Legal Policies/Procedures/Laws

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Constitution of the State of Illinois ARTICLE I BILL OF RIGHTS

SECTION 1. INHERENT AND INALIENABLE RIGHTS All men are by nature free and independent and have certain inherent and inalienable rights among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. To secure these rights and the protection of property, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. (Source: Illinois Constitution.) SECTION 2. DUE PROCESS AND EQUAL PROTECTION No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law nor be denied the equal protection of the laws. (Source: Illinois Constitution.)

Democracy is a form of government in which all eligible citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Democracy allows eligible citizens to participate equally—either directly or through elected representatives—in the proposal, development, and creation of laws. It encompasses social, economic and cultural conditions that enable the free and equal practice of political self-determination.

Authoritarianism is characterized by highly concentrated, and centralized power maintained by political repression and the exclusion of potential challengers. It uses political parties and mass organizations to mobilize people around the goals of the regime.[2]

Authoritarianism emphasizes arbitrary law rather than the rule of law, it often includes election rigging, political decisions being made by a select group of officials behind closed doors, a bureaucracy that sometimes operates independently of rules,[dubiousdiscuss] which does not properly supervise elected officials, and fails to serve the concerns of the constituencies they purportedly serve. Authoritarianism also tends to embrace the informal and unregulated exercise of political power, a leadership that is “self-appointed and even if elected cannot be displaced by citizens’ free choice among competitors,” the arbitrary deprivation of civil liberties, and little tolerance for meaningful opposition.[2]



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Explaining Bill of Rights Part 1


10 New Illinois Laws Taking Effect July 1

There are several new laws taking effect in Illinois on Wednesday, ranging from a minimum wage increase to new education requirements in schools and mandated training to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.

Here’s a look at 10 of the measures taking effect:

Minimum Wage Increase

Minimum wage workers are getting a raise for the second time this year. Under this new law, the minimum wage increases from $9.25 to $10 per hour, following a $1 increase at the beginning of the year. On Jan. 1, 2021, it will increase again to $11 per hour and keep climbing until it reaches $15 per hour beginning on Jan. 1, 2025.

Gas Tax Increase

Illinois’ gas tax doubled last year to 38 cents per gallon to fund road improvement. A 0.7 cent-per-gallon increase takes effect July 1, mandated under a new formula tying the tax to the rate of inflation.

Stronger Penalties for Texting and Driving

This measure amends the Illinois Vehicle Code to establish a 12-month license suspension and minimum fine of $1,000 for a driver who causes great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to another person while texting and driving.

Stronger Penalties for Drivers Who Injure Someone While Violating Right-of-Way

This new law establishes a 12-month license suspension for a motorist who, while violating the right-of-way at crosswalks and in school zones, causes serious injury to another person.

No License Suspension for Failing to Pay Fines

The Illinois secretary of state will not be allowed to suspend a person’s driver’s license or vehicle registration for failing to pay a fine or penalty on time under this new law, with legislators expressing the belief that a person still has the right to drive to work despite not being able to afford a driving ticket.

GBTQ History Taught in Schools

LGBTQ history must be taught in Illinois public schools starting in the 2020-2021 school year. The bill also requires schools to purchase textbooks that are “non-discriminatory” and “include the roles and contributions of all people protected under the Illinois Human Rights Act.”

Civics Education in Schools

This requires requires the state’s public schools to teach at least one semester of civics any time between sixth and eighth grades. The lessons must focus on government institutions, discussion of current and societal issues and simulations of the democratic process.

Sexual Harassment Prevention and Annual Training

This measure makes it a civil rights violation for an employer to harass an employee based on race, religion, age, sex, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, pregnancy, citizenship status and more. It also delineates that an employer is responsible for harassment done by employees, consultants and contractors if the employer becomes aware of the conduct and “fails to take reasonable corrective measures.” Companies must disclose to the Illinois Department of Human Rights each year any judgments, rulings or settlements against them related to harassment or discrimination.

