Public housing

Rising minimum wage, pets in public housing among new changes to Illinois laws

SPRINGFIELD — Minimum wage workers in Illinois will see their hourly wages increase to $12 an hour starting Jan. 1, while tenants of affordable housing will be allowed to keep pets.

These are just a few of more than 300 new laws coming into force in the new year.

The minimum wage increase is the result of a 2019 law that phased in a state minimum wage of $15 an hour by 2025. This year, it will increase by $1 to $12 an hour. time.

The law allowing public housing tenants to keep pets is the result of Senate Bill 154 by Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora, and Rep. Stephanie Kifowit, D-Oswego. It states that tenants of multifamily housing units acquired, built or renovated with money from the Illinois Affordable Housing Trust Fund can keep up to two cats or one dog, as long as the dog weighs less than 50 lbs.

It applies to residents of units designated as affordable housing for low and very low income families. The bill was passed by both houses on May 30; Governor JB Pritzker signed it into law on August 6.

Other new laws:

Vehicle taxes: Senate Bill 58 increases the private vehicle tax, a sales tax paid on the purchase of vehicles, by $75 when the sale price is less than $15,000 and by $100 for vehicles whose price exceeds this amount. Listing fees for trailers weighing less than 3,000 pounds will drop from $118 to $3 currently.

College Admissions: House Bill 226, establishing the Fair Higher Education Admissions Act, prohibits public colleges and universities from requiring applicants to submit scores for the SAT, ACT, or other other standardized tests as part of the admissions process, although prospective students may choose to submit them.

Drug prices: Senate Bill 1682 requires pharmacies to post a notice informing consumers that they can request current retail prices from pharmacies at the point of sale.

FOID Map Changes: House Bill 562 makes several changes to the gun owner’s identification card law. Among other things, it provides a streamlined renewal process for FOID cards and concealed carry licenses for people who voluntarily submit fingerprint records. It also allows the Illinois State Police to issue a combination FOID card and concealed carry license to qualified applicants. And, it establishes a new Violent Crimes Intelligence Task Force to take enforcement action against individuals whose FOID cards have been revoked.

What an Illinois FOID map looks like. Several changes to the law governing the issuance and renewal of these cards come into force on January 1, 2022.
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Student mental health: House Bill 576 and Senate Bill 1577 allow Illinois students up to five excused absences to attend to their mental or behavioral health without providing a medical note. These students will have the opportunity to catch up on any work missed during the first absence and, after enjoying a second mental health day, may be referred to the appropriate school support staff.

Official flags: House Bill 605 states that Illinois and United States flags purchased by state agencies and institutions must be made in the United States.

Hairstyles: Senate Bill 817 prohibits discrimination in schools against individuals on the grounds of wearing natural or ethnic hairstyles, which include dreadlocks, braids, twists and afros.

Lemonade stands: Senate Bill 119 prohibits public health authorities from regulating or closing lemonade stands or similar operations that are operated by children under 16. Kankakee has been shut down by local authorities.

June 16: House Bill 3922 recognizes June 19, or “Juneteenth,” as an official holiday marking the end of slavery in the United States. In June, President Joe Biden also signed a bill designating June 19 as a federal holiday.