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The Two-Minute Guide to New Laws for 2019

New year, new rules. Here’s a rundown of some of what’s changing in Illinois — and who might be ticked off about it.

Illustration: Vidhya Nagarajan

1 On Wednesdays we wear pink — to hunt

Deer hunters now have more fashion choices. In addition to blaze orange, they can wear blaze pink, which is equally undetectable by their colorblind prey. Representative Jerry Costello II, a Democrat from downstate Smithton, believes the new law will encourage more women and girls to take up hunting. You know, because ladies don’t want to be seen in camo. At 6 in the morning. In the woods.
Potential protesters:Women who call the assumption offensive — and stores with racks of unsold merchandise. (Pink gear bombed in Wisconsin.)

2 Three texts, you’re out

Teachers don’t buy the excuse that there’s just something really, really interesting in your lap, and neither do police: Your first ticket for texting while driving will count as a moving violation and go on your record. (Previously, first offenses were classified as nonmoving violations and didn’t stick to your record.) Three violations within a year, and you could lose your license.
Potential protesters:Habitual texters who can’t stand just staring at taillights during rush hour

3 Buckle up for the long haul

Children will have to be restrained in rear-facing car seats until the age of 2, unless they reach 40 pounds or 40 inches first. (Previously, it was at the parents’ discretion.) The law does not specify whether this applies to hayrides or lifts in the beds of pickup trucks, rites of passage in rural Illinois.
Potential protesters:Car seat extremists who think the law doesn’t go far enough and that kids should stay rear-facing until kindergarten

4 Phone home on the company dime

If your boss calls you when you’re not in the office, he’s (probably) going to be paying your cellphone bill! The Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act has been amended to require companies to reimburse employees for expenses “directly related to services performed” for their employers. A similar law in California has led to businesses paying for their workers’ home internet packages, a fair outcome in a world where electronic communication makes it impossible to hide from the boss.
Potential protesters:Cash-strapped businesses that don’t want to pay for enabling your Words With Friends addiction

5 The Parkland effect

Governor Bruce Rauner signed a pair of gun control bills that even the Supreme Court will probably agree respect the Second Amendment. The first lets judges issue an order of protection allowing police to seize guns for up to six months from people believed to pose “an immediate and present danger” due to violent behavior or substance abuse. The second applies the 72-hour waiting period to assault rifle purchases. (Previously, it just covered handguns.) Both were inspired by the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida.
Potential protesters:Have you met the NRA?

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