One way or another, many of the new Illinois laws will have some effect on the way we all live our day to day lives — even if those effects are unseen or unheard. Perhaps the most obvious wave created will come from the legalization of recreational marijuana, which is set to go into effect on January 1. Other laws include new taxes and a minimum wage hike. There are hundreds of new laws. Here are the ones you’re most likely to hear about in the next few weeks.
The minimum wage will increase by a dollar on January 1, and then continue to increase by a dollar every January 1 until 2025, when the minimum wage will rest at $15. Chicago’s minimum wage rise separate to the state, though. The city’s wage is $13 right now. Over the next two years, it will rise twice more to reach $15 on July 1, 2021.
Commutes around the city might change due to the new taxes levied on parking lots and garages that are not operated by state or municipal governments. The new taxes will increase prices by 6 percent for garage parking and 9 percent for parking lot use. Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the measure into law in order to acquire the revenue needed for a $45 billion program aimed at rebuilding the state’s infrastructure, which has long been crumbling.
One law sure to raise eyebrows is the newly mandated fees for license plates, which are set to rise quite a lot. Those with petroleum-based vehicles will notice prices rise from $50 a year to $151. Those with electric vehicles will be — somewhat inexplicably — hit the hardest. Prices for an electric vehicle’s license plate will rise from $35 a year to $248. Those increases are disproportionate with one another.
Other driving fines are set to rise as well. Passing a school bus, for example, will now cost a driver $300 instead of $150 (only for the first offense). Fines will also increase when passing emergency vehicles illegally or failing to pull over when those vehicles are trying to pass.
Sexual harassment laws are also about to change as a result of the worldwide #MeToo movement. Employers must mandate sexual harassment training for their employees. More importantly, they are now barred from forcing employees to sign NDAs — which were previously used to avoid legal penalties for sexual harassment or discrimination lawsuits that had been lodged.
The statute of limitations is being removed for certain sex crimes. Age is no longer a factor in this equation.
The Department of Corrections is now legally barred from suing inmates for costs associated with incarceration.
Students are now legally allowed to use “marijuana infused” products under the direct supervision of a school nurse when prescribed for a medical condition.