On January 1, 237 new laws will take effect in Illinois. Unfortunately, a balanced budget is not among them.

Several of the new laws affect children, veterans and the elderly. Others affect drivers and consumers. Here's a quick look at some of the more notable laws taking effect on Friday, January 1.

A full list of new laws can be found here.
Below are some important legislative and statewide updates. Please have a Merry Christmas, and a joyous holiday season!

FY16 Budget
·         Legislative leaders meet with Governor Rauner for third time; Madigan a no-show.  The series of budget meetings has brought together Governor Bruce Rauner with Illinois legislative leaders to discuss issues standing in the way of the enactment of constitutional balanced budgets for FY16 and FY17.  The third in this series of meetings was held in Chicago on Thursday, December 17. 
 
The high-level meeting follows sharp criticisms leveled against the Democrats’ leader in the Illinois House, Speaker Michael Madigan.  The powerful Democratic legislative leader and party chairman had previously told attendees at a gathering, held on Wednesday, December 9 at the City Club of Chicago, that the State needed to look at re-instituting a 5.0% personal income tax rate on individual Illinois incomes.  Madigan’s move in January 2011 to pass a bill to enact the first 5.0% individual income tax rate was the largest tax-hike law in Illinois history.  Speaker Madigan’s spokesman told the press that the House leader would not be able to attend the December 17 meeting and the Speaker was not in attendance.  
 
SPRINGFIELD – State Representative Randy Frese (R-Paloma) is pleased to announce the passage of various significant state funds to his House District.
 

Rep. Frese stated, “With the passage of Senate Bill 2039, veterans homes, motor fuel tax receipts for roadway projects and road safety, statewide 911 services, breast cancer research, domestic violence shelters, and lottery payments will all receive due funding. I do realize these items are vital to so many in my District, and I cannot wait to call our community leaders to inform them of this long-awaited appropriation. I also cannot wait to tell this news, in person, to all those good people I have met at Quincy Veterans Home. I was happy to support the amendment that collectively passed all of these funds, and I hope to see our General Assembly continue to progress through cooperation. While many key budget issues remain unsolved, this is a vital step forward for local government.”

It is anticipated that the Illinois Senate will promptly convene its members to concur with the House on Senate Bill 2039, and Governor Rauner has already stated his support of the appropriations.