New Illinois Laws Take Effect Jan. 1

More than 120 new Illinois laws go on the books in 2005. Among those taking effect January 1 are laws that will:

  • Raise the minimum wage by $6.50.
  • Prohibit lawsuits against restaurants over claims that the food caused obesity or other health problems.
  • Require drug stores to lock up cold medicines that contain ingredients used to make methamphetamine.
  • Provide prison time and the suspension of driving privileges for anyone who tries to bribe a driving instructor or trucking company to get a license.
  • Put tougher restrictions on sex offenders who are on parole.
  • Require arsonists to register with the state for 10 years.
  • Make it a Class-A misdemeanor to attack umpires, referees or coaches at any level of competition.
  • Increase the penalties for gang recruitment at or near schools.
  • Raise the age at which teens can drop out of school from 16 to 17.