New laws 2022: Illinois laws that take effect January 1

ByCraig Wall and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Saturday, December 25, 2021
New laws 2022: Illinois legislation that takes effect Jan. 1
With the start of the New Year always comes a new set of laws to obey. Read a complete list here, and see the top new Illinois laws for 2022.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- With the start of the New Year, there is always a new set of laws to obey.

Nearly 300 new laws are set to take effect on January 1, 2022, covering a range of issues big and small that affect Illinoisans.

A complete list of all new Illinois laws taking effect next year can be found here.

Here's a look at some of the most interesting laws set to go into effect.

Minimum Wage Increase (Public Act 101-0001)

Illinois is one of the states set to raise their minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025. In 2022, that means minimum wage will increase to $12 an hour for standard workers and $9.25 an hour for workers under the age of 18 who work less than 650 hours per calendar year.

MORE: Illinois' minimum wage will increase by $1 on New Year's Day

The new law maintains provisions for employers to count gratuities to offset wages for workers, such as food servers, who regularly earn tips, the department said. Tipped employees may be paid 60% of the hourly minimum wage. However, those workers must still earn the minimum wage after receiving tips, or the employer will make up the difference.

As of Jan. 1, 2020, employers are required to pay workers under the age of 18 the full minimum wage if they work more than 650 hours in a calendar year.

Prescription Drug Price Transparency (SB 1682)

SB 1682 amends the Pharmacy Practice Act and removes limits imposed on consumers looking to find out the retail price of brand name or generic prescription drugs.

Under the revised law, there is no longer a 10 request limit for consumers, and pharmacies are required to post a notice informing customers they can request the price of name brand or generic prescriptions, giving them more options to help cover the cost of medicine.

Student Mental Health Days (HB 576/SB 1577)

Two years of living through a pandemic has thrown into sharp relief how important it is to protect one's mental health. Students endure intense stress from tests, homework and extracurricular activities throughout the school year, often compounded by things they're going through at home.

These laws allow for students in Illinois to have up to five excused absences for mental or behavioral health, not just physical illness, to prioritize their mental health.

"Removing that, it gives a kid the opportunity to believe that they're worth what they are. So a student can be judged on their academic merit of what they've done for four years instead of three-and-a-half, four-and-a-half-hour test," said Gregory Dean, a counselor at Michele Clark Magnet High School.

Asian-American Education

History lessons next year will add some new curriculum to teach students about the contributions of Asian-Americans. Illinois will be the first state to require those materials.

"In order to combat things like the rise in anti-Asian racism and discrimination that we've seen, we need to teach our young people our students the full version of American history, we need to make sure that all students see themselves reflected in the curriculum they're learning," said Grace Pai, executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice.

No More Hair Discrimination in Schools (SB 0817)

You do you, including your 'do. The Jett Hawkins Act was named for and inspired by a Chicago 4-year-old boy, who faced discrimination for wearing his hair in braids at his preschool.

His mother, Ida Nelson, led the charge to establish a law prohibiting discriminating against natural and ethnic hairstyles including locs, braids, twists and afros, in schools.

READ MORE: Illinois bill banning hair discrimination in schools inspired by 4-year-old boy

Gov. JB Pritzker signed the bill into law in August, at a ceremony attended by Nelson and Hawkins.

"For decades Black people have had too often their natural and protective hairstyles weaponized against them," Pritkzer said at the time.

RELATED: Chicago mother wins fight to ban hair discrimination in Illinois schools

The law also requires the Illinois State Board of Education to provide schools with educational materials to teach about protective hairstyles.

"I am excited for the children of Illinois to be able to go to school without having to be concerned about their hair," Nelson said at the signing ceremony.

Hayli's Law (SB 0119)

Running a lemonade stand is a rite of passage for many kids. It's a way to learn responsibility, entrepreneurship, and strengthen bonds with the community. And, in Illinois, it was also subject to be regulated and shut down by public health authorities.

Hayli's Law, inspired by and named for 12-year-old Hayli Martinez, whose Kankakee lemonade stand was shut down by local health officials, says that lemonade stands and other stands selling non-alcoholic beverages operated by a person under the age of 16 can no longer be regulated or shut down by public health authorities.

It also prevents authorities from requiring a permit for children to sell lemonade in public parks or on private property.

Juneteenth Officially Becomes a Holiday (HB 3922)

Juneteenth, the holiday that celebrates the end of slavery in the United States, is officially an Illinois state holiday.

Gov. Pritzker signed the legislation in Springfield three days before this year's Juneteenth celebration, surrounded by members of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus. To commemorate the abolition of slavery throughout the United States and its territories in 1865, Juneteenth will be recognized as National Freedom Day in Illinois.

READ MORE: Gov. Pritzker makes June 19 IL holiday

Juneteenth is celebrated on June 19.

"Every holiday is a time for us to reflect and this would be a day of reflection, and if you are looking to heal the nation, man, you have to recognize the true history, whether we like it or not," said State Rep. La Shawn Ford, the bill's chief sponsor.

Forty six states had made Juneteenth a paid state holiday. Illinois became the 47th when Pritzker signed the law over the summer.

Standardized Testing Optional (HB 0226)

Standardized testing is only one way to measure academic performance and potential.

In order to increase enrollment among students with diverse socio-economic backgrounds, this new law requires Illinois public universities to make admissions decisions regardless of ACT or SAT test scores.

Students now can choose whether they want to submit a standardized test score when applying to public institutions in the state.

Protecting Animals from Abuse (HB 0168)

An animal abuser has no place living in a home with animals. This law prohibits people convicted of felony animal abuse offenses, like torture or animal fighting, from owning animals or living in a home with them.

American Flags Made At Home (HB 0605)

In an effort to support local manufacturers, this Illinois State House bill requires state agencies and institutions to only purchase Illinois and American flags made in the United States.

Free from Fees after Losing a Loved One (HB 1022)

When a loved one passes, families already have enough to worry about, from funeral services to estates and more. Extra hassle when tying up the loose ends of a life isn't appreciated or needed.

This new Illinois law ends early termination fees on utility contracts for deceased residents to make setting affairs in order that much easier.