It's that time of year again, here are nine new laws to be put in effect in the New Year.

Law concept

In the spirit of rock and roll… of course rules are meant to be broken. But you may not want to break these. Here are a nine Illinois laws that go in effect in 2017 that I think are worth mentioning:

1. Starting July 1, 2017, THE MANNER IN WHICH CHILD SUPPORT IS CALCULATED BY DIVORCE COURTS WILL CHANGE. Now, an "income shares" model will be used to determine how much money would be allocated for the care of the child based on a combined income of the couple. This includes cost of living and number of children. This could cause some parents to pay more and some parents to pay less.

2. If you are one of the lucky ones who has sick leave benefits at work, YOUR PAID SICK LEAVE NOW COVERS ABSENCES DUE TO ILLNESS, INJURY OR MEDICAL APPOINTMENT OF THE EMPLOYEE'S FAMILY, for reasonable periods of time. This includes an employee's child, spouse, sibling, parent, mother or father-in-law, grandchild, grandparent or step-parent. Employers can limit the use of time, but not less than the sick leave accrued during a six month period.

3. If you are considered a "low-wage employee," YOUR EMPLOYER IS PROHIBITED FROM ENTERING INTO A NON-COMPETE AGREEMENT WITH YOU. Non-compete agreements attempt to restrict an employee's future employment for a specific amount of time in a particular area or prohibits work for another employer that is similar to work the employee performs for the employer. To see if you qualify as a "low-wage employee," read more here.

4. Hopefully you will never find yourself in this situation, but THE WAY SEXUAL ASSAULTS ARE REPORTED AND THE TRAINING OF HOW LAW ENFORCEMENT HANDLES SEXUAL ASSAULTS will change starting the first of the year. Training will now include recognizing symptoms of trauma and delivering services in a compassionate and sensitive way. The new law requires law enforcement to take a complete written report, regardless of where the incident took place or who is reporting it. Also under this new law, victims now have up to 5 years to release a rape kit to be tested, instead of 14 days.

5. If you are an avid cyclist, know that BICYCLISTS ARE ENTITLED TO THE RIGHT OF WAY ON ILLINOIS STREETS. Bicyclists are entitled to the right-of-way just like drivers of cars and trucks.

6. Being pulled over by a police officer is super stressful. If it is your first time being pulled over, you better do it correctly. A new Illinois law will require all DRIVER EDUCATION CLASSES TO INFORM DRIVERS ON WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU ARE PULLED OVER BY AN OFFICER.

7. Starting Jan. 1, ALL INTERROGATIONS OF CHILDREN UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE MUST BE VIDEOTAPED for any felony and for some misdemeanor cases. The bill also raises the age from 13 to 15 for a requirement that children be represented by lawyers during custodial interrogations for homicide and sex offenses.

8. Sorry to say, but YOUR ELECTRIC BILL WILL COST YOU MORE IN 2017. A power delivery rate hike will add about $2 to your electric bill each month. You can expect to see the increase on your monthly statements beginning in the middle of the new year.

9. Gun laws just got a bit tighter for some. The Illinois State Police can DENY AN APPLICATION OR REVOKE A GUN OWNER'S FOID CARD if they have an order of protection against them. This also includes if they have a no-contact order in regards to stalking.


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