Jan. 1, 2017 is the effective date for almost 200 new state laws passed by the General Assembly and signed by the governor in 2016.
The Senate Democrats published their top ten list for 2017 on Dec. 15.
Laws make the list based on their importance to the public and how broadly they affect key issues such as safety, ethics, workers’ wages and benefits and criminal justice reform.
The Tampon Tax
Senate Bill 2746 updates Illinois’ tax codes to ensure essential women’s health products such as tampons, pads and menstrual cups aren’t charged the same sales tax as shampoo.
Sponsor: Sen. Melinda Bush.
Police Dog Retirement
Senate Bill 3129 gives police officers first preference to adopt their police dogs to ensure retiring police dogs can remain part of the officer’s family.
Sponsor: Sen. Tom Cullerton.
Ending Domestic Violence
House Bill 4264 trains cosmetologists, estheticians, nail technicians and hair braiders to look for signs of domestic violence by requiring them to take a one-hour continuing education class about domestic violence and sexual assault.
Sponsor: Sen. Bill Cunningham.
House Bill 5576 creates a seamless process to all women to access birth control without additional costs by requiring Illinois insurance companies to provide coverage for almost all FDA-approved contraceptive options.
Insurance companies are required to cover up to 12 months of contraceptives at a time.
Sponsor: Sen. Toi Hutchinson.
Senate Bill 3163 bans any company from asking a worker paid less than $13.50 an hour to sign a non-compete agreement.
Sponsor: Sen. Patricia Van Pelt.
Ending Pension Abuse
House Bill 4259 makes lobbying groups ineligible to receive taxpayer-funded pensions to end the abuse of vital state dollars.
Sponsor: Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant.
Senate Bill 1564 is an update to Illinois’ Health Care Right of Conscience law, which forbids medical providers to refuse certain medical treatments based on religious objections.
Under the new law Medical patients – and women in particular –will be better informed about their medical care.
Sponsor: Sen. Daniel Biss.
Sick Time Flexibility
House Bill 6162 requires employers to give their workers greater flexibility in using their sick time.
A company providing sick leave to employees must allow them to use up to half of their allotted time to attend to the medical needs of family members.
Sponsor: Sen. Jacqueline Y. Collins.
Removing Lead Toxins
Senate Bill 2300 prohibits the sale or release of properties with high lead levels until the problem is mitigated and the property is considered safe.
Older homes are more likely to contain lead and children are more susceptible to poisoning.
Sponsor: Sen. Donne Trotter.
Senate Bill 2907 requires law enforcement officials to accept cash to post bail.
Due to a credit card machine malfunction, a county kept a man over a weekend for a minor offense.
Sponsor: Sen. Steve Stadelman.