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256 new laws to go into effect Jan. 1 in Illinois

Legal recreational marijuana isn't the only new law on the books starting in 2020

ST. LOUIS — When Illinois residents ring in 2020, they’ll mark the start of hundreds of new laws on the books.

There will be 256 new laws that go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

The new laws include doubling fines for illegally passing a school bus, removing the statute of limitations for prosecuting criminal sexual assault cases and legalizing marijuana sold by businesses that are licensed in the state.

Below is a summary of some of the bills that are set to become law. You can read summaries on all 256 new Illinois laws by clicking here.

Legalization of marijuana

Public Act 101-27, House Bill 1438

The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act allows for the recreational use of cannabis by individuals over the age of 21. Illinois citizens may possess up to 30 grams of cannabis and out of state individuals may possess up to 15 grams. Medical cannabis patients may grow up to 5 plants in their residence. The act establishes guidelines pertaining to expungement of records for possession of cannabis, selling cannabis, taxation on cannabis, including numerous changes and additions to Illinois law. Furthermore, the Fall Veto Session addressed cleanup language for the Recreational Cannabis law passed during the Spring Session. Rep. Meier supported the cleanup language, which was supported by the Illinois Sheriff’s Association and the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, the legislation largely supported zero tolerance policies by employers and changes requested by agencies charged with implementing the act.

READ MORE: Recreational marijuana is legal in Illinois on Jan. 1. Here's what you need to know

Eliminates statute of limitations for sexual assault cases

Public Act 101-130, House Bill 2135

Removes the statute of limitation for criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, or aggravated criminal sexual abuse regardless of the age of the victim.

Doubles fines for illegally passing stopped school buses

Public Act 101-55, House Bill 1873

Fines are doubled for violations of the law regarding approaching, overtaking, and passing school buses. A first violation of the state law or a local ordinance shall be subject to a mandatory fine of $300 (instead of $150) and a second or subsequent violation shall be subject to a mandatory fine of $1,000 (instead of $500).

Making mammogram screening more accessible

Public Act 101-580, Senate Bill 162

This Act broadens the availability of mammogram screening for women across Illinois by requiring public and private insurance plans to cover comprehensive ultrasound screenings if a mammogram demonstrates heterogeneous or dense breast tissue, or when medically necessary as determined by a licensed physician. It also requires coverage for diagnostic mammograms.

Enhancing criminal penalties on violence in places of worship

Public Act 101-223, House Bill 38

This legislation adds, as an aggravating factor to the sentencing of a first-degree murder, when the victim was a member of a congregation engaged in prayer or other religious activities at a place of worship. An assault or battery committed in a place of worship is enhanced to an aggravated assault or aggravated battery.

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