ROUNDUP: nearly 300 Illinois laws take effect January 1

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — As is typical when the calendar flips to January, hundreds of laws take effect in Illinois this January 1.

The Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus has compiled a list of the new laws. Here are some of the highlights:

  • House Bill 562: makes changes to the Firearm Owner Identification (FOID) Card and Conceal Carry License (CCL) programs, including combining both into one card.
  • House Bill 3027: allows expectant mothers during the third trimester to use a disabilities motor decal or device for no more than 90 days with adequate documentation.
  • House Bill 310: ensures feminine hygiene products are available for free at all homeless shelters providing housing assistance to women and/or children.
  • House Bill 122: ends early termination fees for utility customers who are deceased before the end of a contract. Bill sponsor Dan Didech said most Illinois utilities already follow this guidance. He said the new law serves as a reminder.
  • House Bill 96: grants people with light sensitivity from a brain injury the ability to use additional automobile window tinting.
  • Senate Bill 564: requires schools to include in history education the contributions made by Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist Americans, and any other collective community of faith that has shaped America.
  • Senate Bill 512: bans e-cigarette companies from using cartoons or other things that appeal to kids in advertisements. Bans advertisements that promote e-cigarettes as a stop-smoking tool or a low risk alternative to tobacco if the FDA has not approved the product for those uses. Adds safeguards to prevent people under 21 from buying e-cigarettes online.
  • House Bill 226: Students applying to an public college or university will no longer have to submit ACT or SAT scores. The University of Illinois is already test-optional, but it said on its admissions website “We encourage you to report your scores if you feel they accurately represent your ability.”
  • House Bill 557: Schools must adopt policies that prioritize students who may be at higher risk of suicide for intervention. This includes students who are suffering from a mental health or substance abuse disorder, have a history of self-harm or attempted suicide, are experiencing housing struggles, have lost a loved one to suicide, or are part of the LGBTQ community.
  • House Bill 576: K to 12 students can take up to five mental health days per school year without a doctor’s note, and the student will be allowed to make up missed work. After a student takes a second mental health day, they will be referred to a staff member like a counselor.
  • Senate Bill 817: Schools can not discriminate against students with natural hairstyles traditionally associated with race and ethnicity- including locs, braids, twists, and afros.
  • Senate Bill 63: requires the Department of Children and Family Services to ensure that children in care who are seniors in high school have completed a FAFSA, a critical college financial aid document, by November 1 of their final year of school and provide assistance in obtaining required documents.
  • Senate Bill 119: provides that the Illinois Department of Public Health, local health departments, and public health districts may not regulate the sale of lemonade or non-alcoholic drinks or mixed beverages by a person under the age of 16. This allows kids to operate roadside lemonade stands without fear of being shut down.
  • Senate Bill 139: allows a person currently married to request a copy of their marriage certificate with the term “spouse” rather than any gender identifying language, and provides an affidavit for individuals to fill out in order to request the certificate.
  • Senate Bill 505: provides members of the Illinois National Guard serving on State Active Duty, federal duty, or training status with a state flag presented to their next of kin upon their death.
  • Senate Bill 633: requires schools to report incidents of violence that occurred on school grounds or during school-related activities that resulted in an out-of-school suspension, expulsion, or removal to an alternative setting on their School District Report Card website. This would allow parents to have more information when deciding where to send their child for school.
  • Senate Bill 672: provides that a written agreement not to compete is prohibited unless the employee’s earnings exceed $75,000 per year. This would offer protections for young people working at a restaurant, for example. The bill also said an agreement not to solicit, which deals with a company’s clients, is prohibited unless the employee’s earnings exceed $45,000 per year.
  • Senate Bill 1600: requires a restaurant or truck stop to provide its employees with training in the recognition of human trafficking and protocols for reporting observed human trafficking to the appropriate authority.
  • Senate Bill 1730: requires public corporations to report the self-identified sexual orientation and self-identified gender identity of their directors. This is so citizens can learn more about a company’s diversity.
  • Senate Bill 1791: provides that, in order to further the prevention of accidents, the Illinois Department of Transportation shall conduct a traffic study following the occurrence of any accident involving a pedestrian fatality that occurs on a state highway. The study must look at changes to the roadway, such as a stoplight. The results of the study must be made public.
  • Senate Bill 1846: requires restaurants to serve water, milk, milk alternative or juice with a children’s meal as the default beverage. Kids, though, can request another drink, like a soda.
  • Senate Bill 1892: provides that probation, term of periodic imprisonment or conditional discharge should not be imposed for child pornography if the victim is a household or family member of the defendant. Supporter said this would keep convicted people away from their victims.
  • Senate Bill 2089: requires the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to fly a United States flag, an Illinois flag and a POW/MIA flag at all state parks within five years of the bill becoming law.
  • Senate Bill 2116: requires the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice to provide civics education to juveniles who are scheduled to be released from custody.
  • Senate Bill 2122: provides that statements provided by minors are inadmissible as evidence if obtained using deceptive practices by law enforcement.
  • Senate Bill 2129: allows state’s attorneys to petition the court to reduce an offender’s sentence if the state’s attorney believes the original sentence no longer advances the interests of justice.
  • Senate Bill 2193: provides that a person commits burglary when he or she knowingly enters or remains within a freight container without authority.
  • Senate Bill 2339: requires law enforcement agency records and all circuit court records relating to any investigation or proceeding pertaining to a criminal sexual offense to exclude the identity of a child victim.
  • Senate Bill 2354: allows for students to take one year of speech and debate in high school as a replacement for music, art or foreign language requirements.
  • House Bill 20: repeals the registration fee for Gold Star license plates for surviving spouses or parents of veterans who died either during wartime or peacetime.
  • House Bill 168: Prohibits an individual from adopting or otherwise possessing animals if he or she has been convicted of two or more specified animal-related offenses.
  • House Bill 247: Requires certain state buildings to be built with glass that minimizes bird collisions. Buildings can be exempt if the construction changes “would result in a significant additional cost for the project.”
  • House Bill 376: requires every public elementary and high school to include in its curriculum a unit of instruction studying the events and contributions of Asian Americans in Illinois and the U.S.
  • House Bill 605: prohibits state institutions and agencies from purchasing Illinois state flags and American flags not made in the United States of America.
  • House Bill 656: requires that the passenger of a motorcycle must be capable of resting a foot on the footrest while the motorcycle is in motion.
  • House Bill 1954: designates the first full week of April as Autism Acceptance Week.
  • House Bill 3922: designates June 19 as a paid state holiday for state employees and public school teachers, Juneteenth, commemorating the end of slavery.
  • House Bill 3929: permits the Illinois Department of Public Health to issue health care worker decals for license plates.

    While it’s not a new law for 2022, the state’s minimum wage will increase to $12 per hour on January 1. That’s part of a 2019 law that will take the wage to $15 per hour by 2025.

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