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Nearly 300 new Illinois laws take effect Jan. 1. Here's some of the ones you should know about

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WREX) — When the clock strikes 12:00 a.m. Saturday morning, hundreds of new laws will go take effect in Illinois.

According to lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, the new laws include a wide variety of topics; including minimum wage going up, criminal justice reform, excused mental health days for students and more.

In total, there will be nearly 300 new laws going into effect next year. The beginning of 2021 saw just three new laws go into effect after the coronavirus pandemic shut down majority of the legislative session in 2020.

Here's a look at some of the new laws you should know about:

Minimum Wage

The minimum wage in Illinois is set to increase another dollar on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022. The new wage will be $12 an hour.

The raise in minimum wage is part of legislation Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed back in 2019 that increases the state's minimum wage to $15 by 2025. There have been three increases in the minimum wage since the governor signed the wage hike legislation.

SB 817

Prohibits schools from issuing policies on hairstyles historically associated with race or ethnicity. The legislation addresses injustices in dress code polices and protects Black youth in Illinois facing hair bias in schools.

The governor signed the legislation in the summer.

HB 576/SB 1577

Gives students at Illinois Public Schools up to five excused absences to prioritize their mental health. No medical note is required. 

HB 3922

Recognizes June 19 – Juneteenth – as an official holiday celebrating the end of slavery in the U.S.

The legislation clarifies that Juneteenth will be a paid holiday for state workers and public education professionals when June 19 falls on a weekday. Given that June 19 falls on a Sunday in 2022, the first paid state holiday for Juneteenth will be in 2023.

Gov. Pritzker signed the legislation in June. 

HB 3653: Criminal Justice Reform 

A bill that brings sweeping criminal justice and police reforms, including the end of cash bail in Illinois.

The governor signed the controversial bill back in February

Provisions of the bill, which include several elements opposed by law enforcement and victims’ advocacy groups, take effect at different times. One provision of the law taking effect at the beginning of the new year includes the start of the phase-in requirement that all law enforcement officers in the state wear body cameras by 2025.

Click here to take a look at some of the other changes of the bill. 

HB 168

Those who have been convicted of two or more animal abuse offenses will no longer be allowed to own a pet. 

Click here to learn more about the new law. 

SB 122

Bans police from lying to kids and teens during interrogations. The bill was signed as part of a package of bills back in June

FOID Card Changes:

• Encourages but does not require fingerprinting. Those who agree to fingerprinting are granted a streamlined process for renewal of FOID Cards and CCL licenses.

• Allows for the Illinois State Police to issue a combined FOID Card and concealed carry license to qualified applicants.

• Requires the Illinois State Police to establish a public database of all firearms that have been reported stolen to be checked prior to the transfer of any firearm to prevent the inadvertent transfer of stolen firearms.

• Tasks a new Violent Crime Intelligence Task Force to conduct enforcement operations against those with revoked FOID Cards.

HB 605

Requires state agencies and institutions to only purchase Illinois and American flags made in the U.S.

SB 58

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

SB 0160

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.

SB 0161

Allows the Secretary of State’s office to accept electronic signatures and delivery of records.

SB 1677

Amends the Stalking No Contact Order Act to include electronic communication in the definition of “contact.”

SB 0505

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.

HB 310

Creates the Feminine Hygiene Products for the Homeless Act, which ensures that feminine hygiene products are available for free at all homeless shelters providing housing assistance to women and/or youth.

To learn more, click here

HB 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.

Pritzker signed the bill back in July

HB 226

Allows Illinois students to choose whether to submit a standardized test score when applying to Illinois public universities.

SB 0512: Teen Vaping

Creates the Preventing Youth Vaping Act by placing additional restrictions and regulations on e-cigarettes.

SB 119: Hayli's Law

Allows a lemonade stand to be operated by a person under 16 without regulation and without the need to apply for a temporary food permit with the local health department.

Governor Pritzker signed the bill in the summer. 

HB 122

Ends early termination fees on utility contracts for deceased residents. As of Jan. 1, providers of telephone, cellular phone, television, Internet, energy, medical alert system, and water services are prohibited from charging a fee for termination or early cancellation of a service contract.

SB 346

Requires the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services to put in place a school-based dental program that would allow out-of-office preventative services – like teeth cleanings.

Here's a full list of new laws going into effect at the beginning of the year. 

Have a news tip or story idea? Email us at news@wrex.com

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