New Year brings new laws

January 2, 2013 3:03:34 AM PST
From tighter gun laws to internet security, there are dozens of new laws that go into effect in 2013.

While most Illinois residents will likely not see any impact from any of the 152 new laws, there are a few that some people will notice.

Worried about a prospective employer accessing your Facebook and Twitter accounts? As of 2013 Illinois businesses can no longer require applicants to provide information that allows them into that person's social networking sites.

"There's a difference between your personal and professional lives," said John Leach. "And if companies are doing their due diligence they won't need to check on Facebook or Twitter or other things."

If you use a disability placard that isn't yours, be prepared to have your license suspended. In an effort to crack down on misuse and to make sure that disability parking spots are available for people who need them, first offenders will face up to a six-month suspension, a year for a second violation.

Even before the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut last month, tighter gun laws were approved for 2013. Starting Wednesday, the Illinois State Police will be notified anytime a court determines that a person has a mental disability that might make him or her unsuitable for gun ownership.

"If somebody is mentally ill they definitely don't need a gun," said Stanley Leach.

Driven by the disappearance and death of 2-year-old Caylee Anthony in Florida, it will be a Class B Felony in Illinois if a parent or guardian fails to report a child under the age of 13 missing within 24 hours. Children two and under must be reported missing within an hour.

"I agree. It's extremely suspicious if your child isn't reported," Jessica White said. "And that allows a lot of things to happen. A lot of things can happen in a few minutes."

Also new in 2013, juvenile records will now share with school officials when there may be a threat to people at the school.

A new law prohibits the use of cell phones while driving in any construction or maintenance zone, not just those with speed restrictions, and it is now misdemeanor to sanction underage drinking by allowing teenage children to host parties where alcohol is served.

And if you like shark fin soup, it is no longer illegal to own, sell or trade shark fins in Illinois.