Governor Pat Quinn signed SB 2221 and SB 3075 into law on Friday, December 19. Both bills will be effective beginning June 1, 2015.
SB 2221, now Public Act 98-1131, amends the Code of Civil Procedure by removing the 10-year statute of repose for causes of action related to exposure to asbestos only. Victims that suffer injuries and diseases would no longer be denied access to justice solely due to the latent nature of their injuries. Illinois Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA) President John D. Cooney testified in both chambers on this bill. SB 2221 was sponsored in the Senate by Senator Kwame Raoul. Representative Elaine Nekritz sponsored the bill in the House.
SB 3075, now Public Act 98-1132, amends the Counties Code and the Code of Civil Procedure regarding jury service in Illinois. Specifically, the bill does the following:
- Increases the minimum payment for jury service to $25 for the first day and $50 for subsequent days.
- Offsets part of the proposed increase in payment for jury service by removing the current requirement that counties pay for the travel expenses of jurors, and by cutting the number of jurors in civil cases from 12 to 6. The amendment also requires the parties to pay for alternate jurors.
- Mirrors federal law and that of many states by reducing the size of civil juries from 12 to 6 in Illinois. The requirement of unanimous decision is unchanged.
SB 3075 was sponsored in the Senate by Senator John Mulroe. Representative Kelly Burke sponsored the bill in the House.