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New Year, New Laws

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A new year means new laws taking affect.

In Illinois that’s about 150 new laws and regulations.

They deal with everything from education and ethics to terrorism and traffic safety.

One new law makes it illegal for an employer to require that workers divulge the usernames and passwords for their accounts on social media Web sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Another new law allows family members of fugitives to be prosecuted if they aid that fugitive.

There are tougher penalties for child-sex crimes and for providing alcohol to minors.

License plate fees are going up and another new law gives motorcyclists the go-ahead to run red lights. Motorcycles and bicycles aren’t usually heavy enough to trigger ground sensors that switch traffic lights from red to green so many two-wheeled motorists stay stuck at intersections and have to wait for a larger vehicle to come. Under the new measure, when a motorcycle comes up to a red light or a left-turn arrow and waits for two minutes or more for the light to change, they will be able to legally proceed if the coast is clear.

Illinois also became the first inland state to pass a comprehensive ban against the trade, sale or distribution of shark fins.

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