State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) announced there are 237 new laws scheduled to take effect January 1, 2016.

Rep. Meier called attention to several new laws which may be of interest to residents in region this New Year. Some of the laws scheduled to take effect include deterring 911 prank calls, adding missing senior citizens to the Amber Alert, banning the sale of powdered caffeine to minors, protecting senior citizens from estate scams and prioritizing handicap accessible parks.

According to Rep. Meier added, “Hundreds of laws are scheduled to take effect this New Year, it is important the public become familiar with the new laws which have an impact on us and our neighbors.”

Illinois lottery winners to be paid for IOUs

After months of gridlock, the State of Illinois will be releasing funds owed to local municipalities for the maintenance of roads and 9-1-1 services. State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) supported the legislation recently signed into law authorizing the release of state funds to be used for public safety, among other appropriations include payments to lottery winners.

“I was hearing concerns for months from local governments in my district desperately needing the funds owed to them so they can buy road salt to keep their streets and highways safe this winter,” said Rep. Meier. I am told local governments should expect to receive their funding fairly soon. It’s refreshing to see bipartisanship on this legislation. I hope this is a sign of positive things to come.”

Public Act 99-0491 authorized the release of $3.1 billion for sixty-six funds. Since the FY15 budget ended on June 30, 2015, funds owed to local governments were delayed as a result of no state law authorizing the funds to be released and even lottery winners were given IOUs for prizes exceeding $600.

Rep. Meier added, “When the State of Illinois stopped paying lottery winners over $600, our lottery ticket sales dropped and some residents in my district went across the river to Missouri to buy lottery tickets and the same thing happened throughout the State. I anticipate Illinoisans will start to play Illinois lottery now that we can pay them with cash instead of an IOU.”