It's almost that time of year when new laws come into effect, and hearing some of the new ones that hit in nearby states can be a bit jarring. A new one for Illinois that will go into effect on January 1, 2024, is interesting, if not controversial, to say the least.

The question begs, should Michigan adopt the law?

The law in question only pertains to minors, citizens under the age of 18. Beginning on the new year, the law will be on the books in Illinois that will change the way minors are levied fines.

According to our sister station in Rockford, KHMO, the law reads:

"SB 1463 – Fees and fines can no longer be assessed in Illinois to individuals under the age of 18, except for traffic tickets, boating or fishing violations, or municipal ordinance violations."

The law seems like a rational one, as most minors don't have the opportunity to have a stable income to pay back fines or fees for minor infractions. Of course, many of those same teenagers are rather likely to get their first speeding ticket, which they'll still be responsible for paying in that event.

Of course, that also points to there not being many other infractions for which a fine is usually handed out. One thing that does spring to mind is graffiti or other such acts that would likely lead to a hefty fine but not jail time for a minor. There's little doubt that Michigan could have a bigger graffiti "problem" than Illinois.

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The fact of the matter is that Michigan may not have the necessary data to come to a conclusion on whether to pursue a law such as this one. This column expresses how there is an odd lack of juvenile crime statistics and data available in the state of Michigan. Searching for that info myself for this article didn't prove fruitful, so the opinion in the article has some weight.

Nonetheless, communities in Detroit, Flint and Muskegon certainly have reputations, especially with younger offenders. Even Grand Rapids has a growing problem with juvenile offenders according to this article.

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