As the legislature counts down to its scheduled adjournment on May 31, dozens of measures have received final approval and been set to go to the Governor for his review. A running list of bills passed by the legislature is maintained on the Senate Action page of the Senate Republican Website.
Cyber Bullying (HB 4207): Requires schools to address electronic bullying under certain circumstances even when it occurs off-campus and uses private computers, cell phones, etc. Applies if the bullying causes a substantial disruption to the educational process or orderly operation of a school. Applies when a school administrator or teacher receives a report that this type of bullying has occurred and does not require school district staff to monitor non-school related activities. Requires school bullying policies or implementing procedures to include a process to investigate if the reported act of bullying is within the school or district's jurisdiction. Opponents argued that expecting schools to regulate speech that occurs outside of the school day and school property breaks new grounds, places an unrealistic burden on schools and sets a dangerous precedent.
Farmers’ Market Regulation (HB 5657): Amends the Food Handling Regulation Enforcement Act by providing that regulation of farmers’ markets by local authorities may not be more stringent than regulation by the Department of Public Health. This legislation streamlines regulation of local farmer’s markets under one statewide code. Under current law, local-governmental units may regulate farmer’s markets as they see fit. This has led to non-uniform regulations across the state.
Medical Cannabis Zoning (HB 5674): Authorizes municipalities with a population of over 500,000 (Chicago) to adopt their own zoning requirements with regard to the location of a cultivation center or dispensing organization and its proximity to a pre-existing school, daycare facility or an area zoned for residential use. The current law prohibits all cultivation centers and dispensing organizations from being located within 2,500 feet of a school, daycare facility or residential area.
Benefit Fraud (HB 5682): Makes it a Class C misdemeanor for any person to assist or represent another person in completing or submitting an application for benefits under the federal (SNAP) program, the State's (AABD) program, or the State's (TANF) program in exchange for a portion of the applicant's SNAP, AABD, or TANF benefits or cash or any other form of payment.
Heroin Task Forces (HB 4542): Broadens the focus of the Young Adults Heroin Use Task Force from just high school to grades 6-12.
Storm Shelter Law (HB 2513): Provides that all new school building construction governed by the "Health/Life Safety Code for Public Schools" must include in its design and construction a storm shelter.
Ticket Quotas (SB 3411): Prohibits counties, municipalities, conservation police and state police from implementing ticket quotas.
Poker Runs (SB 3312): Removes “poker runs” from the Charitable Games Act, which is regulated by the state, and moves them into the Raffles Act, which is regulated by counties.
“Poker Runs” are generally charitable events in which persons travel from one establishment to another collecting a “poker hand.” A prize is generally shared with the winner and charity. They are particularly popular with motorcyclists.
Authorizes counties to establish a system for the licensing of poker runs at the "key location" (i.e. concluding location where prizes are given). Such license shall cover the entire poker run, including locations other than the key location. The license may include a fee not to exceed $25 for each license.
Each license is valid for one poker run or for a specified number of poker runs to be conducted during a specified period not to exceed one year. The legislation also outlines certain limitations of the licensing system such as aggregate retail value of prizes, maximum retail value of prizes, maximum price charged for each poker run, and maximum number of days during which the poker run can be conducted.
Lastly, it amends the Criminal Code to clarify that poker runs when conducted in accordance with the Raffles Act, is not considered a gambling activity or syndicated gambling.