A look at some of the new Illinois laws as of Jan. 1, 2008

By The Associated Press

Even as they spent all year fighting, state lawmakers approved more than 220 measures that become Illinois law on Jan. 1. Here is a look at some of them:

  • Statewide ban on smoking in bars, restaurants and other public workplaces.
  • Official endorsement of embryonic stem cell research and creation of an institute to award grants.
  • Extra hurdles for would-be teen drivers, including longer periods of training before getting a license and increasing to 19 the age at which drivers can talk on cell phones.
  • License plates honoring veterans of the Korean war, veterans’ widows and Boy and Girl Scouts.
  • New two-day youth-only deer hunting season in September and October.
  • Expansion of the crime of unlawful contact with street-gang members to include people who have been ordered by a court or while on parole not to have such contact.
  • Broader definition of adult entertainment facilities barred from being within 1,000 feet of places such as schools, day care centers, public parks or churches.
  • New research center at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville to promote ethanol research and production.
  • Many state buildings required to install energy-saving light bulbs.
  • New coordinating council to oversee conservation and water management of the Wabash and Ohio Rivers in southern Illinois.
  • All Illinois residents may participate in a program that provides cash awards for suggestions on saving money on state government operations.
  • Drivers required to leave a space of at least three feet when passing a bicyclist or pedestrian traveling in the same direction.
  • Child safety restraint systems mandated in trucks and tractor-trailers equipped with seat belts.
  • Pet dogs allowed with their owners at outdoor restaurants in Chicago.
  • Drivers must yield for pedestrians in crosswalks near schools on school days between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. or face fines for violations.
  • New state program to provide loans and grants for reducing lead paint hazards through home window replacements in some communities.