Two Stadelman-inspired laws make Top 10 list

State Senator Steve Stadelman passed two of the 10 new state laws deemed most important for 2018. The measures introduced by Stadelman empower victims of domestic violence and protect freedom of speech for Illinois consumers.

Senate Bill 1898 allows consumers to post unflattering online reviews of products and services without being subject to threats of lawsuits or financial penalties. Under the "Right to Yelp" law, "non-disparagement clauses" in sales contracts, which  forbid consumers from offering negative feedback about retailers, are now prohibited.

Stadelman, a former TV journalist, introduced the legislation to protect the right of consumers to voice their opinions, an increasingly powerful tool with the rise of internet review sites like Yelp. Illinois is one of few states to provide this consumer protection.

Senate Bill 57 gives victims of domestic violence the ability to leave abusive relationships without giving up their cell phone plans.

When petitioning the court for an order of protection, abuse victims now can ask a judge for the right to continue use of a phone number. If granted, wireless providers would be required to allow victims to separate their cellular accounts from their abusers. The law removes a financial obstacle for victims without the money to start a new phone plan and allows them to more easily find housing and employment because they can keep contacts, emails other digitally stored data.

More than 200 new laws take effect Jan. 1; many refine and update existing laws to reflect changing times and needs.
•    Review the full Top 10 list

Initiative to curb 'doctor shopping' signed into law
A measure supported by State Senator Steve Stadelman to reduce opioid abuse will become state law on Jan. 1.
Before prescribing a controlled substance, doctors will be required to check the Prescription Monitoring Program database to see if a patient previously was written a prescription for the drug by another doctor. The goal is to make it more difficult for people to obtain prescriptions from multiple physicians, a practice known as doctor shopping. In 2015, Illinois began requiring pharmacies to file daily reports of all controlled substances they dispense. Until now, however, physicians weren't required to check the monitoring database before writing prescriptions.

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed Senate Bill 772 last week in East St. Louis.
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