JB Pritzker

New Illinois laws: Full-day kindergarten, new aid for grandparents coming soon

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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed more than 150 measures into law in recent days, and many could have significant ramifications on the state in future years.

Two of the newest bills were signed by Pritzker on Wednesday, including a bill that would implement full-day kindergarten by the 2027-28 school year.

Pritzker and his administration cited the educational benefits of full-day kindergarten, and emphasized that half-day kindergarten would remain available for parents who choose it.

Another bill that was also signed Wednesday will establish a pilot program in Will County that will give additional aid and resources to grandparents that are the primary caregivers for their grandchildren.

Officials say more than 70,000 grandparents are primary caregivers in the state, and the pilot program will help them locate resources, including from the Extended Family Support Program, which is administered by DCFS.

"Raising a child can be difficult for anyone, and with the many unique issues facing older adults, it can be overwhelming to deal with the hardships that come with raising children," State Rep. Natalie Manley said in a statement. "There are many resources that the state provides grandparents to help alleviate some of the burden that they are facing, and the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Pilot Program will ensure that seniors are connected to these resources, and can take full advantage of them."

Other new laws include legislation that gives residents legal recourse if they are the victim of “deep-fake” sexual material, while another will impact the way medical facilities can attempt to obtain funds from patients via the collections process.

Still another will allow non-citizens of the United States to become law enforcement officers, so long as they are eligible to work in the United States.

Here are some of the laws that Pritzker signed.

*note: All laws will take effect Jan. 1, 2024 unless otherwise noted.

HB 1199 – Beginning next year, October will be designated as Italian-American Heritage Month in Illinois.

HB 1132 – The Illinois Emergency Management Agency will adopt rules specifying minimum training and experience requirements for “laser safety officers,” and will require personnel and liability insurance for companies putting on laser shows and displays. This law takes effect immediately.

HB 2068 – All employers with 50 or more employees, and that are located within one mile of regularly-scheduled transit service, will be required to allow eligible employees to exclude public transit costs from their taxable wages.  

HB 2094 – All marketing materials from mortgage companies not connected to a homeowner’s mortgage company must comply with specified requirements so as not to mislead consumers.  

HB 2123 – The “Digital Forgeries Act” holds that individuals have a right to legal recourse if they are the target of “deep fakes” or digitally-altered sexual images.  

HB 2245 – This bill requires Cook County to establish a vehicle theft hotline to facilitate the location of stolen vehicles.

HB 2269 – All estate-planning documents must be able to be prepared electronically. Previously, only wills were included in that category.  

HB 2431 – Videoconferencing while driving will now be banned in Illinois.

HB 2493 – All employees in Illinois will now have unpaid leave of up to two weeks in the event a family or household member is killed in a crime of violence.

HB 2531 – The Illinois Department of Transportation will be required to begin the prequalification process for public-private agreements related to a south-suburban airport, which will be located near Peotone.

HB 2719 – Hospitals will be legally required to screen patients for eligibility for financial assistance before sending them to collections.

HB 3236 – Contracts, transactions and agreements that extend credit to a consumer to purchase a dog or cat will be null and void.

HB 3751 – Non-citizens who are legally allowed to work in the United States will now be eligible to apply to become police officers.

HB 3957 – Manufacturers and wholesale drug distributors will be required to abstain from price gouging in the sale of essential off-patent and generic drugs.

SB 1463 – Fees and fines can no longer be assessed in Illinois to individuals under the age of 18, except for traffic tickets, boating or fishing violations, or municipal ordinance violations.

SB 1896 – New and used licensed motor vehicle dealers will be allowed to conduct sales activities via the internet, and will be permitted to deliver vehicles to a customer’s residence or another suitable location.

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