Happy New Year!  Did you know that there are over 300 new laws that just went into effect in Illinois?  A lot of them won’t come up in your life, but a bunch are going to be relevant to a lot of people. Here are some that I think will have a big impact and some of my thoughts:

– If you ask for medical assistance for an opioid overdose, you will be immune from prosecution for possession of those drugs.  Great idea, now expand it to all drugs.

– Non-compete clauses are banned for people making less than $75,000.00 a year. This is a great start, but I personally think the limit should be higher and the length should be reduced to a year.

– Minimum wage is up to $12 an hour and is on its way to $15 an hour.

– No contact orders now also include email and social media. I can’t believe this wasn’t already the case.

– Expecting mothers can now use handicap stickers for up to 90 days in the third trimester.  Hopefully, this doesn’t get abused by family members, but helping pregnant women is always a good thing.

– Restaurants have to serve water, milk, or juice as the default beverage on kids’ meals rather than soda.

– Schools are banned from discriminating against kids whose hairstyles reflect their racial, ethnic, or cultural traditions.

– Companies can no longer charge early termination fees for customers of telephone, cellphone, television, internet, energy, medical alert system, or water services who die before the end of their contracts.  I can’t believe they would do that, except I have AT&T so I can totally believe it.

– Pubic school students can have up to five mental health days with no doctor’s note required.

– Public universities can no longer make prospective students submit ACT or SAT scores.  Google the bias in those tests and you’ll likely agree this is a good idea.

– Health departments can’t regulate lemonade stands run by kids under 16.  Who in their right mind would do that?  Obviously someone did, as this seems like a reactionary law.

– Counties and cities with populations greater than 500,000 will require all law enforcement officers to wear body cameras. All officers in the state will be required to wear them by the beginning of 2025.

These are 12 of the most impactful ones in my opinion. As always, if you have questions about any Illinois laws or want to speak to an attorney for free, call us at 312-346-5320.