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From Texting To Toddlers: New Laws To Hit The Books In 2019

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Resolutions are always part of a look ahead to a new year. So are new laws that'll affect everything from how you use your cell phone to how students prepare in case of an active shooter emergency.

Legislation on more than 250 items will go into effect in 2019.

Starting in January, Illinois House Bill 4377 will require that children ages two and under to be buckled into a rear-facing child seat.

Older kids, those who are in school, will have to participate in active shooter drills. Every school in the state, along with at least one law enforcement official, will hold an active shooter drill once a year that, according to SB2350 "addresses an active threat or an active shooter within a school building."

Not all new laws start in January. Beginning July 1, anyone caught texting while driving will be issued a moving violation citation. If you're convicted of three moving violations within a 12-month period, your license may be suspended.

"My law firm sees far too many crashes that are a result of a driver failing to keep their eyes on the road in front of them. With people becoming increasingly dependent on their phones and digital devices, it is encouraging to see lawmakers taking a proactive step to combat distracted driving in Illinois," said Tara R. Devine, Partner at Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C.

Also new for 2019, employers will be required to reimburse their workers for items they used to do their jobs. That includes "bring your own devices polices where workers are required to use their "personal cell phones, tables or computers for work purposes." (SB02999.)

Dog owners whose animals are considered dangerous will have to be liable for what the dog does according to SB02386. A "reckless dog owner" determination will be made if the dog kills another dog and is found on the loose at least twice in one year after being deemed dangerous. That owner will be barred from owning a dog from anywhere from one to three years.

Are there employees with a criminal past working at your neighborhood carnival? An amendment to the Amusement Ride And Safety Act makes it so that if a person or company fails to conduct a background check on carnival employees they'll have to pay $5,000 for the first offense and face a possible revocation of their operations permit.

HB04658 expands training for teachers to help identify the warning signs of mental illness and suicidal behavior. "A school board shall require in-service training of licensed school personnel and administrators to include, at least once every two years, training on the current best practices regarding the identification of and recommended courses of action for mental health issues." The law goes into effect on July 1, 2019.


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