Almost 300 laws go into effect January 1st – NBC Chicago

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Nearly 300 new laws will go into effect in Illinois at the start of the New Year.

According to both Democratic and Republican lawmakers, the laws include everything from excused mental health days for students to a minimum wage increase to optional college admission tests, new official holidays to criminal justice reform and more.

Here are a few that both the Democratic and Republican Senate factions think you should know.

SB 1682:

Requires pharmacies to post a notice informing customers that they can request the retail price of branded prescription drugs or generic drugs.

HB 576 / SB 1577: Excused Absence of Mental Illness for Illinois Public Schools

Gives Illinois students up to five excused absences to prioritize their mental health.

HB 0605

Requires government agencies and institutions to purchase only US-made flags of Illinois and America

SB 817

Prohibits discrimination against natural and ethnic hairstyles, including locs, braids, twists, and afros.

SB 119: Let children be children

Prohibits the regulation or closure of lemonade stands and other non-alcoholic sales items operated by anyone under the age of 16 by health authorities. The law stems from a case where a lemonade stand was closed because the child did not get the required permit to use the stand.

HB 3922

Recognizes June 19th – June 10th – as the official holiday celebrating the end of slavery in the United States

HB 168

Prohibits any person with a history of criminal offense such as torture or animal fighting from owning or living with animals.

HB 122: consumer protection

Ends early termination fees for deceased residents. Effective January 1st, providers of telephone, cellular phone, television, Internet, energy, medical alarm systems, and water services will be prohibited from charging for the termination or early termination of a service contract.

SB 58

Decreases the registration fee for trailers weighing less than 3,000 lbs. from $ 118 to $ 36.

HB 226: Optional university entrance test

Allows students to choose whether to submit their ACT / SAT score when applying to Illinois public institutions. The law only affects the admission procedures for the state’s public universities.

Minimum wage increase

The minimum wage increases to $ 12 an hour on January 1 and continues to increase on January 1 of each year until it reaches $ 15 an hour on January 1, 2025.

FOID law changes

The new FOID law provides for the following changes from January 1, 2021:

• Encouraged, but does not require fingerprints. A streamlined process for renewing FOID cards and CCL licenses will be given to those who agree to fingerprinting.
• Allows the Illinois State Police to issue qualified applicants with a combined FOID card and concealed carry license.
• Requires Illinois State Police to maintain a public database of all firearms reported as stolen, which must be verified before a firearm is passed on to prevent accidental disclosure of stolen firearms.
• Assigns a new violent crime task force to carry out enforcement measures against people with revoked FOID cards.

In addition, the following additional provisions will come into force on January 1st, 2024:

• Requires that person-to-person firearm transfers be verified through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) at a state-licensed arms dealer or through online validation by the Illinois State Police using NICS.
• Requires Federal Firearms Licensures (FFL) to keep records of a transfer for 20 years. At the request of a peace officer, the transferees must identify the FFL dealer who is keeping the transfer protocol. The penalty for non-compliance is a Class A offense.
• Requires that those who receive a firearm in private are required to provide proof of delivery to a licensed firearms dealer within 10 days. The merchant, in turn, must retain the records for 20 years and can charge up to $ 25 for retention. The recipient of the firearm must be able to provide the name of the arms dealer who is keeping the records for that particular firearm, if requested by law enforcement agencies. Otherwise it is a class A administrative offense.

HB 3653: Law to Reform the Criminal Justice System

A bill that will bring far-reaching reforms to the criminal justice system and the police force, including the end of cash bail in Illinois, is due to go into effect Monday by Governor JB Pritzker.

The provisions of the bill, which contain several elements opposed by law enforcement agencies and victim advocacy groups, will come into force at different times. A law coming into effect early in the new year marks the beginning of the phased requirement that all law enforcement officers in the state wear body cameras by 2025.

Counties and cities with populations of 500,000 or more (City of Chicago; Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, and Will) must require all police officers to wear body cameras by January 1, 2022. Smaller departments will be introduced gradually. All officials across the state are required to wear them by 2025.

Other provisions of the bill will come into force at a later date. Read more about the bill here.

Email, social media posts added to contactless orders

To close a loophole that some predators used to reach targeted victims, lawmakers have taken steps to strengthen the Stalking / No Contact Order Act.

From January 1st, a person who is prohibited by a contactless order from contacting another person by telephone or in person can also be prohibited
Sending emails, texts or social media posts.

Tighter penalties against child predators

Legislators closed a loophole that allowed family members who were in possession of child pornography to escape prison terms. By amending the Penitentiary Act, child pornography laws make possession of child pornography if the child is a household or family member of the defendant an unsuspected offense. Previously, this category of offenders could be sentenced to suspended sentences for their pornography conviction.

Agricultural Science becomes an official course

For high school students, courses in agricultural science now count towards the three-year science class required for admission to any public university in Illinois. Instead of the two-year foreign language requirement for admission to a public university, courses in agricultural science can now also be taken.

Outline the cost of college

A new comprehensive report that is now required to be completed by all public universities in Illinois requires the public university the student is attending to provide that student with a report that includes the following when a student adds or changes a major:
• The estimated cost of his education in connection with a degree in that degree;
• The average monthly payment of the student loan over a 20 year period based on the estimated cost of its education;
• The average placement rate within 12 months of graduation for a graduate with a degree in that degree;
• The average starting wage or salary for an occupation corresponding to that major; and
• The average wage or salary five years after starting employment with this focus.

Free Gold Star License Plates for Survivors

Starting January 1, the state of Illinois will offer free Gold Star badges to surviving widows, widowers, or parents of someone who served in the U.S. armed forces and lost their lives in the military. Previously, a registration fee of $ 151 was charged for these specialty signs.

State flags for Next of Kin

After the death of an Illinois soldier, a member of the Illinois National
Guard will present an Illinois State flag to the next of kin.

Repackage unused prescription drugs

The new Illinois Drug Reuse Opportunity Program Act now allows individuals to return their unused prescription drugs to participating pharmacies, who can then repackage them and make them available to patients in need. Pharmacies can charge a small processing fee.

See more new laws going into effect in January here.


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