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Attorney General Focuses On Four New Laws

Regional Radio News continues their look at some new laws in place in Illinois starting in 2022. Attorney General Kwame Raoul highlighted four new laws that are taking effect. One of the laws lets victims of human trafficking take advantage of the state’s address confidentiality program which allows them to stay confidential and provides protection that was previously only available to domestic violence survivors. 

 

The program is free of charge and while it is not a witness protection program, it can be part of a safety plan.  Enrollment lasts for a period of four years and participants can renew their enrollment at the end of the period.

 

Another law that goes into effect is the Preventing Youth Vaping Act.  This is intended to address the levels of youth e-cigarette usage. The law prevents companies from marketing products to minors.  Attorney General Raoul says he has seen an uptick in recent years of youth using e-cigarettes and vaping.

 

 

Another law in effect increases the amount of money available to victims of violent crime and their families to cover expenses resulting from a violent crime.  The law provides that a victim’s criminal history or felony status shall not automatically prevent the victim or their family from receiving compensation. This law also increases the maximum amount of compensation from $27,000 to $45,000 for a crime committed on or after August 7th, 2022.  This compensation mostly happens in cases that involve the loss of support, earnings, and medical bills. 

 

There are also police certification and decertification changes. There are three areas of reform that the law is focusing on: creating uniformity during the review process, promoting professionalism, and increasing transparency. Uniformity allows for investigations of serious officer misconduct that may not automatically lead to decertification but still warrants a review. 

 

A mandatory reporting system is also being put in place to ensure that officers have completed in-service training, are still employed, and are in compliance with standards. The law also improves information between hiring departments, prosecutors, and the public. Raoul says it’s important for this transparency.

 

 

The law also gives the Attorney General’s office clear authority to investigate and resolve patterns or practices of unconstitutional practices by local or state agencies. 

 

All of these laws went into effect on January 1st, 2022.
 

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