Edwardsville, IL...Many new laws passed by State Representative Dwight Kay (R-Glen Carbon) and the Illinois General Assembly will take effect on January 1, 2013.

"In 2012 the Illinois General Assembly and myself were able to agree on several common sense pieces of legislation which will take effect in 2013," said Rep. Dwight Kay. "I supported bi-partisan legislation which ensured that our state budget does not spend more than Illinois' estimated revenue. I cut my own salary 10%, was successful at reducing fraud and abuse of taxpayer dollars by reforming Illinois' Medicaid system, and initiated policy reforms in relation to how the State of Illinois administers workers' compensation claims."

In the Spring of 2012 the Illinois General Assembly approved bi-partisan legislation ensuring the State of Illinois budget does not spend more than the state receives in revenue. HJR 68 estimates Illinois' revenue for the current fiscal year (FY13) to be at $33.7 billion. The FY13 revenue estimate was established and supported by the majority in all four legislative caucuses which includes both the House/Senate republicans and democrats.

"What happened with this years' budget was monumental, the legislature came to a consensus two years in a row to not spend more money than what the state receives in revenue," said Rep. Dwight Kay. "However, more work must be done in 2013 to reduce Illinois' deficit, we must continue to identify ways to cut unnecessary spending, and improve job creation and retention in our state. I will fight to fund core essential needs of our state such as: education, care for our most vulnerable citizens, and the need to preserve a safe environment for the State of Illinois. I also, will fight to see that money is not wasted or misused for political purposes as has been the case in the past."

Some of the most recognized new laws taking effect January 1, 2013 range from honoring our fallen Armed Forces, eliminating unauthorized phone bill charges, protecting our children from sex offenders, and Caylee's Law. Honoring our Armed Forces

"We must never forget the men and women serving who have lost their life in the line of duty," said Rep. Dwight Kay. Under P.A. 097-0723 (Senate Bill 2494) the Secretary of State will issue special license plates to all siblings of a person who lost their life while serving in the United States Armed Forces. The Secretary of State may issue more than one set of license plates to qualified applicants. Application for this special registration place does not require an additional fee on top of the normal registration fee.

Eliminating Unauthorized Phone Bill Charges

In 2011, the Federal Communications Commission estimated as many as 20 million Americans would be victims of "phone cramming," the practice of putting charges on a telephone bill for unauthorized services. Phone cramming was abused by third party providers, not necessarily your phone company. In essecence victims of "phone cramming" were billed for products or services they did not authorize, want or even order and these charges appeared on the customers phone bill. P.A. 097-0822 (House Bill 5211) states that a third-party vendor cannot bill a consumer for goods or services that will appear as a charge on a consumer's telephone bill.

According to Rep. Dwight Kay, "victims of phone cramming for the most part were unaware of the additional charges and had no recourse. This new law should eliminate this confusion called phone cramming while deterring unauthorized charges from appearing on your phone bill."

Protecting our Children from Sex Offenders

Also taking effect in January is P.A. 097-0699 (Senate Bill 3579) that prevents child sex offenders from participating in a holiday event with children under 18 years of age. Actions such as distributing candy on Halloween, wearing a Santa Clause costume on or before Christmas, or wearing an Easter Bunny costume on or before Easter will now be a Class 3 felony punishable by up to 1-3 years in prison.
"This legislation will help protect young children from exploitation by child sex offenders," said Rep. Dwight Kay. "We need to do whatever we can to protect vulnerable children."

Caylee's Law

"In response to hundreds of e-mails received in support of Caylee's Law from constituents in the
Metro East and to ensure an incident as tragic as Caylee's does not occur again, Caylee's Law will become effective January 1, 2013," said Rep. Dwight Kay. "There is no excuse for
withholding information regarding a missing child. Waiting over 30 days to report a child
missing is negligent and this new law will ensure there are consequences for negligent and irresponsible behavior."

P.A. 097-1079 (Senate Bill 2537) changes state law by creating a new offense for failure to report a missing child. The legislation stems from the death of Caylee Anthony which has touched the hearts of citizens throughout the Metro East and nation. Local authorities in the State of Florida were unfortunately not notified of Caylee Anythony's death for over 30 days sparking a nationwide effort to reform state laws to ensure that a missing child or death of a child is reported within 24 hours.

For more information about the new laws which will take effect in 2013, please visit www.ilga.gov 
or http://www.ilga.gov/reports/static/Public%20Acts%20by%20Effective%20Date.pdf  to view all new laws effective throughout 2013.