With the beginning of each New Year, a new set of laws takes effect.
On January 1, 2023, more than 180 new laws covering a wide range of issues affecting Illinoisans will go into effect.
A complete list of all new Illinois laws enacted in the coming year can be found here.
Here’s a look at some of the most intriguing laws that are set to take effect.
The SAFE-T Act of Illinois
The Illinois SAFE-T Act, a massive criminal justice reform legislative package updating rules governing jail time while awaiting trial and police use of force, was one of the most comprehensive, and likely the most contentious, laws signed into law this year.
The most contentious provision in the SAFE-T Act is the key provision to end cash bail, which advocates say keeps poor people in jail because they can’t make bail, even on minor charges, while wealthy people can pay for their pre-trial release, even for more serious crimes.
The cash bail provision became a major campaign issue in the races for governor and state attorney general in Illinois. The law allows judges to detain suspects they deem dangerous without bail, and amendments signed by Gov. JB Pritzker in December expanded the list of detainable offenses to include some non-violent crimes.
The amendments also clarified other contentious aspects of the bill, such as the fact that police can still arrest someone for trespassing and that judges can issue arrest warrants when someone fails to appear in court.
The SAFE-T Act also mandates that all Illinois police officers wear body cameras by 2025, creates a more defined system for police complaints, and mandates additional law enforcement training.
Worker’s Right Amendment
Illinois is a strong union state, and it just got stronger after voters approved the Workers Rights Amendment in the midterm elections in 2022.
The amendment to the state constitution that guarantees government employees the right to organize and bargain collectively over employment terms.
Supporters argue that it will ensure that workers can always use collective bargaining to secure better pay, hours, and working conditions. It will also prevent the legislature from passing a so-called right-to-work law, which would allow workers covered by union contracts to avoid paying dues if the legislature shifts to the right.
The amendment received more than half of the vote in the midterm elections.
There are no fees for carjacking victims (HB3772)
When your car is stolen, you should not be held responsible for any tickets. This law ensures that people whose cars have been stolen are not subject to violations, fees, fines, or penalties if their vehicles are detected by red light or speed cameras.
Streamlining the identification of missing people (SB 3932)
This law, inspired by the death of Jelani Day, requires coroners and medical examiners to notify the FBI if human remains in their custody are not identified within 72 hours of discovery.
Leave of Absence for Miscarriage (SB 3120)
This law allows women to take 10 days of unpaid leave after a miscarriage, stillbirth, or other diagnosis or event that affects pregnancy or fertility.
Safer Food Preparation (HB209)
This law prohibits the use of latex gloves when handling and preparing food, as well as for emergency responders such as paramedics, making it safer for people with latex allergies to eat and receive emergency medical care.
Electronic Protection Orders (SB 2667)
It should not be dangerous to file paperwork to take your abuser to court. To better protect survivors, the law now allows anyone to file for a protective order by email or online, in addition to in person. It also mandates that counties with populations greater than 250,000 provide the option of a remote hearing.
The Crown Act (SB 3616)
This law expands on the anti-discrimination law that went into effect in 2021 and applies to schools by including traits associated with race, such as hair texture and protective hairstyles like braids, locks, and twists, to combat hair discrimination in the workplace.
Aiding Women in Obtaining Treatment (HB 5254)
This law requires health insurance plans to cover medically necessary hormone therapy treatments for women who have had a hysterectomy and thus induced menopause in order to prevent osteoporosis and other medical conditions.
Another law, HB 4271, requires medically necessary breast reduction surgery to be covered by state-regulated private insurance.
Made In Illinois (SB 3609)
This law reduces vehicle registration fees for cars and small trucks manufactured in Illinois to encourage Illinoisans to support the state economy.
Vehicle Registration for Seniors (HB 5304)
This law reduces the vehicle registration fee for seniors from $24 to $10 in order to ensure that senior citizens save money.
Honoring Illinois Military Personnel (SB 3459)
The next of kin of fallen Illinois service members who died while on state or federal active duty will be presented with an Illinois state flag when their families are honored.
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