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.