Chesney Guest Column: New Illinois Laws Take Effect January 1

I hope this finds you and your family well and wish for you the best of the holiday season. As we approach the year’s end, I want to take a moment to thank you for the privilege of representing your interests in Springfield. I am humbled by and grateful for the trust you have placed in me.

On your behalf, I cast votes on hundreds of pieces of legislation this year and on January 1 more than 180 of those bills will go into effect as new state laws. Some of those include:

  • The cost of license plate registration will be reduced from $24 to $10 for low-income seniors and people will disabilities (HB5304).
  • New rights were enacted for nursing home residents that include among other things, the right to be treated with courtesy and respect (SB1633).
  • Taxpayers will be able to access an interactive map on the State of Illinois Comptroller’s website that provides the location and annual financial information of all statewide taxing bodies (HB0568).
  • Homeowner associations will be assured the right to file an appeal to the Property Tax Appeal Board on behalf of homeowners (SB3069).
  • Health insurance plans will be required to offer coverage for hormone therapy treatment for women who have undergone a hysterectomy (House Bill 5254).
  • In the Foster Children’s Bill of Rights Act, the list of rights is expanded to include new items designed to support children transitioning in and out of the foster care system (House Bill 5418).
  • The Family Bereavement Leave Act will now permit up to 10 work days of unpaid leave from work due to a miscarriage, unsuccessful fertility procedure, failed adoption, failed surrogacy agreement, diagnosis that negatively impacts fertility, or stillbirth (Senate Bill 3120).
  • Returning military service members will have better access to gain civilian work experience through the SkillBridge program for employers and transitioning service members. SkillBridge is designed for service members to gain civilian work experience through industry training apprenticeships or internships during their last 180 days of service (House Bill 5385).
  • This new law erases the stigma of a high school equivalency diploma versus a high school diploma, and also reduces the cost of GED exams for adult education students. This change replaces references to high school equivalency certificates to State of Illinois High School Diplomas and will aid Illinois graduates in establishing reciprocity with educational requirements in other states (Senate Bill 3792).
  • Streamlines the Farmers’ Market Permit for those who choose to sell their products at markets in multiple counties are standardized in this law, rather than being different from county to county. Permits will be valid for one year and fees shall not exceed $175 (Senate Bill 3838).

As we gather together with our families and loved ones to celebrate this joyous time of year, please take a moment to consider how you can help those in need and honor those who keep us safe: Our first responders, frontline healthcare workers and those serving in the armed forces.

It has been an honor of lifetime to represent you in the Illinois House of Representatives. On behalf of my staff and myself, we wish you a very Merry Christmas.

State Representative Andrew Chesney advocates on behalf of the 89th District in Illinois. As a legislator, his policy priorities include cutting taxes, creating jobs, and government accountability and transparency.