2023 is right around the corner, and Illinoisans can expect to see change when it arrives.
The new year will not only bring new beginnings, but it will bring 185 new laws for the state.
More than 180 new laws take effect on January 1, 2023, and many are expected to impact existing policies in public safety, education, health, labor, and even agriculture.
WGN News Now unveiled 14 laws we think you should know about for the coming year.
An amended Safe-T law, which was a hot topic in the 2022 election, calls for a system without cash bail. The law is seen as a fairer system in which pretrial detention is based on risk to the community rather than financial means.
It aims to eliminate inequities for defendants who cannot afford to post bail and will replace Illinois’ current cash bond system when it goes into effect Jan. 1.
An ongoing lawsuit challenging the SAFE-T law is set to be heard in Kankakee County next week.
MODIFICATION OF WORKERS’ RIGHTS
The Worker’s Rights Amendment or Amendment 1 guarantees workers the right to organize and bargain collectively or join a union in Illinois. It guarantees workers the possibility of obtaining better working conditions, working hours and remuneration.
Some business groups and conservatives have opposed the measure arguing that it gives unions too much power, could lead to more strikes, drive companies out of Illinois for more industry-friendly states, and increase Taxes.
AMENDMENTS TO THE EMPLOYEE SICK LEAVE ACT
Effective January 1, rights granted under the Employees Sick Leave Act (ESLA) will now be the minimum standard in a collective agreement. ESLA requires employers to allow employees to use their time for absences due to injury, illness, medical appointment or personal care of covered family members. (including child, son-in-law, spouse, domestic partner, sibling, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandchild, grandparent or -relative of the employee)
THE CROWN ACT
The Crown Act, which stands for Creating a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair, makes it illegal to discriminate against Illinois because of “hairstyles historically associated with specific racial groups.” The law codifies protections and expands and clarifies the definition of race to include traits such as hair texture or protective style and therefore protects them under prohibitions against racial discrimination.
A DAY OF REST IN SEVEN ACT
The One in Seven Days of Rest Act (ORSDA) has been amended so that Illinois employers must change from a “calendar week” to a consecutive seven-day period on Jan. 1. Under the new law, workers must be given at least 24 consecutive hours of rest during each consecutive seven-day period. Changes are also being made to employee meals and breaks. As of January 1, anyone working 7.5 hours must have a meal break of at least 20 minutes and this must begin no later than 5 hours after the start of work. Employees receive an additional 20-minute meal period for each additional 4.5 hours worked; and if they work a 12-hour shift, they get two unpaid meal breaks.
FAMILY LOSS LEAVE ACT
Starting the first day of the year, employers in Illinois are required to provide up to 10 working days of unpaid leave to workers who may be absent from work due to any of the following events:
- A miscarriage
- An unsuccessful cycle of intrauterine insemination or assisted reproductive technology procedure.
- A failed adoption match or an adoption that is not finalized because it was disputed by another party
- A failed surrogacy deal
- A diagnosis that negatively impacts pregnancy or fertility
- A stillborn
CHICAGO MISSING AND MURDERED WOMEN ACT TASK FORCE
This act creates a task force to examine and report on the systemic causes of violence against women and girls in Chicago. At least 50 women have gone missing or been murdered in Chicago and their families have little to no answers as to why. The new task force will collect data on violence against women and girls in Chicago and explore the impact of institutions and policies on violence, what steps are needed to reduce violence, and how to support victims and their communities.
ACT RESPECTING SCHOOL BOARDS TAKING ACCOUNT OF TRAUMAS
This law requires that every voting member of a school board in districts across the state receive training in “trauma-informed practices.” These practices may include recognizing and addressing trauma in students and staff, the effects of trauma on student behavior and learning, and recognizing the effects of implicit or explicit biases among groups of students. related to race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, social status. -economic situation and several other factors.
SCH CD-ACT OF SUBSTITUTE TEACHING
As of January 1, substitute teaching applicants will not need a bachelor’s degree to be eligible to teach. If they are enrolled in an educator preparation program or if they have accumulated 90 credit hours in an educator preparation program, they will be eligible for substitute teaching under the Act. This law aims to curb the shortage of substitute teachers in Illinois.
This law allows 18-year-olds to become paraprofessional educators as long as they meet all other requirements for an educator license with stipulations; and they can only use the license for elementary education.
PRIVATE FLOOD INSURANCE
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 operating plans . The law also establishes provisions for people who may live in a flood zone, such as notice of cancellation and non-renewal.
DEATH CERT-SERVICE MEMBER
This law amends the Vital Records Act and states that obtaining a death certificate for an active duty or retired member of the United States military is free. A written request will need to be sent to the local registrar or county clerk’s office and these offices cannot charge more than $6 for subsequent copies.
POLICE RETENTION AND RECRUITMENT PACKAGE
This law lowers the retirement age from 60 to 55 for some Illinois State Police employees. It also creates a Deferred Retirement Option Plan for FAI Soldiers and allows retiring Sheriffs, Investigators, Probation Officers and Security Employees to purchase their service badge and firearm.
BENEFITS OF PRESCRIPTION MEDICINES
This law helps families manage their prescription drug costs and reduce monthly out-of-pocket expenses. Insurance companies are required to have at least 10% of their individual plans and a group plan that offers fixed direct payments for prescription drugs. Insurance companies are also required to make 25% of their individual plans and two group plans with the same lump sum payment option by January 1, 2024.
**UPCOMING LAWS IN 2024
**GENETIC TESTING FOR CANCER
Changes the Illinois insurance code so that insurance companies must pay for genetic kits for breast and ovarian cancers. Early detection of both cancers is vital for women and beginning January 1, 2024, insurance companies will be mandated to cover the costs of genetic test kits for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes in the state of Illinois. After a health care provider recommends a test, the law would go into effect and insurance coverage for costs associated with genetic testing for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. This would start on or after January 1, 2024.
**PROSTATE CANCER SCREENING
This law provides all Illinois men with free coverage for prostate cancer screenings and will eliminate copayments, deductibles, or cost sharing. The new law requires health insurers and managed care plans to cover the costs of prostate-specific antigen tests, digital rectal exams and follow-up tests. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men after skin cancer and early detection is key to survival with 98% of men surviving at least five years when prostate cancer is caught early. This is effective January 1, 2024
**BREAST REDUCTION SURGERY
This law requires insurance coverage for medically necessary breast reduction surgeries and comes into effect on January 1, 2024.