The new law also requires every employer to provide sexual harassment prevention training once a year, and all restaurants and bars are required to provide a sexual harassment policy to all employees in writing within the first week of their employment. Hotels and casinos must also, in addition to supplying employees working in areas alone safety or notification devices to call for help if needed, include in an anti-sexual harassment policy a provision allowing employees to take paid time off to file a police report or criminal complaint.

All Employees Protected From Discrimination

The size of an employer will no longer determine whether workers will be protected from discrimination on the basis of race, sex, age, sexual orientation, religion and a range of other protected categories. The definition of employer in the Illinois Human Rights Act was changed to mean anyone employing one or more person in the state for 20 or more weeks within the calendar year. Previously, employer was defined under the act as having 15 or more people under employment.

Government’s Coronavirus Response

This new measure makes several changes to Illinois law, particularly as it relates to state government’s approach to the coronavirus pandemic. It establishes the Restore llinois Collaborative Commission, a commission with 14 members from the House and Senate to address efforts to revive various sectors of Illinois’ economy amid the pandemic. It also allows meetings by government bodies to be conducted by audio or video conference if the governor or Illinois Department of Public Health has issued a disaster declaration related to public health concerns and if meeting in person would be impractical.

To see a list of 50 new laws that took effect in Illinois at the beginning of the yearclick here.

NBC Chicago/Associated Press



A Guide for Parents  in Illinois who are

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Know Your Rights: What To Do If You’re Stopped By Police, Immigration Agents or the FBI by ACLU

Info Forward by Mr. Betts, South Shore Connect:

10 rules




According to the Chicago Municipal Code, any grass in excess of ten inches is in violation and will be ticketed. The fine is $600! Let’s be good neighbors and keep our community looking nice! For questions, please call my public service office at Alderman Holmes 773-731-7777.


Gov. JB Pritzker signs bill raising smoking age to 21 statewide by ABC New

CHICAGO (WLS) — Illinois became the first state in the Midwest to raise the buying age of nicotine products to 21 after Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed landmark legislation Sunday. 

Gov. Pritzker was joined by the bill’s sponsors, State Rep. Camille Lilly and State Sen. Julie Morrison. Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, Senate President John Cullerton, House Republican Leader Jim Durkin and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin also joined the governor. Representatives from health organizations and hospital systems throughout Illinois, including the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association and Respiratory Health Association were also be in attendance.


“Today is a milestone day for the health of our communities and especially our young people,” said Gov. JB Pritzker. “We are here today to raise the age to purchase tobacco to 21 in Illinois. This is action that’s supported by the surgeon general, the American Cancer Society, our own Illinois Department of Public Health, our local health departments, by all available research, every standing here and by common sense.” 

HB 345 covers both tobacco and vaping products, including cigarettes, chewing tobacco, e-cigarettes and vapes. 

After four years of legislative effort and a veto by Gov. Rauner, lawmakers swiftly passed the Tobacco 21 bill mere weeks ago. The bill takes effect July 1, when Illinois and Virginia will become the eighth and ninth states to implement the legislation. 

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in Illinois. This year, more than 4,800 kids under age 18 in the state will become new daily smokers. But if a person doesn’t begin using tobacco before age 21, they are less likely to start in the future. 

As a result of the City’s robust policy agenda and enforcement actions, teen smoking in Chicago has reached a record low of six percent, dropping by more than half over the last six years. 

In February, Mayor Emanuel announced that the City filed a lawsuit against 27 online sellers of e-cigarettes and vaping liquids for selling the products to minors.


