New Illinois Laws That Take Effect Today
It's July 1. Starting today there are some new laws that take effect today.
It's now illegal in Illinois to sell or provide cigarettes or other tobacco products to anyone under 21.
The “Tobacco 21” bill is among new Illinois laws that take effect with the July 1 start of the state’s new budget year.
It bars anyone from selling or providing cigarettes, electronic cigarettes or any other “alternative” tobacco product to anyone under 21 according to the Chicago Sun Times.
Illinois lawmakers passed 599 bills during the spring 2019 session. Of those, as of Wednesday, only 27 had been signed into law.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker has 60 days to sign or veto any bill after receiving it from the General Assembly.
Also starting July 1, Senate Bill 28 reinstates the “five clock-hour” rule, which requires a school day to include at least five hours of instruction. That had been the law for years in Illinois but was inadvertently omitted when lawmakers overhauled the state school funding system in 2017.
The law has exceptions to the five-hour rule for time some students spend taking college classes for dual credit, participating in a supervised career development program, participating in a youth apprenticeship or taking part in an approved “blended learning” program.
Also as of Monday, people who provide various child services for the state Department of Children and Family Services will get a 5 percent raise in their reimbursement rates — the first such increase in several years.
Many bills Pritzker has signed have already gone into effect. For example, mayors can now perform marriages in Illinois.
Many local governments lost some authority, however, on April 19, when Pritzker signed Senate Bill 2988. It stops townships from regulating the placement of wind farms outside an incorporated city’s zoning area. That bill stemmed from a dispute in Douglas County, in eastern Illinois, where two townships sought to block a large-scale wind farm.
Local governments also lost authority to enact local “right-to-work” laws under Senate Bill 1474, the “Collective Bargaining Freedom Act,” which Pritzker signed April 12.
Right-to-work laws prohibit people from being required to join a union as a condition of employment. Senate Bill 1474 came in response to an ordinance passed by the village of Lincolnshire, in northern Illinois, in 2015.
Another bill that has already taken effect expands the ability of workers, their families or their estates to file claims for damages that result from exposure to toxic substances. Previously, workers had a defined period of time in which to file those claims, known as a “period of repose.” That prevented many workers from filing claims for occupational diseases such as mesothelioma, a cancer that results from asbestos exposure, that don’t become known until long after the deadline had passed.
Senate Bill 1596, which Pritzker signed May 17, provides that those conditions are no longer subject to any repose provisions.
A number of other bills enacted this year do not take effect for some time. For example, a tax-amnesty program is set to begin Oct. 1 and run through Nov. 15. During that time, people who owe back taxes to the state can pay off those debts and avoid having to pay interest and penalties.