The City of Evanston’s Intergovernmental Affairs Coordinator Matt Swentkofske reminds residents of several new laws that will take effect on Jan. 1, 2011. Below is a small sampling of the many bills passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by the Governor during the 2009-10 legislative session.

House Bill 3785 – Prohibits local government from placing restrictions on political signs placed on private property.

House Bill 4658 – Prohibits potential employers from inquiring about a person’s credit history as a prerequisite to employment. Prohibits a credit score or credit history preventing someone from being offered employment.

House Bill 4691 – Amplify penalties for people who transport children in an automobile who fail to properly secure the child in either a car seat or with a seatbelt. Also provides customers for a discount on car seats through their insurers.

House Bill 5152 – Creates a system of independent review to investigate deaths of residents at state-operated facilities for people with developmental disabilities. Also known as Brian’s Law.

House Bill 5772 – Requires pet shops and shelters to disclose information to new animal owners regarding the animals being sold/adopted. This includes birth dates, breeding info, vaccination records among some of the information requiring disclosure.

House Bill 6101 – Increases penalties for false 911 calls or filing false police reports.

Senate Bill 355 – Moves the statewide primary elections in even numbered years to the 3rd Tuesday in March. In 2008, the primary was moved to February.

Senate Bill 1466 – Enacts a $5,000 limit on individual donations to any political campaign in a primary and $5,000 general election, with a $10,000 limit for corporations, labor unions and political action committees in a primary, and again in a general election. Increases candidate reporting requirements per year.

Senate Bill 2824 – Prohibits convicted sexual predators and child sex offenders from being within 500 feet of public parks

Senate Bill 3796 – Speeding 30 mph over the limit is no longer a petty offense punishable by fine only. Now, a ticket for going 30 mph over the speed limit has a penalty of up to six months jail and $1,500.00 fine. Speeding 40 mph or more over the limit may carry a maximum penalty of up to one year in jail and a fine of $2,500.00.

To learn more about other legislation and laws that will take effect in the new year, visit the Illinois General Assembly’s web site at