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New year brings new state laws
Posted By Brandon Reid On December 30, 2010 @ 9:12 am In Happening Now | No Comments
From press release
SPRINGFIELD, Ill.—Pension reforms for most new public employees, limits on campaign contributions, requiring governor and lieutenant governor candidates to run as a team in primaries and changes to laws regarding the use of red-light cameras are among just a few of the nearly 200 new laws that go into effect Jan. 1, 2011.
Also of note is legislation requiring mandatory imprisonment for aggravated weapons convictions and a number of new measures to stiffen penalties for sex offenders, along with a measure targeting “sexting.”
State Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) helped negotiate one of the most important new laws to pass the General Assembly in 2010—bipartisan pension reform—advanced in S.B. 1946/P.A. 96-0889.
Radogno, who sponsored the legislation, stressed the new law will not change benefits for existing public employees, but new employees will be subject to a higher retirement age, limits on cost-of-living adjustments when they retire and an imposed ceiling on the maximum earnings that can be counted toward their pensions.
Under the new measure, no additional benefits will accrue for salaries above the current Social Security maximum level of $106,800 (inflation adjusted).
“For years, the Senate Republican Caucus has been pushing for pension reform as an important step to getting the state’s spending under control,” said Radogno. “This was one of the most substantial reforms I’ve seen pass the legislature. These are the types of common-sense reforms Illinois needs to make if we’re going to get our fiscal house in order, eliminate the deficit and meet our obligations.”
Campaign contribution limits
Illinois will impose campaign contribution limits beginning in January. Under S.B. 1466/P.A. 96-0832 political contributions for individual candidates will be limited to $5,000 from individuals and $10,000 from corporations, labor unions and trade associations. While applauding the intent of the legislation, Republicans criticized the measure because it allows unlimited campaign contributions from political party leaders in the general election.
Senator Radogno proposed much stronger reforms, but they were blocked by majority Democrats.
House Bill 5820/P.A. 96-1018 requires the governor and lieutenant governor to run as a team in the General Primary Election.
Red light cameras
Also beginning Jan. 1, changes to the law regulating the use of red-light cameras will take effect under S.B. 935/P.A. 96-1016. The measure mandates all red-light violations be reviewed by a police officer, retired police officer, or technician not employed by the same company that runs the cameras, and prohibits the ticketing of a vehicle that comes to a complete stop without entering the intersection. It also directs that an image of the violation must be made available on the Internet and any municipality or county that uses red light cameras must provide notice to the public by posting the locations of the cameras on the official website.
Finally, a safety impact study must be undertaken to assess the number of accidents at the intersection.
A complete listing of new laws that go into effect Jan. 1, 2011, can be found by clicking here .
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URL to article: http://rockrivertimes.com/2010/12/30/new-year-brings-new-state-laws/
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