Victims of domestic violence will gain new advocates under a law taking effect in the New Year requiring that cosmetologists, estheticians and nail technicians take a domestic violence course to instruct them how to look for signs of abuse or sexual assault.
There is a hitch with the new law, said Maureen Manning-Rosenfeld, director of client services at the Community Crisis Center. There is no indication how the training will occur or when, she said.
“The intent behind the law is great; we are just not sure about the details,” Manning-Rosenfeld said.
Beauticians and nail technicians often become close to clients, who share details about their lives and families, Manning-Rosenfeld said. It’s natural to have those professionals trained to see the signs of domestic abuse or sexual assault so they can offer help to victims, she said.
The training will likely include how to spot signs of verbal, physical and emotional abuse, she said. At the core of domestic abuse is the issue of control, she said. Abusers want to control their victims, often through coercion, she said.
House Bill 4264 is one of many laws enacted for 2017.
State legislators passed the new law in support of domestic violence victims but failed to include domestic violence in the state’s stopgap budget.
“We need domestic violence (centers) to be funded,” Manning-Rosenfeld said. The Crisis Center has managed to keep its doors open; however, it is a struggle, she said.
The Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus released a list of the top 10 new laws that include topics on police dog adoptions and updating the state tax codes so feminine products don’t get charged the same sales tax as shampoo.
Under a new law, police officers will get first preference to adopt their police dogs so retiring dogs can remain part of the officer’s family, according to the website.
The Elgin Police Department already allows its K-9 officers/handlers to adopt their retiring partners, Commander Ana Lalley said. The police department has four K-9 dogs. One, Gage, is set to retire next year. His handler, Officer Marshall Kite, is planning to adopt Gage, she said.
It is natural for officers/handlers to want to continue taking care of their dog partners after spending so much time with them and welcoming the dogs into their family, Lalley said.
K-9 handlers always “bond with the animals,” so it is best for them to continuing caring for the retired officers, she said.
Companies cannot ask a worker who makes less than $13.50 an hour to sign a noncompete agreement under one new law and lobbying groups are ineligible to receive taxpayer-funded pensions to end the abuse of vital state dollars, according to the website.
Families moving into new homes will be safe from lead toxins with a new law that prohibits the sale or release of properties with high lead levels until the problem is fixed and the property is safe, the website states. Older homes are more likely to contain lead and children can get lead poisoning, it stated.
This is a sampling of other laws that take effect Jan. 1.
Workers: Illinois is the first Midwest state to grant legal protections to housekeepers, nannies and in-home caregivers, joining six coastal states that have already adopted such protections for the mostly female and largely immigrant workforce. The Illinois law extends sexual harassment protections to such workers and requires they be paid at least the minimum wage and get at least one day off per seven-day workweek.
Another law says employees allowed sick leave for injuries or doctor appointments can take leave for the illness or appointment of a family member.
Law enforcement: Illinois jails must accept cash to post bail under a law inspired by a Rockford-area resident whose teenage son was arrested for a traffic offense. Since the credit card machine wasn’t working that day, the father couldn’t pay and the teen had to spend the weekend in jail. Supporters believe the measure will cut incarceration costs.
The state will also extend the statute of limitations from two years to five years for people to file wrongful death lawsuits and will increase fines for public bodies, including police departments, that don’t comply with court orders to release information. The plans are dubbed “Molly’s Law,” after Molly Young, a Carbondale woman who was found shot to death in 2012 in her ex-boyfriend’s apartment. A special prosecutor couldn’t determine whether Young’s death was an accident, suicide or homicide. Her father fought for public records, but it took so long he couldn’t take civil action.
Juveniles: Police can no longer interrogate anyone younger than 15 without an attorney present when investigating serious crimes. The age was previously 13.
Also, people charged or arrested for an incident occurring before their 18th birthday can petition the court to expunge the records. The Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission pushed for the changes, saying mistakes made as a youth can limit access to employment, housing and education.
State agencies must keep paperwork up to date on juveniles, including requiring the Department of Juvenile Justice to file a report within ten days of any “critical incident,” such as a suicide attempt.
Health: Illinois will eliminate the so-called “tampon tax,” which proponents say is a matter of gender equity. Illinois became the third state over the summer to approve a law repealing taxes on feminine hygiene products. Several others are considering similar measures.
Insurance companies must provide coverage for nearly all forms of contraception approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which the law had limited to fewer options.
Two laws focus on the state’s ongoing efforts to fight opioid addiction. One allows drug court participants to use medication, like methadone, for treatment. Another requires state-licensed treatment programs to provide education information about medication-based treatments and the use of anti-overdose drugs.
Official artifact: The new state artifact will be a long canoe once used by Native Americans, including the Illini. It’s called a “pirogue” and state Rep. Laura Fine, a suburban Democrat, credited a middle-school history project as the impetus.
The legislation created momentary confusion, with some mistaking the vessel pronounced PEE’roag with “pierogi,” a Polish dumpling particularly well-known around Chicago.
Fine says the designation is a way to reflect the importance of the state’s waterways and recognize Illinois’ namesake tribe.
Originally posted on the Chicago Tribune website