As with the start of any new year, January 1 marks the day that many new laws go into effect.  Here is a short rundown of some of the most notable new laws for Illinois in 2018:

House Bill 736 establishes a small business grant program for those individuals receiving public aid. The act seeks to provide funds through the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to individuals seeking to become entrepreneurs even though they are receiving assistance through public aid.

House Bill 1805 amends the vehicle code and allows individuals age 16 years or greater to identify themselves on the organ donor registry. Previously that decision was not available until the individual turned 18. A guardian however can still override the decision until the individual turns 18 years of age.

House Bill 2371 amends the Data Security on State Computers Act to provide that all state employees, as that term is defined within the act, shall undergo annual training in cybersecurity.

House Bill 3251 amends the criminal code regarding cyberstalking to include the use of electronic monitoring or spyware to threaten or assault another person.

House Bill 3359 amends the Forcible Entry and Detainer Act to allegedly make it easier to understand. The bill changes the act sothe term “Forcible Entry and Detainer” shall now be replaced with “eviction.”  Orders and judgments for possession shall now be referred to as judgments and orders for eviction. The bill also makes the same changes to other acts that tied in or referenced the Forcible Entry and Detainer Act.

House Bill 2663 prohibits the expulsion of children enrolled in early childhood programs that received State Board of Education funding. Children are still allowed to be transferred to facilities that may be able to better manage a child’s needs.

House Bill 2959 amends the Illinois insurance code and prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage to Illinois residents with pre-existing conditions.

House Bill 3001 further regulates the requirements that a landlord must comply with in withholding or deducting money from security deposits.

House Bill 3054 requires circuit courts to post notice(s) on how the public can file complaints against judges.

Senate Bill 57 allows for victims of domestic violence to continue to use their cell phone, which is believed to lessen the financial costs of leaving an abusive partner.

Senate Bill 298 relates to gender biased price discrimination and allows consumers to obtain standard price lists from dry cleaners, barbers, and tailors.

Senate Bill 883 amends the Probate Act to allow for a child to inherit from their parent if the child was born within 36 months after the death of the parent.

Senate Bill 1261 allows for individuals to provide for the custody of pets following the dissolution of marriage.

Senate Bill 1898 restricts covenants regarding non-disparagement to businesses. The bill restricts businesses from enforcing non-disparagement clauses and allows for consumers to leave reviews regardless of restrictive covenants that may be contained in the sales agreement.

Other bills regarding the state budget, lowered filing fees for LLC’s, and education funding highlight the 2017 legislative year.

Finally, with HB 470 corn is now the official grain of the State of Illinois.