2023 is here and has brought some changes to Illinois.
The New Year will not only bring new beginnings, but it will bring 185 new laws for the state.
More than 180 new laws go into effect on January 1, 2023, and many are expected to impact existing policies on public safety, education, health, labor and even agriculture.
WGN News Now broke out 14 laws we think you should know for the coming year.
An amended Safe-T Act, which was a hot-button issue in the 2022 Election, calls for a no cash-bail system. The Act is said to be a more equitable system where pre-trial detention is based on community risk rather than financial means.
However, in the last week of December, a Kankakee County judge ruled that portion of the SAFE-T Act unconstitutional. On December 31, the Illinois Supreme Court has halted the elimination of cash bail statewide pending an appeal.
The “Worker’s Rights Amendment” or Amendment 1 guarantees workers the right to organize and collectively bargain or join a union in Illinois. It ensures workers the ability to secure better working conditions, hours and pay.
Some business groups and conservatives opposed the measure arguing it gives unions too much power, could lead to more strikes, prompt companies to leave Illinois for more industry-friendly states, and would drive up taxes.
EMPLOYEE SICK LEAVE ACT AMENDMENT CHANGES
As of January 1st, rights afforded under the Employee Sick Leave Act (ESLA) will now be the minimum standard in a collective bargaining agreement. ESLA mandates employers allow employees to use their time for absences due to an injury, illness, medical appointment or personal care of covered family members. (including the employee’s child, stepchild, spouse, domestic partner, sibling, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandchild, grandparent, or stepparent)
The Crown Act which stands for Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural hair, makes it illegal to discriminate against Illinoisans because of “hairstyles historically associated with specific racial groups.” The act codifies protections plus expands and clarifies the definition of race to include traits such as hair texture or protective styling and therefore protecting them under bans against racial discrimination.
The One Day of Rest in Seven Act (ORSDA) has been amended so that Illinois employers must transition from a “calendar week” to a seven-day consecutive period on January 1st. Under the new law workers are required to get at least 24 consecutive hours of rest in every consecutive seven-day period. There are also changes to employee meal and rest breaks. As of January 1st, anyone working 7 ½ hours must get a meal break no less than 20 minutes and it has to begin no later than 5 hours after they started work. Employees get an additional 20-minute meal period for every additional 41/2 hours worked; and if they work a 12-hour shift they get two unpaid meal breaks.
Starting on the first of the year, Illinois employers are mandated to provide up to 10 workdays of unpaid leave to workers who may miss work because of one of the following events:
- A miscarriage
- An unsuccessful round of intrauterine insemination or assisted reproductive technology procedure.
- A failed adoption match or adoption that is not finalized because it was contested by another party
- A failed surrogacy agreement
- A diagnosis that negatively impacts pregnancy or fertility
- A stillbirth
TASK FORCE ON MISSING AND MURDERED CHICAGO WOMEN ACT
This law creates a task force to examine and report on the systemic causes of violence that women and girls experience in Chicago. At least 50 women have been reported missing or been murdered in Chicago and their families have few if any answers as to why. The new task force will collect data on violence against women and girls in Chicago plus explore the impact institutions and policies have on violence, the measures needed to reduce violence, and how to help the victims and their communities.
TRAUMA-INFORMED SCHOOL BOARDS ACT
This law requires every voting member of a school board in districts across the state receive training on “trauma-informed practices”. These practices may include recognition of and care for trauma in students and staff, the effects of trauma on student behavior and learning, and recognizing the effects of implicit or explicit bias among student groups tied to race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status and several other factors.
SCH CD-SUBSTITUTE TEACHING ACT
Effective January 1st, substitute teaching applicants won’t need a bachelor’s degree to be eligible to teach. If they’re enrolled in an educator preparation program or have earned 90 credit hours in an educator preparation program, they will qualify to substitute teach under the Act. This law aims to curb Illinois’ substitute teacher shortage.
This law allows 18-year olds to become paraprofessional educators as long as they meet all of the other requirements for an Educator License with Stipulations; and they can only use the license for elementary education.
Under this new measure the Private Primary Residential Flood Insurance Act was created. Insurers will have 30 days to file with the Department of Insurance in the event of a flood. The Department must notify insurers of plans to sell primary residential flood insurance products at least 30 days before selling flood insurance in Illinois, and they must file financial projections and plans of operation. The law also sets provisions for people who may live in a flood hazard area such as notice of cancellation and nonrenewal.
This law amends the Vital Records Act and mandates that obtaining a death certificate for an active duty or retired service member of the U.S. military is free of charge. A written request would need to be sent to the local registrar or county clerk’s office and these offices can’t charge more than $6 for any subsequent copies.
POLICE RETENTION AND RECRUITMENT PACKAGE
This law lowers the retirement age from 60 to 55 for select Illinois State Police employees. It also creates a deferred retirement option plan for ISP troopers and allows retiring sheriffs, investigators, probation officers and security employees to purchase their badge and service firearm.
INS-PRESCRIPTION DRUG BENEFITS
This law helps families manage their prescription drug costs and curb monthly out-of-pocket costs. Insurance companies are required to have at least 10% of their individual plans and one group plan that offers flat out-of-pocket payments for prescription drugs. Insurance companies are also required to make 25% of their individual plans and two group plans with the same flat payment option by January 1, 2024.
**LAWS COMING IN 2024
Amends the Ilinois Insurance Code so Insurance companies have to pay for genetic kits for breast and ovarian cancers. Early detection of both cancers is vital for women and starting January 1, 2024, insurance companies will be mandated to cover the costs for genetic testing kits for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes in the state of Illinois. After a healthcare provider recommends a test, the law would kick-in and insurance coverage for costs associated with genetic testing for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. This would start on or after January 1, 2024.
This law gives all men in Illinois free coverage for prostate cancer screenings and will eliminate co-pays, deductibles or cost-sharing. The new law mandates health insurers and managed care plans cover costs for prostate-specific antigen testing, digital rectal exams and follow-up testing. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer for men following skin cancer and early detection is key to surviving with 98% of men surviving at least five years when prostate cancer is caught early. This is effective January 1, 2024
This law requires insurance coverage for medically necessary breast reduction surgery, and it goes into effect on January 1, 2024