New Year, New Laws

On New Year’s Day more than 300 bills will go into effect as new state laws. Changes will impact gun owners, Illinois drivers, utility customers, and others said Rep. Halbrook.

Despite ongoing legal challenges to the Illinois Democrats’ new gun ban and registration law, the law’s January 1 deadline remains in place for gun owners to register firearms and ammunition they currently own that are listed under the law. The Illinois State Police has been tasked with creating rules for the registration process and have provided registration information here.

Rep. Halbrook noted that the minimum wage in Illinois is also increasing on January 1. In 2023, the minimum wage for non-tipped Illinois workers has been $13.00 per hour. On New Year’s Day, it will automatically increase to $14.00 per hour. The minimum wage for tipped employees will go up from $7.80/hour to $8.40/hour. These increases are mandated by a schedule enacted within the Illinois Minimum Wage Law.

Other new laws you should know about include:

  • Drivers will be prohibited from video conferencing while behind the wheel (HB 2431).
  • Electronic cigarettes and vapes will be prohibited in public places and near building entrances (HB 1540).
  • Utility companies will be prohibited from cutting off electric or gas service to residential customers when the temperature reaches 90 degrees (HB 1541).
  • All new single and multi-family homes must include electric vehicle-capable parking, including the electric panel capacity and conduit needed for charging (SB 40).    
  • Libraries across the state must adopt the Library Association’s Bill of Rights which prevents them from having to remove books based on content (HB 2789).
  • Pharmacies and retail stores will be permitted to sell fentanyl test strips over the counter (HB3203), and schools will be required to have an opioid antagonist in secure locations where an opioid overdose may occur (HB 3428).

“With Democrats in complete control of state government, 2023 was a tough year on our constitutional rights, our family values, and taxpayers’ wallets,” Rep. Halbrook said. “Some of these new laws are worthy ideas, but hundreds of real solutions were denied even debate in the House. We are in desperate need of course correction in 2024, starting with a complete overhaul of the so-called Safe-T-Act that has fueled an increase in crime in communities across the state.  We need to say no to spending we can’t afford. And we need to put parents back in charge of making the important decisions about their children.”