Part 3: New Laws Effective January 1, 2014

2014 will ring in hundreds of new laws. Over the next five days we will recap 25 of them. Some you may have heard about, others you may be just learning about now. Follow the links to read the law in its entirety.  

Third in a five part series:

Workplace Violence Prevention Act
HB 2590 (PA 98-430) – Creates the Workplace Violence Prevention Act. HB 2590 allows an employer to seek an order of protection if an employee has suffered violence or threats of violence at work, or if the threat can be reasonably assumed to be carried out at work.

Child Pornography
HB 2647 (PA 98-437) – Allows for tougher prosecution of child pornography offenses by providing that each individual film, videotape, photograph or other image in violation of the statute constitutes a separate violation of the law. The bill also amends the Unified Code of Corrections to allow courts to impose consecutive sentences when the child depicted is under 13.

Sex Education
HB 2675 (PA 98-441) – HB 2675 makes changes in the School Code and the Critical Health Problems and Comprehensive Health Education Act provides that all public school classes that teach sex education and discuss sexual intercourse in grades 6 through 12 shall satisfy specified criteria. The bill provides that school districts that do not provide sex education are not required to do so, but that if a course is offered in any of grades 6-12, the school district may choose and adapt the developmentally and age-appropriate, medically-accurate, evidence-based and complete sex education curriculum that meets that specific needs of its community. The bill also provides that sex education courses shall emphasize that abstinence is a responsible and positive decision and is the only protection that is 100% effective against unwanted teenage pregnancy, STDs and AIDS when transmitted sexually. The bill allows individuals to examine the instructional materials to be used in the class or course.

Safety & Welfare of School Students
HB 2768 (PA 98-59) – In a school district other than the Chicago School District, a principal will have the responsibility to utilize the resources of law enforcement when the safety and welfare of students and teachers are threatened by illegal use or possession of weapons, or by illegal gang activity. The bill specifically mentions illegal gang activity as an offense under which courts or police must report to the principal when a student is detained.

Residential Arson Statue of Limitation
HB 3011 (PA 98-265) – Removes the statute of limitations on residential arson prosecutions. Prosecution may now commence at any time, rather than within 3 years of the commission of the offense.