Hyde Park Township 

Property Tax Assessment Appeal Forum

Dear Taxpayer,
If you did not file a property tax assessment appeal with the Board of Review for the 2013 property tax cycle, our office would like to assist you in properly preparing your appeal for the 2014 property tax cycle. Should you believe the value of your property has decreased, while your assessment has remained high, I invite you to attend a property tax assessment appeal forum in Hyde Park Township, Tuesday,ng with honorable guests State Senator Kwame Raoul, State Senator Mattie Hunter, State Senator Napoleon Harris, State Representative Marcus Evans, State Representative Elgie Sims, State Representative Robert Rita, Cook County Commissioner Robert Steele, Cook County Commissioner Deborah Sims, Cook County Commissioner Stanley Moore, Alderman Pat Dowell, Alderman Leslie Hairston, Alderman Roderick Sawyer, Alderman Michelle Harris, Alderman John Pope, Clerk of the Circuit Court Dorothy Brown & Cook County Recorder of Deeds Karen A. Yarbrough.Attending this forum will provide you with the opportunity to address your concerns regarding the 2014 property tax cycle. We will also assist you in submitting an appeal to our office and answer any additional questions you might have about the appeal process. Please be sure to bring your property tax bill and other evidence you believe provides proof of your property’s true value, such as a current appraisal. I look forward to seeing you there.Best,

Commissioner Larry Rogers, Jr.

To find out more about the Board of Review and our process, contact my office at (312) 603-5540.  For filing deadlines, upcoming events, or to file an appeal online, go to  You may also file in person at the County Building, located at 118 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL. or at one of our neighborhood satellite offices.


The Cook County Board of Review is now accepting preregistration 20114 assessment complaints from individuals filing on their own property for any township that has not yet opened for review by the Board of Review  Click the link below to file online.

Please be aware that the thirty-day filing period is now open for property located in the following townships:

  • Riverside
  • River Forest
  • Norwood Park
  • Rogers Park
  • Evanston
  • Oak Park
  • Cicero
  • Palos
  • Berwyn
File Online Now


New Illinois Law Will Fast Track Forclosures

Health Care Reform Info

Criminal Background Check
Click HERE for Know your Rights flier

Drinking Safe .08 Legal How Many Drinks is this?;assets=videos&assetID=10009831

Click Links below:
Chicago Rents Rights Part 1 of 4

Chicago Rent Rights Part 2
Chicago Rents Rights Part 3
Chicago Rent Rights Part 4

Information forward by Alderman Hairston:

Cook County Recorder of Deeds- Property Fraud

Did you know that in many instances, stealing someone’s house can be easier than stealing a car? All it takes is someone filing a fraudulent transfer of ownership document with the Cook County Recorder of Deeds.
Savvy fraudsters often target elderly persons who live in paid-for homes, and who have no heirs. This allows the criminal to take out a mortgage or sell the home outright once the owner dies.
Though the documents may be fake, the damage is real because the homeowner must get a court order, at their own expense, to have the fake document removed. Until this happens, the true owner will be unable to refinance or sell their home.
Although a new state law was passed recently that creates an expedited judicial review process to remove fraudulent recordings, there is a tool available now that can alert you when a document is recorded against your property’s 14-digit Property Identification Number found on your property tax bill. 
The Cook County Recorder of Deeds free Property Fraud Alert will trigger a phone call or email to you when a new document is recorded, so that you can investigate further. Getting this alert will help you to take immediate action, before the criminal uses the fraudulent document to take out a loan against your home.
Signup is easy, free and your information is never used for anything other than the alert. Best of all, you can monitor multiple properties, allowing people to monitor the homes of their older parents and relatives. You can sign up online at, or by calling 800-728-3858.
If you suspect property fraud or have questions about signing up, please call the Property Fraud Unit at 312-603-4000.

There have been a number of reports regarding people who walk their dogs around the neighborhood but fail to clean up after their pets. This is unhealthy, a nuisance, inconsiderate and illegal. The following law describes the penalty for such a violation.

7-12-420 Removal of excrement.
No person shall appear with a pet upon the public ways or within public places or upon the property of another, absent that person’s consent, without some means for the removal of excrement; nor shall any person fail to remove any excrement deposited by such pet. This section shall not apply to a blind person while walking his or her guide dog.
Any person found to have been in violation of this section shall be fined not less than $50.00 nor more than $500.00 for each offense.

My office and the Department of Animal Care and Control as well as the Police will be taking stepped up enforcement measures. Additionally, if you observe anyone breaking this law, please contact my office at 773-721-1999.

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