When the New Year started, 220 new Illinois laws were commenced along with it.

From pot research to beer taxes – there’s no shortage of new Illinois laws to occupy your reading time. While some of these passed bills definitely serve a purpose, some of them are just downright weird – while others are just slightly questionable.

But remember, if the laws don’t change – neither can America. Here are some of the strange, significant, or flat-out ridiculous laws that the state of Illinois placed on its citizens at the start of 2015.

HB 4535
HB 4535 is definitely one of the most controversial laws that were passed. It allows state institutions with four-year agriculture degrees to research hemp with a license from the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

According to the Chicago Tribune, two of the four eligible schools have expressed interest — the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Illinois State University.

Illinois is one of 19 states with laws allowing industrial hemp production and one of 23 states that have legalized medical marijuana, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Research at the school will focus on production and increasing fiber content in the plant. After that, it would be up to agricultural industries in Illinois to take the research and pursue hemp production.

A different bill (SB 2636) adds a form of epilepsy to the list of conditions that can be treated using medical marijuana. It also allows minors to be included for epilepsy seizure treatments, and allows the Department of Public Health to create rules for minors to use non-smokeable medical marijuana to treat other diseases with parental permission.

So for all you saying that pot will never be legal for recreation use in Illinois, maybe you should bite your tongue next time. After all, the progress is evident.

SB 0902
This new law bans the sale, transfer, possession, etc. of certain reptiles and amphibians taken from the wild. It also creates a permit process for owning other reptiles and amphibians.

As you can see, your tax dollars have been hard at work, my fellow Illinoisans.

HB 4535
Non-residents who earn advanced degrees in architecture are now exempt from English language tests. Something tells me Pau Gasol would be a huge advocate of this bill.

SB 0728:
According to the verbiage of SB 0728, this new law “establishes that multiple offenses for sales of alcohol to a minor only accure during the five year period after the initial offense.”

Due to our utter confusion, we found some more details on the new bill:

Illinois General Assembly | August 15th, 2014

In a provision concerning the suspension and revocation of licenses, provides that when determining multiple violations for the sale of alcohol to a person under the age of 21, a second or subsequent violation for the sale of alcohol to a person under the age of 21 shall only be considered if the violation was committed within 5 years after the date when a prior violation for the sale of alcohol to a person under the age of 21 was committed.

Am I missing something? Is this bill missing something? Or are we now fighting for the rights of people that sell alcohol to minors?


Beer is Cider. Cider is Beer. (Photo via Quinn Dombrowski)

SB 3103
Beer equality is real people. This law expands the definition of beer to include “all beverages brewed or fermented from malt products, specifically hard ciders.”

In summary, cider drinkers now have to pay taxes just like the rest of us. Suck it.

SB 2985
SB 2985 requires the assets of dead people with small estates to be used to pay debts before being distributed to heirs.

I don’t know how this works, but something tells me SB 2985 is completely bullshit and ultimately just a way to fuck people over during a time of grief or tragedy.

I get it, you’re in real estate. If I was in the real estate industry, I’m sure I’d see the other side of this. But still, all I see happening is people losing the home that their father built with his bare hands just because the government was screwing him over for 70 years, which in turn was probably the reason that their father’s life was cut short in the first place.

I’ll stop ranting now.

SB 3157
This new law aligns Illinois’ milk safety laws with federal standards. Which is concerning, because I wasn’t aware that Illinois’ milk safety laws were without federal standards in the first place.

HB 4093
This bill increases the penalty for manufacturing meth near a school.

Which makes me wonder, isn’t manufacturing meth in the first place already bad enough?

HB 4269
Makes booby trapping your residence a crime and increases penalties if the residence is used for drug manufacture or distribution.

While understandable, this would make Ron Swanson very, very upset.

HB 4594
HB 4594 allows judges to issue search warrants via video conference. Judge Judy’s show just got way less interesting.

HB 5290
This bill makes it a crime to solicit naked pictures of a child from the child’s parents as a means of seducing the child or the parent into performing a sex act.


SB 2937
This bill prohibits police from using privately-owned drones for surveillance without a court order. And considering you can get a court order over Facetime now, this is probably a good thing.

SB 3275:
The psychedelic drugs known as 25C-NBOMe and 25B-NBOMe are now outlawed.

In other news, R2-D2 is still legal.

SB 3049
This bill adds the gray wolf, American black bear and cougar to list of protected species under the Wildlife Code. It allows you to kill one if you or your property are imminently threatened or apply for a permit if the animal becomes a nuisance.

As an avid fan of wolves and other fascinating animals, I fully support this provision to protect our country’s wildlife.

HB 5949:
HB 5949 changes various provisions affecting adults who were adopted.

Wait, it’s legal to adopt adults?

HB 4340
This bill changes the title of the head of the Illinois Community College Board from “president” to “executive director.”

Which is great, because nobody cares.

HB 5322
This bill allows condo boards to conduct business using email. Welcome to 2015, you guys!

SB 2731
Boat drivers in Illinois must display orange flags if they have passengers in the water.

There’s no punchline here. Anybody that’s been in Chicago’s ‘playpen’ during the summer can understand how dangerous it can be. Frankly, I’m shocked they still allow the damn thing, to be honest. Of course, I’d still be absolutely devastated if they did.

SB 0229
This bill requires the governor’s office to track and report demographic data on gubernatorial appointees.

But here’s a better question, what the hell does ‘gubernational’ mean?

(Featured photo courtesy of Mark)