traffic violation for a driver with a commercial driver’s license to text or use a hand held phone while driving.   There is an exception for communicating with law enforcement.
  • Public Act 97-0830 – Provides that signs must be posted to prohibit the use of cell phones in construction or maintenance zones.  Allows use of cell phone in a construction zone if call can be initiated or terminated by pressing one button.
  • Public Act 97-0913 – Provides that no municipality owning a public entity shall, based on nonpayment, stop gas or electricity from entering the residential premises in which a service member was a primary occupant immediately before entering military service.  Upon return from military service, the municipality shall offer the residential consumer a period equal to at least the period of military service to pay any arrearages incurred during the military service.  The municipality shall inform the residential consumer that, if the period the municipality offers presents a hardship to the consumer, the consumer may request a longer period to pay the arrearages.  To be eligible for the benefits, the service member must have orders calling for him/her to be engaged in military service for at least a period of 29 consecutive days.  A violation of this Section constitutes a civil rights violation under the Illinois Human Rights Act.  All proceeds from the collection of any civil penalty imposed under this subscetion shall be deposited into the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund.
  • Public Act 970976 – Counties or municipalities entering agreements with local businesses to share or rebate retailers’ occupation taxes from retail sales of tangible personal property must file a report with the Department of Revenue that identifies the business involved in the agreement, the specific terms of the agreement, and any third parties that may receive a portion of the occupation taxes subject to the agreement. Reports need to be submitted by electronic filing to the Department of Revenue within 30 days after the execution of the agreement. Current agreements need to be submitted within 90 days after January 1, 2013.  The Act also requires redaction of sales figures, the amount of sales tax collected and the amount of sales tax rebated prior to disclosure of the information required in the report, and makes this information exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.
  • Public Act 970985 – Permits municipalities to share in any funds received through drug forfeiture cases, when the municipality has an agreement with another law enforcement agency to provide police services.
  • Public Act 97-0992 – Requires public notice before a street, road, or highway is closed for more than 5 consecutive business days for non-emergency repairs or maintenance.  Public notice will include notices to affected local leaders. 
  • Public Act 97-1023 – Allows in-line speed skaters who are at least 18 years of age to use roads outside of Chicago where the speed limit is 45 mph or less. Speed skaters may not impede traffic and may use designated bike lanes.
  • Public Act 971040 – Requires the State Police and the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board to hold a training program in Post‐Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) for State Police officers and law enforcement officers of local government agencies.
  • Public Act 971050 – Expands the allowed uses for funds in the Secretary of State Driving Under the Influence Fund to include equipment, training, and safety checks. The funds could be used for police officer salaries as long as the salaries are for DUI enforcement.

All Public Bodies

  • Public Act 970827 – Amends the Open Meetings Act to require agendas to set forth the general subject matter of any resolution or ordinance that will be the subject of final action at the meeting. Provides that public bodies shall ensure that a copy of any meeting notice and agenda are continuously available for public review during the entire 48‐hour period preceding the meeting. Posting of the notice and agenda on a website that is maintained by the public body satisfies the continuous posting requirement. However, if the notice is not available for the full 48-hour period for reasons outside the control of the public body, any action taken at the meeting will not be invalidated.
  • Public Act 97-0882 – Provides that in Cook County, the public administrator, rather than the Circuit Court Clerk, will retain records in accordance with the Local Records Act.
  • Public Act 97957 – Establishes a fee structure for the Department of Public Health to impose construction, licensure, and inspection fees for swimming pools and water facilities. Outlines qualification requirements of architects and professional engineers and contractors who would provide services to the public for designing, constructing and modifying public swimming facilities.
  • Public Act – 970964 – Allows a public body to satisfy its obligation to notify contractors and subcontractors of revisions in the prevailing wage rate by including a provision in their public works contract that the prevailing rate is established by the Illinois Department of Labor and is available on the Department’s official website. Under current law, public bodies have the affirmative obligation to notify contractors and subcontractors as soon as the Department changes the prevailing wage rate.
  • Public Act 971044 – Amends the Election Code to provide that nominating petitions are considered to be filed simultaneously if two or more candidates file them within the last hour of the petition filing deadline. If this occurs, a lottery will be conducted to determine the ballot position.

Property Taxes

  • Public Act 970797 – Changes the Lake County deadline for submission of assessment books from October 15 to July 15.
  • Public Act 97-1053 – Requires that notice of a proposed tax levy in a special service area include the proposed amount of the tax levy for special services for the initial year for which taxes will be levied within the special service area. The public hearing on the establishment of a special service area shall be held not less than 60 days after the adoption of the ordinance proposing the establishment of the special service area. Additionally states that in any year (other than the initial levy year) where the estimated special service area tax levy is more than 105 percent of the amount extended for special service area purposes for the preceding levy year, notice shall be given and a hearing held on the reason for the increase.
  • Public Act 97-1054 – Requires assessment change notices made by a board of review or a board of appeals to be mailed to a taxpayer’s attorney, if the taxpayer had been represented by an attorney. Allows the Cook County Board of Review to send notices of assessment changes by mail or by electronic mail. The Cook County Board of Review may also accept complaints signed with an electronic signature.


  • Public Act 970957 – Broadens the authority under which units of local government may elect to administer and enforce the Swimming Facility Act.  Requires that permits for construction or “major alterations” to swimming facilities be made by a licensed architect or professional engineer who is prequalified by the Department of Public Health.  Further requires that construction of, or “major alterations” to, swimming facilities be performed by a swimming facility contractor who is prequalified by the Department.  Establishes a fee schedule for swimming facility licenses and permits, including a fee schedule for units of state and local government, and for school districts.
  • Public Act 970966 – In connection with mechanic’s liens, extends the period within which the work must be performed or the materials must be provided to five years from the commencement of the work (except for residential property which remains at three years).  Also provides that this change is inoperative as of 1/1/16.

Labor and Employment

  • Public Act 97-0791 – Allows employers to be charged for unemployment benefits even if an award is reversed or modified if the benefits were paid because the employer failed to timely or accurately respond to the IDES’ request for information or has a pattern of failing to respond accurately or timely.  Revises the definition of “newly hired employee” whom employers must report to the State new hire directory to include individuals not previously employed by that employer or former employees who have been separated for at least 60 consecutive days. Adds a required penalty of 15% of fraudulently obtained benefits when an individual knowingly makes a false statement or fails to disclose a material fact that leads to benefits being awarded, when the individual is not otherwise eligible for such benefits.
  • Public Act 970875 – Prohibits employers from requesting or requiring any current or prospective employee to provide any account information, including passwords, in order to gain access to the employee or prospective employee’s social networking website.  For further information on this Act, including an explanation of the categories of information employers may continue to use for employment decisions, please see Robbins Schwartz’s August 2, 2012 Law Alert “Public Act 97-0875: Illinois’ New ‘Facebook’ Law.”
  • Public Act 97-0903 – States that an officer of a corporation or agent of an employer (the definition of “employer” includes school districts and units of local governments that employ 4 or more employees) can be held personally liable for employer penalties if they willfully and knowingly permit their employer to evade a final judgment or award entered under the Illinois Equal Pay Act.