Some of the new regulations that take effect Jan. 1 on the U. of I. campus:
Drivers with disabilities must pay at meters
Two Illinois laws that go into effect Jan. 1 are designed to offer new protections in the system that grants parking privileges to drivers with disabilities. The laws increase the fine for the unauthorized use of a disability license plate or parking decal and fines doctors who falsify disability certification. The law also ends the parking-meter fee exemption for those with disability placards, although drivers who are unable to access or operate a parking meter would still be exempt.
Campus becomes smoke-free
The Smoke-free Campus initiative was announced more than a year ago and the start date of Jan. 1 is less than two weeks away. In announcing the initiative, Chancellor Phyllis M. Wise said the campus would become smoke-free in order to promote a healthy living, learning and working environment.
The new policy will apply to everyone - students, faculty and staff members and visitors. It will include all forms of burning tobacco, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, hookahs and cigarillos. It will ban smoking on all campus-owned property - indoors and outdoors - as well as the use of e-cigarettes on campus-owned property and smoking in private vehicles parked on campus-owned property. It does not affect the use of smoke-free products such as chewing tobacco.
To help faculty and staff members and students adapt to the new policy, the campus will continue to offer tobacco-cessation programs through McKinley Health Center and the U. of I. Wellness Center.
Gun law doesn't change on campus
The new Illinois law allowing citizens to carry a concealed handgun won't have much effect on campus. All of the rules and regulations governing the possession of weapons on campus will continue to apply.
The only difference will be the new exception for those with a concealed-carry permit, which still restricts the actual carrying of a firearm on campus (outside of storing the weapon in a vehicle) - a provision that was pushed by university and state law enforcement officials during legislative discussions in Springfield.